Dragon to sit on Union Jack?
Could this be the new British flag? In the UK Parliament yesterday, culture minister Margaret Hodge pledged to consider a redesign of the union flag to incorporate the Welsh dragon.
The minister was responding to concerns raised by Welsh MPs who claimed that their constituents' identity has been suppressed by the current design which does not include a symbol to represent Wales. Albert Owen, Labour MP for Ynys Mon was reported in The Guardian as claiming that "We in Wales do not feel part of the union flag because the dragon or the cross of St David is not on it".
Since 1801, the British flag has been made up of the cross of St George to represent England
the cross of St Patrick for Ireland
and the cross of St Andrew, or Saltire, for Scotland
Because the principality of Wales had already been united with England when the first union flag was created in 1606, it was not deemed necessary to include anything to represent the Welsh as their country was not a separate kingdom. And they're not happy.
If a new design were to follow the pattern of the previous one, it should use the flag of the patron saint of Wales, St David. But that looks like this
So the dragon is being proposed as a compromise.
The design of the current flag, incorporating three different flags, had been "a challenge," said Hodge. "Thinking of a new design that would meet everyone's aspiration would be an even greater challenge." You can say that again.
Send us your suggestions for a new design and we'll post up the best ones.
I wonder if there'll be a "Submit your best flag design" competition to go with it
I thought The Sun's added green stripe was alright.
But I'm not Welsh.
This is a bit silly. The Union Flag represents the union of kingdoms. Wales, like it or not, is a principality of England. It was annexed to England in the 16th century.
Despite all the efforts of Welsh nationalists, Wales has even devolved differently. Wales does not have the same level of self-determination as Scotland. There would need to be an entirely different constitutional settlement for the dragon to be applicable to the Union Flag.
There's a site called We Are Multicolored that allows you to design your own flag – http://www.wearemulticolored.com
You can even include Wales!
Here is my flag design: http://www.ufoby.com/newuk.gif I want to continue the idea of crosses.
But I still can not believe that UK is going to change the flag after 200 years of using it!
While they're at it, could they please take the Saltire out of it? I realise that this might make the flag inconsistent with the concept of the Union, so to even things up we'll happily leave and go our own way!
Perhaps It's time to reconsider our Union Flag entirely. Why not disregard everything that's symbolises this great nation a'la Olympic Games and 'do sum graf'? Besides, is the flag really the cause behind all our identity problems? Do the Welsh really want to feel part of Britain with it's torid PR of late? Stay put Welsh, go it alone. Really, you're better off that way.
So simple it took an Aussie to design it.
The problem with the green diagonals in the Sun is they remove St Patrics cross. However being brought up in Swansea as british I have always felt left out because of the lack of Welsh symbolism in the Union Flag. (As a point of note the Union Jack has a border and is flown on the Jack Staff of a naval vessel) However though not a nationalist the comments of Sol could turn me that way, despite having an English Rose of a wife and two English roses as daughters. I am proud of being Welsh and feel deeply hurt by those who look upon my desire for national identity as "a bit silly".
My first reaction is : I am sorry I am American and maybe I don't have a right to say this but the union jack has been around forever why would they go and screw up one of the greatest marks in history? A dragon in the middle of the flag, I just don't see that flying, nor do the colors of the black and yellow work with the red and white aesthetically it looks like a giant mish mosh.
But my second reaction is: Maybe the welsh have a point, and the dragon if it was incorporated into the X rather than a white box behind it and simlified could work, but it would have to be simplified. Good luck. But I still think leave it alone, and if anything add an element of the dragon more subdued into the blue background on white.
Here's my take on the new United Kingdom flag:
“my desire for national identity”
You HAVE a national identity, flag and all, bold and apparent at any national event or sports fixture. Scotland too.
Scotland and Wales, just deal with the fact that you're part of the Union. Either join in, play nice and be grateful for the benefits that it affords you. Or go it alone and enjoy your respective identities' flags. You have your assemblies, go referendum! Whining about inclusion/exclusion on a Union Flag is a bit petty, imho.
The dragon would look rubbish any way you add it. South Africa did alright with their ‘new’ flag...
Ed Wright - I think you should get on with that web site of yours before you go giving out opinions.
