Jubilee entices England to re-embrace the symbol (if not the fact) of the United Kingdom?

As little more than an after thought to Brian’s piece on the utility of a lightly borne monarchy (see also my earlier Audioboo on the same subject), one of the things that has struck me is the sudden emergence of the Union flag as the emblem of choice, particularly in England where the cross of St George has been the preferred public emblem for maybe the last 15-20 years.

It’s not really a surprise that it’s the Union flag that’s the flag of choice for every third or fourth households, what else for the the Head of State of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland? But it is odd to see it rested once again, from its common association with the extreme right and being owned in the domestic way that say Danes commonly do in Denmark [und Sud Schleswig? – Ed].

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  • I thought it was curious actually that the Union flag was used everywhere to celebrate the Jubilee, why not the Queen’s Royal Standard flag?

    It’s her personal anniversary afterall, not the anniversary the Act of Union?

  • Mick Fealty

    Good question… Not least because there is more than one Royal Standard… It sort of begs the question, was the decision political, commerical, etc?

  • Drumlins Rock

    The Euros might give St George a bit of a fight back, but the use of the flag to promote the Olympics also feeds into it, but I want to throw in another theory, related to the economic situation, not a fall back to nationalism, but a fall back to “tradition” often associated with recession.

    It usually happens in architecture, arts, fashion, design and in this case symbolism, people find comfort in certain aspects of the past, and the Union Flag is such a symbol to many, you will probably see interior design etc. reflecting more historic designs in the next few years, this is just one part of it.

    One final thing, the flag is an amazing piece of design, extremely decorative and adaptable, it has been fashionable outside the UK the quite some time now, just ask Hawaii !

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mick, I believe the use of Royal Standards of any form are restricted, they are the “personal property” of that member of the Royal family, in the same way I imagine the Slugger Logo is your property.

  • mollymooly

    The Gloriana barge had eight flags: two with the jubilee logo; those of England, Scotland, Wales, London, and Cornwall; and the St Patrick’s Cross for Northern Ireland. With the tricolour being a 26- or 32- county flag depending on who’s using it, it’s interesting that the red saltire has become a 6- or 32- county equivalent.

  • Mike the First


    “particularly in England where the cross of St George has been the preferred public emblem for maybe the last 15-20 years”

    Since Euro 96, I would say. It’s odd now watching footage of the 1966 World Cup final, or even Italia 90, and seeing how much the Union flag predominated among England fans. From those championships on, there was much more awareness of, and use of, England’s own flag as opposed to that of the UK.

    The VE Day celebrations back in 1995 (naturally enough, given it wasn’t an “English” occasion) had the Union flag with pride of place among the crowds with few if any St George’s flags to be seen.

  • Mister Joe

    In the middle of the doom and gloom of the recession, might it have to do more with nostalgia for the “good old days”, back when the queen came to the throne and, according to Mac, they “never had it so good”.

  • I will be in the Royalist capital this weekend, I wonder if its bunting will all have been taken down, or will it stay for the summer becoming grimier and grimier. I think not.

    That aside it is time the Union Flag was redesigned, nothing too drastic, just giving England, Scotland and N Ireland (and Wales) improved prominence and status. Perhaps the cross and saltires could all feed into a green circle representing Wales.

    True, misunderstandings could arise, with the ill-informed perhaps confusing the red of the Welsh jersey with the English cross, assuming the green circle to be Irish (Ulster permanently at the roundabout perhaps), presuming the blue to be the True Blue of English shire counties, and sympathising with the colourless peelie wallie Scots and their lack of sunshine nursing a half and half.

    But hey we should be able to sort it out, after all they are only flags, symbols, emblems etc. It is not as if they are foremost in our lives, they only fly every now and then.

  • Brian Walker

    Vanloads of union jacks some with diamond jubilee centre pieces were on sale at the entrance to the main events. It would be interesting to know whio was behind that nifty bit of entrepreneurship

  • grandimarkey
  • O’Tuama

    In the town here in the East of England in which I live it is interesting to note that about 60-70% of Union Flags are being flown upside down. I have yet to meet anyone who has noticed this or indeed knows which way the flag should be flown!!!

  • veryoldgit

    I’m not sure about redesigning the Union flag articles, although this will be necessary if Scotland hopefully goes for independence in 2014.
    I’d prefer it to be scrapped entirely, along with the Disunited Kingdom. Then the English flag can resume its rightful place in an independent England.