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.
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.
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.
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.
The first recorded use of the red cross on a flag within England
dates back to its use as a maritime flag used within the English navy in 1545.
During the English Reformation, St. George rose to become the primary patron saint of England,
and all the religious flags, other than his own, were abolished within the country.
This left a lot of room for his cross become even more associated with England.
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.
The familiar X shape with the image of St. Andrew crucified
first began to appear in Scotland in 1180 during the reign of WilliamⅠ.
That image would also be depicted on official seals within Scotland during the late 13th century.
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
Scottish soldiers serving abroad in France had to wear a white X on their armour to distinguish themselves.
The first confirmed historical usage of the familiar white X with a blue background on a flag
inside Scotland was in 1542
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.
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.
Despite all the three kindoms were overruled by the same monarch, they each remained separate.
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
and the less familiar Scottish version which was of course used in Scotland.
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.
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
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.
So before 1801, Ireland had been a part of a personal union inside Great Britain,
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.
In order to represent this addition of Ireland into the kingdom, the flag was again changed with a red X cross,
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.
Even without representing Wales this Union flag has remained in place
even after the majority of Ireland left the United Kingdom.
The red X cross now represents Northern Ireland which still remains a part of the kingdom.
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.
It was a part of the United States’ flag until 1777 when a certain rebellion changed all of that,
a part of the Canadian flag all the way up until 1965 when they voted to change it,
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.
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
when the United Kingdom even haven’t been called the United Kingdom any more?
What interesting future events might change this iconic flag?
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Thank you as always for watching.