Personally I think the flag is fine as it is, history has given us this flag, it's authentic. And the aesthetics of our flag is something to be admired, I'd cringe at any black or yellow within the design! Although I think a silhouette of a dragon imposed upon the blue in either a lighter or darker shade would be attractive and not draw too much away from the original.
Sorry Hume, there's me thinking this bit was for comments and opinions. Silly me.
You could say the the Union Flag is a very strong worldwide brand, and the Dragon, Saltire and St George's cross are its distinctive sub-brands, some of the most recognisable in the world. Why mess with them?
Hell, why not dispense with flags all together? They seem so last century and archaic.
The United Kingdom(TM)
Where do you want to go today?
Being Welsh and proud of my heritage and language, I don't really see the need to change the UJ..... well, that is untill I read arrogant comments such as Sol's. His is the type of comment that makes one not want to be associated with the UJ and what is has stood for.
If a change is to happen, I think all that would be needed would be to add a yellow (from the cross of St David) outline to the St George cross... along the lines of Aussie Chris' design.
Adding the dragon will not work from a design point of view.
I really should have added Er Wrights' name with Sol's. Your superiority complex is extremly tiersome and very distructive.
It seems you have woken up the dragon in me......*shakes fist in a dissaproving manor at the monitor*
Graham watson speaks words of wisdom, to be born welsh is to born privilaged, not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but with music in your blood and poetry in your soul. WALES FOREVER
If this were to happen would all flags of the Commonwealth using the Jack require a change too? ie Australia and New Zealand...
Johnson Banks has pitched in with some suggestions for a new, Welsh-friendly Union Flag here
“Your superiority complex is extremly tiersome and very destructive.”
No more so than your inferiority complex. “Until we stop looking at ourselves through the eyes of another nation, we will never properly grow up.” Dick Gaughan of Scotland, but applicable to Wales too.
Pretty superficial argument from culture minister Margaret Hodge.
Politically: the "isolation" does not have to be at all with the presence or absence
of a dragon...The problem is way deeper than a dragon on a flag. The identification with the main icon of culture will not be solved by an superficial iconographic representation. That will be the outcome of political redistribution, not a mere design solution.That seems to be a formality not a solution.
Graphically: not all groups should have an identifier to be counted as part of the identity. If this is the case then the flag would not be a flag but a collage.
it would be better for everyone involved if the union jack was *at least* updated; it's synonymous with racism and thuggish behavior across the world.
(ed- i don't understand why my previous version of this comment was not published, yet you allow petty bickering from the likes of 'Ed Wright' and 'Hume', and the flame fuel of 'Sol'...)
"ed- i don’t understand why my previous version of this comment was not published, yet you allow petty bickering from the likes of ‘Ed Wright’ and ‘Hume’, and the flame fuel of ‘Sol’"
Sorry about that - it wasn't deleted intentionally but must have been caught up in the avalanche of spam we received over the weekend
[“Your superiority complex is extremly tiersome and very destructive.”
No more so than your inferiority complex. “Until we stop looking at ourselves through the eyes of another nation, we will never properly grow up.” Dick Gaughan of Scotland, but applicable to Wales too.]
Oh the irony!
[.......... it’s synonymous with racism and thuggish behavior across the world.]
..and let's not forget, the UJ has been flown during some dam right shamefull behaviour historicaly too.
Sorry Alun, I don't see the irony.
I don't see why the Welsh want to be define themselves through inclusion on the [“shameful, thuggish, racist”] Union Jack when they have a fantastic flag/identity of their own AND are already represented, as was stated earlier, as a Principality of England.
Here's an interesting article about Scotland's emergence as an independent nation, beginning to define itself by what it is (a great and beautiful country) rather than what it is not (English). Wales shouldn't be far behind.
I dare say that most don't want it, Ed Wright.
I'm inclined to agree with you, fazylucker. Which begs the questions, haven't Albert Owen (“We in Wales...") and the other Welsh MPs mentioned in the post got better things to do for their people than worry about a flag?
Ed, you claim we have an inferiority complex. Well with your insistance on calling Wales a principality of England and suggest we look at ourselves through the eyes of others, there's no suprise is there?
Apparently being proud to be Welsh equates to being anti-English. So I suppose entertaining the idea of being represented on the Union Jack is my way of showing that you can be Welsh and British (and of course, not hate the English).
