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What does the UK (Union Jack) flag mean?

The Union Jack, the British flag,
if you think about it, it’s kind of a Frankenstein assortment of three different national flags.
It’s a combination of the flags of England, Scotland and Ireland.
不好意思哦 威尔士 这个视频不能就这样结束 所以我们得再多聊点东西
Sorry, Wales, that can’t be the end of this video, so let’s dig a little deeper here.
一开始 英格兰国旗也被称为圣乔冶红白十字旗
To start with the flag of England which can also be called St. George’s Cross,
we don’t know exactly where or how it originated inside of England.
众所周知 在1188年英法两国的国王都决定进行十字军东征
It is known that in 1188 the kings of England and France both decided to go on a crusade together,
为了区别他们的军队 英格兰军队使用了白十字旗 而法国的旗帜上则绘有红十字
and in order to distinguish their armies, the English used a white cross and the French used a red cross.
不知从何时起 英格兰人也开始莫名其妙地采用法国军队的红十字旗
Somehow and at some time the English may have adopted the red cross that was used by the French.
There is a legend that King Richard, the Lionheart,
on the third Crusade adopted the symbol for usage in the English crusading armies,
but it’s pretty unclear historically.
据记载 红十字旗第一次出现在英格兰历史上
The first recorded use of the red cross on a flag within England
应该追溯到1545年 它被英国海军作为海事旗所使用
dates back to its use as a maritime flag used within the English navy in 1545.
而在英国宗教改革期间 圣乔治被神化为英格兰的“主保圣人”
During the English Reformation, St. George rose to become the primary patron saint of England,
除了代表他的红十字旗 全英格兰其余的宗教旗帜都被废除了
and all the religious flags, other than his own, were abolished within the country.
这让这面旗帜流传开来 并与英格兰有了更密切的联系
This left a lot of room for his cross become even more associated with England.
现在让我们看看苏格兰的旗帜 它也叫圣安德烈十字旗
Moving on to the Scottish flag which is also called St. Andrew’s cross,
its origins revolve around the martyr of St. Andrew.
圣安德烈是苏格兰的守护者 根据传说记载 他被钉在X型的十字架上受刑而死
St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and according to legend, he was crucified on an X-shaped cross.
在威廉一世统治期间 与圣安德烈的受刑姿势相似的
The familiar X shape with the image of St. Andrew crucified
first began to appear in Scotland in 1180 during the reign of WilliamⅠ.
在13世纪后期 这个图案也出现在苏格兰政府的公章上
That image would also be depicted on official seals within Scotland during the late 13th century.
到了14世纪 它甚至被改成更加简单的X形状
The image of St. Andrew would be removed to form a more simple X shape sometimes in the 14th century.
and then in 1385
the Scottish Parliament ordered that
在法国服役的苏格兰士兵必须佩戴带有白色交叉图案的盔甲 以方便相互辨认身份
Scottish soldiers serving abroad in France had to wear a white X on their armour to distinguish themselves.
根据记载 这面蓝底白交叉的旗帜第一次在苏格兰被广泛使用
The first confirmed historical usage of the familiar white X with a blue background on a flag
inside Scotland was in 1542
恰好是在三年前 英格兰首次将圣乔治十字旗用于海军
three years before the English first used St. George’s Cross in their navy.
The first edition of the Union Jack flag originated in 1606.
在三年前的1603年 苏格兰国王詹姆士一世同时继承了英格兰和爱尔兰的王位
Three years earlier, in 1603, James Ⅰ of Scotland had inherited both the English and Irish thrones,
and in addition to Scotland ruled all three kingdoms.
尽管这三个王国归属同一个君主统治 但它们各自保留了自治权
Despite all the three kindoms were overruled by the same monarch, they each remained separate.
但是詹姆士下令 新国旗必须象征着苏格兰以及英格兰的统一
But James ordered a new flag to symbolize the union between his native kingdom of Scotland
and the kingdom of England. So two different versions were created.
There is the more familiar English version of the flag which was used in England
相反 另一种版本则用于苏格兰
and the less familiar Scottish version which was of course used in Scotland.
因为这两个国家在政治上仍然是相互独立的 因此它们的使用也相应受到限制
Both of these flags were used in limited forms because both kingdoms remained politically separate
until the acts of union in 1707 formally united England and Scotland into the same country, Great Britain.
