40 Facts About Union Jack


The Union Jack Flag appears in the canton of the flags of several nations and territories that are former British possessions or dominions, as well as in the flag of the US State of Hawaii, which has no such connection.

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Whether the term Union Jack applies only when used as a jack flag on a ship is a matter of debate.

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Union Jack came to be used to identify all manner of particularly small objects or small versions of larger ones.

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Notwithstanding Their Lordships' circular of 1902, by 1913 the Admiralty described the "Union Flag" and added in a footnote that 'A Jack is a Flag to be flown only on the "Jack" Staff'.

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Size and power of the Royal Navy internationally at the time could explain why the flag was named the "Union Jack"; considering the navy was so widely utilised and renowned by the United Kingdom and colonies, it is possible that the term jack occurred because of its regular use on all British ships using the jackstaff.

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Union Jack is normally twice as long as it is tall, a ratio of 1:2.

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The ground of the current Union Jack Flag is a deep "navy" blue, which can be traced to the colour used for the Blue Ensign of the Royal Navy's historic "Blue Squadron".

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One early proposal for the Union Jack, consisting of a white St Andrew's saltire with blue fimbriation superimposed over a red St George's cross on a field of white.

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Reconstruction of the Union Jack displayed on the ceiling boss from Linlithgow Palace.

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At the suggestion of the Scots representatives, the designs for consideration included that version of Union Jack showing the Cross of Saint Andrew uppermost; identified as being the "Scotts union flagg as said to be used by the Scotts".

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Union Jack said the Union Jack currently only represented the other three UK nations, and Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism Margaret Hodge conceded that Lucas had raised a valid point for debate.

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Union Jack is used as a jack by commissioned warships and submarines of the Royal Navy, and by commissioned army and Royal Air Force vessels.

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Union Jack Flag is worn at the masthead of a ship to indicate the presence of the Sovereign or an Admiral of the Fleet.

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Union Jack Flag is flown at half mast from the announcement of the death of the Sovereign, or upon command of the Sovereign.

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Union Jack Flag has no official status in the United Kingdom, and there are no national regulations concerning its use or prohibitions against flag desecration.

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Union Jack is the national flag of the British Overseas Territories, which are parts of the British realm with varying degrees of local autonomy.

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Outside the UK, the Union Jack is usually part of a special ensign in which it is placed in the upper left hand corner of a blue field, with a signifying crest in the bottom right.

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Union Jack Flag was used as a flag of Australia until 1953, although the Australian blue ensign saw use as a governmental flag of Australia, and an informal national flag of the country since the early 20th century.

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The Union Jack Flag served as the formal flag for the various colonies of British North America, and it remained as the formal flag of Canada after confederation.

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The Union Jack Flag was Canada's formal flag until 1965, although from the late-19th century to 1965, the Canadian Red Ensign was used as an informal flag of Canada.

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Union Jack Flag was the formal flag for the Dominion of Newfoundland, a separate dominion of the British Empire from 1907 to 1949.

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Union Jack Flag became the flag of New Zealand after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in February 1840, replacing the flag used by the United Tribes of New Zealand.

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However, the Union Jack Flag continued to see tandem use with the national flag of New Zealand into the 1950s.

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The Union Jack was to be flown alongside the National Flag at the Houses of Parliament, from the principal government buildings in the capitals, at Union ports, on government offices abroad, and at such other places as the government might determine.

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Union Jack Flag was formerly used in Hong Kong when it was a British Dependent Territory.

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However, the meaning behind the use of the flags by pro-democracy protestors, including the Union Jack Flag, remains disputed with protestors citing a variety of reasons for flying it.

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Some pro-democracy protestors that flew foreign flags, including the Union Jack Flag, did so in an effort to attract international media attention to the protests, while others did so in an effort to irritate the central government of China.

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Use of foreign flags at the protests, including the Union Jack Flag, has been cited multiple times by the central government of China as evidence for their claim that foreign interference is steering the protests in Hong Kong against the central government.

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The most recent decommissioning of the Union Jack Flag came on 1 July 1997, when the former Dependent Territory of Hong Kong was handed over to the People's Republic of China.

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In former British colonies, the Union Jack was used interchangeably with informal flags of the territory for significant parts of their colonial early history.

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The Union Jack Flag was used as the flag of Canada until it was re-adopted as a ceremonial flag, and the Maple Leaf flag made the official national flag in 1965.

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The pre-1801 Union Jack Flag sees limited use by private organizations, most notably the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada.

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Basque Country's flag, the Ikurrina, is loosely based on the Union Jack, reflecting the significant commercial ties between Bilbao and Britain at the time the Ikurrina was designed in 1894.

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Union Jack was used by the United States in its first flag, the Grand Union Flag.

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The Union Jack was contained as part of top left hand shield and close to the flags of the United States and France, there was contained the flag of Prussia, but it was removed around 1917.

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Flag of the Chilean city of Coquimbo features the Union Jack, owing to its historical commercial links to Britain.

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In 1970, the white-bordered Union Flag ceased to be the signal for a pilot, but references to it as national colours were not removed from the current Merchant Shipping Act and it was legally interpreted as a flag that could be flown on a merchant ship, as a jack if desired.

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Union Jack is the third quarter of the 1939 coat of arms of Alabama, which is used on the flag of the Governor of Alabama, representing British sovereignty over the state prior to 1783.

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Union Jack remains one of the most instantly-recognisable flags in the world.

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Union Jack flag flying along the River Thames in London in 2016.

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