I do however, wholeheartedly agree with your last post; Welsh MPs (and AMs) have better things to do. I just wish they realised that!
Would a daffodil or a leek look better than a dragon on the UJ?
Here's the most logical solution, Wales wants in on the Union flag right? OK, soon When Scotland restores her full independence and we take our St Andrews saltire with us then there will be loads of room on the old rag
I'm English, my partner's Welsh, and I actually think it's rather a cute idea, but it does seem like these discussions take up rather a lot of MPs' time.
How about this?
As a Welshman I feel the union flag means nothing to Wales, adding us now is a token gesture, forward with devolution I say, with Scotland and Wales getting back what's rightfully theirs country and flag, soon we will be free... we can become a part of Europe as an independent country, get out of the way England. When branding, a logo is an external mark that reflects the companies aspirations and mantra. So lets get all the countries mission statements to reflect their aspirations and then tackle the branding, Wales wants independance......
I'm a Welsh woman living in Canada and while I hold three citizenships (born in Wales to an American father that was in the US service, became a Canadian to vote in the 90s) when asked, I'm Welsh...
Although I've never lived in Wales, my mother ensured that I was raised to be fiercely proud of being Welsh...
Anyone that denigrates and belittles a collective's desire to be included and regarded shows how little regard that one has for people over all...
Progress is progress and change is inevitable...just because something's been a certain way for years doesn't mean it's not ripe for change or right to change...
What is everyone so afraid of??
Personally, I don't believe the Welsh should have their flag in the British flag. I don't see the British flag as containing the English, Scottish etc, I see it as a flag representing Britain not made up for many flags, individual in its own way.
There have been many attempts to change the flag in these comments, many of which are good ideas but way to complex to work properly. Tradition being what it is, why not leave it alone or give it to Wolff Olins to jazz it up.
maybe without the white background or a smaller dragon.
As a catalan -not spanish- and as a designer, i like the UJ idea but not what I read between lines: England's cross is OVER. And i should like it cause Saint George (Sant Jordi) is also Catalonia's saint...
Southafrica example is not so beautiful but more fair, a union of 2 where no symbol is above the other.
If Scotland leaves for good and Wales puts green on the UJ be careful with the copyright of basque flag LOL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikurri%C3%B1a
i am american and don't really know all the back politics to this, but if it's that important that the welsh have their own identity yet still be associated with the uk. why don't they create their own flag and incorporate the union jack into it? like new zealand and australia.
Wales has long been recognised as one of the four constituent countries of the UK. Its status as a principality is no excuse for not having it represented on the flag - Northern Ireland is featured despite being a rump province of a former kingdom.
How about this for a solution? http://andrewg.wordpress.com/2008/04/24/on-the-union-jack/
Since the Welsh dragon is red, just kick Northern Ireland out already and have the government officially anounce that the red which previously stood for Ireland, symbolises the red dragon of Wales.
Also Scotland or Wales won't get independence and they don't deserve it anymore than any of the other former kingdom's Wessex took over, like Northumbria for example. Scots out of the historic Kingdom of Northumbria!
I think Europe is stepping back into the Middle Ages, all these feudal pseudo-nations looking to secssion is just pathetic.
There are heraldic, as well as aesthetic, reasons why many of the designs shown on here don't work.
Heraldry says that a metal may not be placed on or against another metal, nor a fur against a fur nor a "tincture" (colour) against a tincture. That's why the original flag is so complicated
For this purpose, yellow represents gold, and white represents silver. Black represents the fur sable, and other furs are represented by certain symbols against white (ermine, with its arrowheads in a diagonal formation, being the most obvious and common).
All this restricts the design!
Regarding the comments from "Sol", telling us all so boldly that Wales was 'annexed' to england many moons ago, I think you'll find that the english government carried this out with usual disregard for anyone who isn't english, whatever 'english' actually means (mongrel maybe?).
Let's also not forget the treatment of young welsh schoolchildren in the late 1800s, when they would be forced not to speak Welsh (!?!)and made to wear a heavy wooden block around their necks with the initials on said block being 'W.N.', standing for 'Welsh Not'.
Quite barbaric really!
Strange considering that the Welsh language (as well as other celtic languages in the U.K.), was spoken on the British Isles many years before the English language, which ironically, is derived from the German language!!
Hmmmm, say no more!
