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.