Our flag representing the union of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales which has been flown since 1603 when Scottish King James VI inherited the English and Irish thrones and ruled the countries as one becoming King James I. Pay attention at the back there!
So I have been hunting down Jack (as if I haven’t got enough to do!) because it was the first question that came to my mind. To have the national flag named after him he must have been important, a peer in the land, a Jack that everyone looked up to. But my research has only thrown up that Jack is the name given to any flag hoisted at sea. It’s a navy term… how deluding! There was I thinking up magical stories of a heroic Jack who saved us from unknown Armageddon, but alas I am stopped in my tracks in a screeching halt. However one theory is that the “Jack” part of the name may also have come from the name of King James I/James VI of Scotland which is a little bit more satisfying.
I believe every population holds their own flag in special esteem and one only has to mooch through the local shopping centre to see that our Union Jack is reproduced EVERYWHERE. Leaving to one side that we have a royal wedding this year and therefore merchandise of every imaginable possibility is supporting our flag proudly; plates, napkins, t-shirts, tea towles, bed covers, rugs, throws, you name it – someone has produced it with the Union Jack on it.
It’s not just a recent fashion either, not something just ‘in’ for Kate and William, oh no, I have had a beautiful Union Jack vintage cushion for about two years now and I believe Kate and William were even seperated at that time. Cast your mind back to the Spice Girls era and Geri Halliwell infamously wore the inciest, winciest Union Jack at the Brits and has practically gone down in history for it. Our Flag is also very popular overseas, in fact so much so people don’t realise it is the combination of three flags that make up our Union Jack, St George’s red cross on white, St Andrew’s white cross on blue and St Patrick’s red diagonal cross on white. Whilst in Lake Garda last year, the football (British) World Cup was underway and we proudly displayed our English St George bunting around our temporary home only to be asked by staff if we spoke English!!
I would expect a lot of us have a product with the Union Jack on it lurking somewhere. in my time I have had t-shirts, funny sunglasses (which strangley enough I can’t find now) wooly ski hats, pencils, exercise books and a mug. So tell me, have you got a Union Jack in your house and what form does it take?
So for this week’s Alphabe Thursday I proudly present you the Union Jack, below a slide show of various articles currently for sale should you be tempted – let’s go shopping :)