A Simple Verson Of the Welsh Flag/union flag...
Well people im only 15 years old and i dont mind being part of great britain despite the fact im a proud Welshman i think its time for the Union Jack to have a makeover...ok no need to put the Welsh dragon on the Union Jack but why not the flag of Saint David since that was Wales' first proper flag until the Red Dragon. If the politcs want people to be more British then put us on the flag or Great Britain will lose its identity which is happening right now as we speak. The Welsh may be a princeapality to England but that what angers the Welsh(no offence to the English) becouse the Welsh dont like the English and thats why if you'd come to Wales you'd hear the slogan "Welsh Not British".
And to be honest i'm feeling left out off Great Britain... im feel less proud to be British.. and Scotland's bid for indepencence do you really want Wales to do the same??
Well i hope somebody agrees with my by here
I think this is all just stupid. Great Britain was the most powerful nation in the World for a very long time. We had the largest Empire the world has ever known. England, Scotland, Wales and, to a lesser extent Ireland, Unified because they were all countries that all believed in the concept of Union, thus, they unified and created the greatest nation on Earth. We defeated Imperial Germany, Nazi Germany, Napoleon's France, Imperial Japan, Spain and many other nations besides. We achieved this because Union made us stronger,and yet the U.K. is now weaker than ever. No wonder we could barely defeat Argentina, Iraq and a load of stick brandishing terrorists in Afghanistan. Our Union is breaking apart at the seams, due to football-inspired (And ridiculous) anti-Scottish and Anti-Welsh prejudices. I think that the Welsh should fly the Flag alongside the St. Davids or Red Dragon flags, As the rest of the U.K. do. (i.e. Union Jack and st. Georges cross, Union Jack and St. Andrews Saltire) So why don't we return to our original strength and Glory, tell the E.U. and U.S. to kindly stop interfering and concentrate on stopping every teenager in Britain stabbing each other, and stemming the tide of useless unqualified Polish immigrants who can't speak English. I do love my country, and would hate to see it fall apart at the seams due to an ever-weakening union. So let's put all this behind us, please, fellow Britons.Rule Britannia.
I thought we were rebranded as Team GB now anyway?
You've got a point, but I'm American so i don't feel too involved, but my ethnic background is highly irish, scottish and a bit english, so that makes me quite a but British right? But anyways i just think they should make the dragon smaller on the flag so it fits in with the crosses at the very center of the flag instead of jutting out.
I am British first, then English. My family are part Welsh too. I love the Union Flag (It's not a Jack unless it's on a ship) The yellow/black could be added in a tasteful way and work well. Or both the Dragon and the Union flag side by side.
The recent Olympics proved that we can succeed together as a Union, regardless of race. One of the reasons Labour shy away from this issue is because they have been schooled in post Marxist thought and hate the idea of countries in general. Labour want Britain to be part of the US of Europe and nothing more.
The government could have increased cohesion between all Kingdoms in the UK, but they chose not to on purpose, allowing groups like the SNP to thrive.
The idea of separate flags is only recent (For English people anyway). Remember the 1966 England world cup victory? Only Union Flags in the crowd then, contrast that with now and its mainly the ugly and boring St Georges Cross.
I strongly believe in the Union and I love the Union flag, lets fly more in public and stop this self xenophobia.
Ireland never believed in, as you put it, "the concept of union". Many Irish men and women died in the many risings and revolutions attempting to gain our independence. The Union Jack was a symbol of the Act of Union, an act that abolished regional parliament and removed the ability of all countries involved other than England to govern themselves. Do me a favor, out of respect for the 600,000 Irish killed by Cromwell, the million starved in the great famine and the countless other souls, Scottish and Irish, that died in the fight for independence from England, don't make "the concept of union" out to be some kind of voluntary feelgood effort. Call it what it was, the removal of basic human rights by an oppressive and sometimes brutal regime.
Richard Dwyer, Born in Dublin, Ireland and proud of it.
Sorry about the delay in answering (laptop problems). I am very sorry if I have caused you any offence at all Richard, and would just like to clarify that. I know where you are coming from. England did seem to dominate and opress the rest of Britain (especially in the 18th century), and there have been many episodes in the history of Britain that are downright shameful. However, Ireland, Scotland and England did vote to be unified, and Eire no longer wished to be in union by the 1920's, and was allowed to leave. I would also like to say that I agree wholeheartedly with Phil. Technically the George cross should only be flown by the Church of England and the Royal Navy, as these groups are the only ones with any real use for it. Also, the Union flag is the National flag.
