Union Jack 2014

Yesterday saw the signing of the Edinburgh Agreement, which announces a referendum on Scottish Independence in 2014, and thus the possibility of Scotland leaving the UK and becoming independent – the ending of a 305 year old political union.

This got us thinking about the Union Flag (more commonly known as the Union Jack, though strictly speaking that name is reserved for flags flown at sea), and how it might change if Scotland did go its own way.

The current flag is made up of three separate flags: the St George’s Cross of England, the St Andrew’s Cross of Scotland, and the St Patrick’s Cross of Northern Ireland:

They all come together, with a bit of jiggling, and a few fimbriations (the white outlines around each of the crosses) to make the current Union Flag:

But if Scotland runs off to do its own thing, then it seems to make sense that the flag should change (even though under the current proposals Scotland would hang onto the monarch as the head of state). If you whip out the St Andrew’s Cross from the flag, and balance out the weight of the St Patrick’s Cross, you get this:

But hang on. The flag would be representing The United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but currently Wales isn’t represented in the flag (it was already part of the Kingdom of England when the flag was put together). That seems more than a little wrong. So perhaps we might see Wales take up its place in the flag, either as we’ve shown up top, or perhaps as below:

Or maybe it’s time for something different entirely.

Just spare a thought for all the flag-makers, and not just the ones for the UK, but for all the other nations and colonies that feature the Union Flag in the canton (the upper left hand quadrant) of their flags.

  • Cathryn

    Canada used to have a flag with the Union Flag in the canton, but that changed in 1965. We still have the Queen as our head of state. A short history of the many flags that have waved over parts of what is now called Canada can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Canada

    Despite breaking the heraldic rules which (supposedly) govern flag design, I always preferred the “Pearson Pennant”.

    And, being of Welsh extraction (at least partly) I highly applaud your suggestion that the Welsh be represented in the Union Flag. I would suggest, however, that if the lovely red dragon isn’t to be included, that the cross of St. David might work. More fiddling with the crosses and white borders of course, but it would follow the tradition.

  • Nik

    Perhaps we should adopt something like Koolhaas proposals for a flexible European Flag that would change over time to represent the coming (and possibly going, the way things are looking right now) or European member states. It looks quite random at first, but I can easily spot where the UK Union Flag sits in it, along with Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden…

    • wemadethis

      Cheers for that link Nik – interesting design. Very Paul Smith.

  • Alberto

    Any of the two new flags would make sense, but they become extremely close to the Basque flag http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basque_flag

  • Jonnie

    I really like the last, it totally works, it’s really fresh and bright. It would be a bit weird at first seeing the UK represented by a different flag, but we’d all get used to it. It could become a new icon like the old one is and will remain.

    I don’t think Oz and the other countries that feature the current flag would need to change their flags. It is a reference to their shared history with us and that includes Scotland. Maybe the remaining little dependencies we have would want to change theirs.

    Also this flag gives an opportunity to have a flag for England and Wales (minus the n. Irish bits) for all the stuff they do together that Scotland and Northern Ireland do separately. And you don’t need to wait until 2014 to start promoting it, start now! Make a Facebook page, I’ll like it! I bet you can get at least one England and Wales organisation to adopt it by the end of 2013!

  • Wow it’ s about time that there is flag of Wales,too!! I bet the British flag will be even more beautiful! ^^ If Scotland wants to separate, it doesn’t deserve to be still part of United Kingdom!