oxford views updated May 23 2018
National flag of the United Kingdom
. The earl of Nottingham's designs after the accession of James I and VI yielded to the 1606 superimposition of the red cross of St George (England
), bordered by its own white field, upon the saltire of St Andrew (Scotland
) on a blue field. An Irish harp at the centre was added by Cromwell but withdrawn after the Restoration. On the union of Great Britain
(1801), the diagonal red cross of St Patrick was combined while still maintaining the individuality of each emblem. Its dramatic design has influenced many other national flags.
A. S. Hargreaves
oxford views updated May 29 2018
Un·ion Jack • n. 1. the national flag of the United Kingdom, consisting of red and white crosses on a blue background.2. (un·ion jack) (in the U.S.) a small flag consisting of the union from the national flag, flown at the bows of vessels in harbor.