Q:

What do the colours on the Union Jack represent?

A:

Quick Answer

On the British Union Jack flag, white represents peace and honesty; red represents hardiness, bravery, strength and valor; and blue represents vigilance, truth, loyalty, perseverance and justice. The term "Union Jack" refers to the flag being a union between three national flags. A "jack" is a small flag flown on a ship's bowsprit, which was the first place the Union Jack was commonly displayed.

Know More
What do the colours on the Union Jack represent?
Credit: Thinkstock Images Stockbyte Getty Images

Full Answer

The Union Jack is composed of the flags of three patron saints layered one over the other. The central red cross on a white field is the flag of St. George, the patron saint of England. Beneath this, the white X (or "cross saltire," in heraldic terminology) on a blue field represents St. Andrew for Scotland. Layered and slightly offset on the white cross saltire is the red cross saltire representing Ireland's St. Patrick.

The first version of the Union Jack dates to James I's accession to the British throne upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I. Because his crowning represented the first time England and Scotland had been united under one ruler, James also changed the national flag to blend England's and Scotland's flags to create the first British flag, called the Union Flag. In 1801, Ireland was officially added to the British Empire, creating the United Kingdom, and the Irish flag was incorporated into the Union Jack.

Learn more about Modern Europe

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How did Joseph Stalin become the leader of the Soviet Union?

    A:

    Joseph Stalin's first step into significant power came in 1922, when he became the General Secretary of the Communist Party, a position he held until his death. He was never elected into office and got his power through a series of intelligent maneuvers.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What year did Greece join the European Union?

    A:

    Greece joined the European Union on Jan. 1, 1981. It joined the Eurozone on Jan. 1, 2001, allowing it to be among the first group of countries that issued euro banknotes on Jan. 1, 2002.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is Union Jack bedding?

    A:

    Union Jack-inspired bedding, including comforters, quilts, duvets, sheets, blankets and pillowcases, maintains the original concept of the flag while using different shades of red white and blue, including other artistic elements. Union Jack bedding features images of the Union Jack, which is the national flag of the United Kingdom.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do the stripes on the flag mean?

    A:

    The stripes that are present on the flag of the United States are representative of the original 13 colonies that existed in the U.S. The red stripes represent the hardiness and valor that was used to get the U.S. to where it is. The white stripes represent the innocence and purity that exists in the country.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore