The Union Jack Without Scotland

Thursday, the citizens of Scotland will vote on whether to leave the United Kingdom and stand on their own as a sovereign nation. There are a lot of issues to consider, and, as of now, the vote is too close to call. One of the less important questions surrounding the referendum is what will happen to the British flag if Scotland secedes. The Union Jack has been a familiar sight all over the world for a couple of hundred years now.

The Union Jack is a combination of some other very historical flags. It started off as St. George's red cross flag in 1270. In 1606, it was combined with the cross saltire of St. Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland. That's the white cross on the blue background Lord West is not fond of right now. After that, St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, had his cross saltire incorporated into the flag. That's the red diagonal. On the first day of 1801, the Union Jack flag as we know it today was created.

While that is when the flag came to be, it was never actually formally adopted. Chief executive of the Flag Institute Charles Ashburner told The Guardian that the Union Jack "fell into use" and therefore "nobody controls the union flag." He also notes that removing the blue would allow for Wales to be represented in the Union Jack. Wales could also be represented using the flag of their Patron Saint David, a black and yellow cross.

Honestly, Wales has an awesome flag, but incorporating it into the mix may be problematic. The Wire has some possibilities to show you, none of which will please everyone. -via Digg

(Image credit: Flickr user Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P.)

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