Queen Elizabeth is dead and without an heir, her the rival to the throne, her cousin, Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots was executed years ago, leaving both kingdoms to Mary’s son, James. Overnight the countries of Scotland and England, along with their territories come under a single ruler, creating a new kingdom. To reflect the creation of his kingdom, James creates a new national emblem,a flag, the Union Jack.
James combines the two heraldic crosses that represent the kingdoms of England and Wales and Scotland. England’s, the Welsh, Cross of St George, is the vertical red cross, on white field, through the middle. St George has been its patron saint since the 1270’s. The cross itself dates back to the Crusades when the Knights Templar wore it on their tunics.Diagonal white cross on a dark blue field is the cross of St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. Even though James’ flag represented his sovereignty over both kingdoms they remain separate entities until 22 July 1706.
On 1 January 1801, over 170 years after James’ death, James’ four times great-grandson adds another heraldic cross to the flag, Ireland’s cross of St Patrick’s is added. Ireland’s parliament is disbanded and through legislative agreement is uniting with Great Britain to become United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. This cross dates back to the 1780s, when the Order of Saint Patrick, a British chivalric order established in 1783 by George III, adopted it. It’s a diagonal red cross on white background. Ireland has been a English territory since 1171
The updated version of the Union Jack appears in the upper left-hand quarter corner of a number of national and state flags of countries that are former British colonies. This includes Bermuda, The Cook Islands,Falkland Islands, Fiji,Montserrat, New Zealand,Samoa,Sandwich Islands, St Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands and Australia and its states.