I have recently thought of a new flag, based on one I saw that was a Naval flag for a few months in 1659. It consisted of two George crosses and two St. Andrews saltires in a sort of chequer pattern. So, taking this to paint, I changed the bottom St.George's to a St. David's cross, and the bottom St. Andrew's to a St. Patrick's cross. It is rather colourful and a lot more fair to the countries in the U.K.
There is a link here also,with some free backgrounds if anyone wants?
Just a note here:the first union flag was created by a Scotsman, King James 1 (King of England and Scotland) when he ascended to the English Throne after Elizabeth 1 died. He made it to represent the union of the English and Scottish crowns. It didn't pass into use as a land-based flag until the political union of England and Scotland in 1707 (It was only used on ships up until then)
Has'nt Margaret Hodge got more urgent and critical decisions to make than to change an institution that's been around for 200 years or more. She should get on with getting the country out of the doldrums and get it back on it's feet instead of listening to a load of Welsh Nationalists banging their drum.
Now if she would encourage companies to fly the flag outside their premises it would help bring back some national pride. She would then get my vote!
Whithdraw allthe comments
Comment deleted by moderator
are the Diaginal red lines on the Union Jack supposed to go to the middle?
Its Retarded when they dont !!!
its lieing got danm it lies i tell you !!!
I am English and I agree that Wales should be added to the Union Jack. I do not think that the inclusion of teh dragon however is a little cumbersome.
Here is a website I stumbled across that I think has a great depiction of what the Union Jack, with Wales incorporated, should like (it uses the cross of Saint David:
Sorry. In the last post I ment to say that I 'do' find the inclusoin of teh dragon to be a bit cumbersome.
St Patrick's cross is unknown in Ireland as it never existed. What was used to represent Ireland in the union flag in 1801 was the saltire of the FitzGeralds who were the premier dukes at that time. We don't need to be represented or mis-represented so remove this spurious symbol ..nobody in Ireland will be offended.
Ed Wright and others with strong opinions as such, I really wish you would think about the people whose feelings you hurt before you throw your opinions out there like that. I really don't see what the issue is, incorporating Wales in the Union Jack. I am American, and I have long watched the same flag fly over my head, and I can see where you come from, but before you know it, you will be used to the possibly new one and generations and generations later, it will be the new symbol of your great country. But possibly a little more subtle, like the suggestion for a blue dragon silhouette?
the welsh flag is a strong enough symbol on its own. no need to squeeze it into the union jack.
wales has been falsly joined with england by henry the 8th. the reason he did this is because his father (henry the 7th) was welsh and during this time wales was thaught as one of the best places to live.
wales should be included in the union flag it doesn't matter if its been round for a long time we are a country
part of britain so should be included. welsh people don't actually like to be accosiated with britain because really we aren't
The original English flag was not the Cross of St George - and St George is, arguably, not England's patron saint at all, his cross having been adopted by the crusaders. England's original patron saint was St Edmund - and the original flag of the English was a white dragon on a red background, a flag that in fact pre-dates the Welsh, or British, adoption of the red dragon and has its origin with the Anglo-Saxons.
From the various amalgamations of the Scottish Saltire with the Cross of St George from the reign of James VI of Scotland and I of England, the longest-enduring version had the Saltire as the dominant colour - and this version was the one Queen Victoria in fact favoured and used. The English dominant version only came into being in the first instance when Ireland was incorporated into the Union and was not ubiquitously used until the beginning of last century.
My own personal preference is not to continue with any form of the Union Jack at all, as it is historically misleading. Depdendent on whether the Scottish and Welsh nations jointly or severally decide to leave the Union, England has the simple choice of the White Dragon or the Cross of St George. An amalgam of the two dragons would easily facilitate a joint flag of England and Wales, should the Welsh wish to remain associated with England. The Scots would not have to choose a new flag upon independence.