统一后 英格兰的旗帜成为了这个新生国家的官方国旗
After the acts of union the English version of the flag became the official flag of the new country.
But that still leaves out the red X shape which symbolises Ireland.
The red X on a white background is known as St. Patrick’s Saltire.
它是圣帕特里克的标志 而在十八世纪八十年代 这面旗帜开始成为爱尔兰的标志
It is a symbol of St. Patrick and began to be associated with Ireland as a whole only in the 1780s.
It was adopted as a symbol of the order of St. Patrick
which was an order created by the English King GeorgeⅢ.
讽刺的是 由于这是来自英国国王的命令 许多爱尔兰的民族主义者都抵制这面旗帜
Ironically, as a consequence of this, many Irish nationalists have rejected this flag
因为它起源于英国 但却代表着爱尔兰
as a British invention to represent Ireland for themselves.
在1783年前 这面旗帜在爱尔兰被使用过 但我们不太清楚它的确切用途
The flag had some usage in Ireland before 1783, but it’s rather unclear.
It was used on the coat of arms of the powerful Fitzgerald family in Ireland,
and it also appears on the back sides of some Irish coins minted around 1480 in honour of the Fitzgeralds.
1801年前 爱尔兰一直是大不列颠王国其的一块私人领地
So before 1801, Ireland had been a part of a personal union inside Great Britain,
但在1801年的元旦 爱尔兰王国和大不列颠王国正式统一为一个国家
but on January 1st, 1801, the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland were formally united into the nation
now named the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
为了体现出爱尔兰的加入 英国的国旗又增加了红色交叉这个新元素
In order to represent this addition of Ireland into the kingdom, the flag was again changed with a red X cross,
这样一来 三个国家的标志就综合在了一面国旗里
so that all three kingdoms would be represented on one single flag.
再次向可怜的威尔士说声抱歉 国旗已经被填满了 直到现在也没人能有办法把你塞进去
Again, poor Wales, even now nobody has figured out a good way to fit you into the already crowded flag.
即使缺少了威尔士的标志 这面联合国旗仍然保持至今
Even without representing Wales this Union flag has remained in place
就算是在爱尔兰的主体已与英国分离的情况下 也是如此
even after the majority of Ireland left the United Kingdom.
上面的红色交叉现在作为北爱尔兰的标志 北爱尔兰仍是英国的一份子
The red X cross now represents Northern Ireland which still remains a part of the kingdom.
除了英国 米字旗也曾经出现在其他国家的国旗上
In addition to being the flag of the United Kingdom, the flag has been used on several other national flags
that used to be a part of the British Empire.
它曾是美国国旗的一部分 直到1777年美国独立改成了现如今的星条旗
It was a part of the United States’ flag until 1777 when a certain rebellion changed all of that,
它曾是加拿大国旗的一部分 直到1965年加拿大人通过投票将其改变
a part of the Canadian flag all the way up until 1965 when they voted to change it,
它也曾是南非国旗的一部分 并直到1994年种族隔离完全废除时才被取消
a small part of the South African flag up to 1994 when apartheid finally ended,
直到现在它也还是新西兰 澳大利亚 图瓦卢 库克岛 斐济等国国旗的一部分
and continues to remain a part of the National flags of New Zealand, Australia, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Fiji
同时也出现在BC省 安大略 马尼托巴 纽芬兰等加拿大省份
and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba and Newfoundland
and as well as the United States’ state of Hawaii.
而作为英格兰国旗的圣乔治十字旗 它的标志也出现在加拿大的亚伯达省的旗帜上
And as for the English flag with St. George’s Cross, it is also found on the flag of Alberta, Canada.
With current events like the New Zealand flag referendum
and Scottish referendum to leave the United Kingdom in 2014,
the status of the UK flag around the world and the status of the UK flag itself is still subject to change.
What would the UK flag have looked like if Scotland had voted the leave the Union in 2014
整个联合王国被分裂 它的国旗会变成什么样?
when the United Kingdom even haven’t been called the United Kingdom any more?
What interesting future events might change this iconic flag?
在评论区写下你的想法 噢对了 还没有订阅我们的朋友别忘了关注我们
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Thank you as always for watching.



英国国旗的前世今生 深入了解这面非同寻常的旗帜