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or Union Jack Union Flag

saint, cross and ireland

UNION FLAG, or UNION JACK, the national flag of Great Britain and Ireland, is a composite of the prominent features of the flags of England, Scotland and Ireland. The first union flag was made upon the accession of James I, and from the fact that that sov ereign signed himself °Jacques° the flag has been improperly nicknamed the Union Jack (a °jack" properly being a flag flown upon the jack-staff of a ship). The first national flag in 1606 combined the English banner of Saint George (argent, a cross gules) with the Scot tish banner of Saint Andrew (azure, a saltire argent). In 1707 the flag was revised, becom ing in heraldic terms azure, a saltire argent surmounted by a• cross gules fimbriated of the second. When Ireland was united with the kingdom of Great Britain the flag was again altered, the red cross of Saint Patrick being in troduced and forming the present Union Jack. In heraldic terms it is: azure, the crosses saltires of Saint Andrew and Saint Patrick quarterly per saltire counterchanged argent and gules, the latter fimbriated of the second, sur mounted by the cross of Saint George of the third fimbriated as a saltire. This was first

hoisted on the Tower of London 1 Jan. 1801. The flag is the national flag for use on shore and for land forces; it is used at sea only on a ship bearing the English sovereign, when it is hoisted at the main mast, and at the main mast of the flag-ship of a fleet commanded by an admiral. With a harp on a blue shield dis played in the centre it is the flag of the lord lieutenant of Ireland. With the star and device of the order of the Star of India it is flown by the governor-general of India. When this flag design occupies the upper corner next to the staff of a red, white or blue field the flag so formed is called the red, white or blue ensign and is the flag for use on shipboard. Merchant men carry the red ensign, and all British war vessels carry the white ensign divided into four quarters by the cross of Saint George. See