Should the constituent nations of the Union remain together, however, I think a new flag should be designed and I would propose a form that takes religion and bogus history out of the equation, consisting of a descending series of horizontal stripes of a narrow blue, representing the north and Scotland, a deeper central band of red representing England and Northern Ireland, and a narrower green representing Wales at the bottom. This would more or less reflect our geographical situation, the smaller populations of Scotland and Wales against England's vastly greater numbers, and combining Northern Ireland's use of the Red Cross of St Patrick into England's colours. Alternatively, the deeper band of red could be divided by a very narrow strip of white, to separate Northern Ireland from England by a mutually acceptable colour. In England and Wales, the dragon - in either red or white - could be superimposed onto the Union Flag, and in Scotland, St David's Saltire could likewise predominate against the Union Flag background. The Northern Irish could have another civil war deciding what they wanted to superimpose, but the status of the territory being only provincial, I would suggest they have nothing in the interests of saving lives and knee-caps.
There. Everybody happy? You bet your life we are...
I'm from Wales. I love our flag, and I love our country. We're a part of Britain whether we've got our symbol in the union jack or not... I've got the british flag tattoo'd on my arm, and I'd hate to have to pay good money to get it re-done. I also have a tattoo of the welsh flag under the prince of wales feathers on my other arm.
The fact that I've got 2 flags is good enough for me.
It's not about what's ON the flag, it's about who the flag represents, and that's everybody who was BORN in Britain.
It's a complicated country though I must say. A lot of foreigners don't know that Britain is IN the UK. Great Britiain and United Kingdom are not the same thing. Does the UK even have a flag? Because ROI is part of the UK, but it's not part of Great Britain. Am I right?
Leave the flag as it is (whether anyone joins, leaves or is upset in the union) ~ Its a recognised emblem the world over, its incorporated into many other national flags and its design is very nicely balanced as it is ~ Its really time the politicians and 'outraged of nothingbettertodos' shut the hell up and went and found something worthwhile to do...
I don't think that there would be support for a change to the general concept of the flag which has become so familiar, and is included in a lot of people's perception of British-ness. A change would therefore have to include a Welsh element into the existing design.
Aesthetically including the black and gold of St. Davids cross just would not work. Including the red dragon symbol in any position (but especially the centre) puts too much emphasis on the welsh element. If we are going to add the dragon we may end up having to include the respective lions of England and Scotland and the harp of Northern Ireland as well, and will just end up with a coat of arms.
I thought visually that The Sun's attempt was the best. However, changing the red diagonals (from the cross of St. Patrick) to green removes the Northern Irish component.
How about changing the blue in the lower half of the Union Jack to green? You get a similar looking flag, that still triggers the same mental associations that one may hold with the original Union flag, but which values the Welsh contribution to the identity of that Union. (I don't have a link but you can make this for yourself on http://www.wearemulticolored.com by combining the flags of the United Kingdom and Wales).
I'm just not sure there would ever be enough political pressure to instigate a change.
YOu can be proud of your nation but also be proud of the whole union. For example you can be a proud Canadian and a proud Commonwealth member. There is a diffrence between national pride and wanting to go up in arms and kill English and Scots.
Actually technically speaking the welsh dragon, though beautiful, isn't a flag it's an emblem symbolic of Wales. And as Wales is a region of England, you would have to make Wales a country in its own rights (which it is already considered as anyway) before you could have them represented on the union flag. The MP should have done some research into why it is the 'prince of Wales,' before suggesting this, as Wales was clasified as a region of England hundreds of years ago. I do think that they should be represented, however the union flag is part of aour herritage, so to change it, is just like wiping another part of our history away.
I think the flag itself looks excellent as a work of art and as a concept, but I'm not sure that I like the idea of anyone 'seriously' playing around with the look of the Union Jack? Some things are so full of history and tradition that they should be revered rather than reviewed or altered.
As an Englishman I love Wales and I love the Welsh people, but let's keep our national identities clear and defined? Our diversity and our unique national heritage is our strength and is justifiably a source of great pride. Proud to be English, proud to be Welsh, and overwhelmingly proud to be 'British' together as part of the United Kingdom. That's what makes this 'Great Britain!
the flag has always been made up of the scotish irish and english flags but its about time wales was also represented and for people on here to not even know what the flag is made up of should be ashamed of themselves if they class themselves as british
If the Welsh want to be represented why should they be denied? We believe in Democracy right?
