The Union Flag - the flag of the United Kingdom (UK)
The Union Flag, popularly known as the Union Jack, is the national flag of the United Kingdom. It is the British flag.
It is called the Union Flag because it symbolises the administrative union of the countries of the United Kingdom. It is made up up of the individual Flags of three of the Kingdom's countries all united under one Sovereign - the countries of 'Scotland', of 'England' and of 'Northern Ireland' (since 1921 only Northern Ireland has been part of the United Kingdom). As Wales was not a Kingdom but a Principality it could not be included on the flag.
Now, let's see how the Union Flag (Union Jack) came to be the UK's national flag and the making of the United Kingdom.
The National Flag of England
England is represented by the flag of St. George
In 1194 A.D., Richard I of England introduced the Cross of St. George, a red cross on a white ground, as the National Flag of England.
At this point in the story on the United Kingdom, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland were separate countries. However, this was soon to change....
In 1536, under Henry VIII, an Act of Union was passed making Wales, in effect a province of England.
The National Flag of Scotland
Until 1603, Scotland (like England) had its own Monarch. In 1603, the King of Scotland became also the King of England ruling both countries.
Why doesn't the Welsh dragon appear on the Union Flag?
The Welsh dragon does not appear on the flag because when the first Union Flag was created in 1606, Wales was already united with England from the 13th century. This meant that Wales a Principality instead of a Kingdom and as such could not be included.
In 1536, under Henry VIII, the Act of Union joined England and Wales officially.
What would the Union Flag look like if Wales was represented?
In November 2007, a Welsh MP, Ian Lucas, asked parliament why Wales is not represented in the Union Jack. Of course, we have the answer here on our website, but what if Wales was represented, what would the flag look like?
Below you can see Ian Lucas' version of the Union flag with Wales represented: