Union Jack Created

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Union Jack Created

The 12th of April 1606 AD

When the Scottish King James VI succeeded to the throne of England in 1603 on the death of Elizabeth I , the two countries remained legally and administratively separate – they just happened to share a monarch. James, however, wished to bring the countries closer, and to make a visible symbol of his rule over both. To this end he commissioned the royal heralds to design a flag incorporating the main elements of those of both nations.

The Union Jack was gifted to the world by royal decree on April 12 1604, intended for use on ships both civil and naval originally, though after a time its use was in theory restricted to the King’s fleet.

The new flag had the red cross of St George in the centre, its bars running vertically and horizontally; the white X of the saltire running from each corner, and a narrow band of white either side of the red bars, the rest of the space being the dark blue of the Scots flag.

In a gesture of defiance the Scots for some time made their version with the white X to the fore, the cross of St George relegated to the background. The poor Welsh had no such option open to them, their country being part of England in law, thus leaving them without symbolic representation. Likewise Ireland, which since the time of Henry VIII had been in English law a fiefdom of the English crown.

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Comment

From Isla on 12th April 2011
Surely you mean the Union Flag? Great article either way!

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British surrender at Yorktown - 1781, North Sea Oil Discovered - 1970, Black Monday Market Crash - 1987, Guildford Four Verdicts Quashed - 1989
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