The British Union Jack flag was designed to incorporate three separate flags from surrounding kingdoms.
The Union Jack flag of England is a very recognizable flag to most of the world. If fact, back in the colonial days it used to fly in the United States before the 13 colonies declared independence. Once the colonies did that, they soon designed and created their own flag with the stars and stripes design.
Do you know where the design inspiration originated from for the Union Jack Flag? Here is a little history on the infamous flag and from where exactly the British pulled the colors and design.
The current British flag is a combination of three heraldic crosses from England, Scotland, and Ireland. However, since 1921 only Northern Ireland has been included in the flag. The three crosses are:
- The Red Cross of St. George
- The Blue and White Saltire of St. Andrew
- The Red and White Saltire of St. Patrick
The origins of this historic flag date all the way back to 1603. Scotland is represented by the flag blue and white flag of St. Andrew. The flag is comprised of a blue background with a diagonal white cross filling the entire flag.
Ireland (today, only the Northern part) contributes to the current Union Jack flag with St. Patrick’s Saltire. Their flag is a white field with a diagonal red cross that covers the entire flag.
St. George’s cross comes from England. This flag is made up of a white background with a red standard cross. If you are wondering about Wales, it is not included since it is a principality and not a kingdom. For that reason it could not be included in the British Union Jack flag. The Wales flag includes a red dragon on a white and green background.
When you combine all three of those flags you get the 1606 version of the Union Jack flag. One small revision was made in 1801: four additional smaller red diagonal stripes were added. Since then, Great Britain has flown the same Union Jack flag.