Oh yes SOL you are correct that Wales is not represented on the flag because it is a principality, and that is also the reason why England is represented by a big red Norman George cross because you were defeated by the Normans and your flag and saint depicts this, Wales as its own flag which is unofficially maybe the oldest in the world, thanks Sol for reminding me.
Personally I'm amazed to see the volume of comments on this great subject and the level of feeling that we still associate with a flag? In some ways it's great to see that we hold our history dear to our hearts, and personally I agree that each country should have its own flag. It identifies us as English, Irish, Welsh, Scottish etc. but also, in the case of the Union Jack, it brings us together as a respected and historically strong group of peoples.
Is the top one the winner?
That is awful. Why not do what the Aussies do with the Jack put the dragon smaller in the top left or right.
Or if you want make the dragon part of the construction don't just whack the blighter on top of it.
What a waste of money and who did this?
No amount of looking at that monstrosity would make it correct or sympathetic the Union Flag.
Circa 1990 I designed a Union Flag with the Welsh red dragon on a centre of white created by placing the Scots saltire over the cross of St George. I wore it on a shirt while presenting on television in 1996. The design proved very popular and the shirt was stolen from a bar the following evening in Edinburgh. Fortunately not before I had been and shared the idea with a chap who ran his own little design and fashion retail outlet. The only problem with my design is that it is not strictly equitable nor reasonable to impose BOTH the cross AND the background colour over the other flag. The Union Flag currently does not do so:
James of Scots who inherited England, championed the idea of Britain and had the flag created, was an educated and creative man. There are many reasons why the Union Flag works in the form that transpired yet fails in other configurations. No doubt James would have encountered such issues and as some would like you to believe, they have nothing to do with politics but everything to do with art.
The Union Flag has the blue of St Andrew as the predominant background colour. It strips away the white background of St George and replaces much of it with the blue background of St Andrew. Instead the red cross of St George simply has a white border strip. If instead you removed the blue background of St Andrew and replaced that with a narrow blue border it would look far less like a flag of St Andrew than it does currently on the Union Flag. Invariably, when people try to depict the Saltire over the cross of St George they unfairly omit to also swap the blue and white backgrounds over.
If reversing purely the crosses so that the flag of St Andrew including it's background is predominant it gives disproportionately far more prominence to the flag of St Andrew than to the flag of St George, than could be erroneously argued about such prominence of any constituent flag which makes up the current Union Flag. However if you therefore reverse the entire design 'fairly' by swapping over the backgrounds (as well as the crosses), then neither flag looks quite right and neither is instantly determinable nor as recognizable as within our current Union Flag.
The diagonal appears as a hollow stripe with blue edges. Remember too, in a rectangle, that diagonal cross lines are a fair bit longer than perpendicular cross lines, therefore what remains of the red cross is then minimal - compared to the amount of Saltire exposed in the current Union Flag. Also it necessitates red abutting blue which looks less favourable to the eye than the current flag, especially as a truly great design should stand up in black and white.
In ‘reversing’ the positions within the Union Flag design, neither constituent flag looks as it should and they both lose their unique impact and visual power. The integrity of both is corrupted beyond merely devaluing the aesthetics of the overall flag – The instant identification of ones regional flag is lost. The resulting design resembles a rather hollow and weak looking negative of the Confederate Flag, or four little arrows pointing in, on a mainly white background.
Once the flag of St Patrick is then added, it becomes thin stripes of blue / white / red / and blue again, and looks like someone has drawn a cross with a tube of multi-coloured toothpaste, with further odd thick red pointy wedges at the edges. The diagonal red stripe also obliterates any tiny sense of a St Andrews Cross which the eye might possibly have still registered without it.
The Union Flag instigated by the father of Britain, King James of Scots, is internationally acknowledged as one of the greatest designs and successful ‘brands’ in the world. A glance shows you a great sense of each contributing flag. It gives prominence to both the blue background and the red cross but the sense of the white cross is immediate and all nations can be proud. The only initial reservation is the lack of a Welsh dragon. However I consider we all OWN the Union Flag and that it is now as much Welsh as it is English, Irish or Scottish. All parts of the UK were once a multitude of tiny nations from the west of England to the North of Scotland and much fighting ensued. Now we are largely together on these islands, the mighty clan, in dust blood and soul. The flag is all of us. Mark futurewavemedia