This is the short story of the Union Jack. It is the name given to the flag used by Great Britain and the United Kingdom.
The colours of the flag are a striking red white and blue design.
It first came into being in 1606 when James Stuart, the first King of both Scotland and England, agreed to a flag to represent the union of the two countries plus Ireland and Wales.
The Union Jack is essentially a maritime flag and is intended to be flown from a flagpole on a ship. It was never intended to be flown or used for ceremonial or purposes or celebration on land.
Oddly, it is forbidden by English law to fly the flag from a ship today other than a royal vessel. There is no law existing saying it can or it cannot be flown on land or about its actual dimensions.
For probably four hundred years, ‘Britannia ruled the waves’ of the oceans of the world and the Union Jack flew from ships all around the world as the great British Empire was established.
The flag consists of the red and white cross of England, diagonal blue and white cross of Scotland and an adapted version of the flags for Ireland and Wales.
The name of ‘Jack’ probably comes from the French translation of the Kings name ‘Jack’ otherwise ‘Jacques’ in French although there are many who believe that it comes from the meaning of a ‘Jack’ on the bow of a ship.
In truth, the Union Jack is a royal flag which has become the symbol of a united nation in the twenty first century more by accident and fate than political will and design.