It’s time to get the bunting out again! Just because 2012, the year of the Jubilee and the London Olympics, is now done and dusted, that doesn’t mean that the Union Flag isn’t still going to be fluttering!
Today, January 9th, is Kate Middleton’s birthday. Otherwise known of course now as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, the royal Capricorn turns 31 today, so from all of here at Parteaz, a very happy birthday! And a happy day to any of our visitors who are sharing a birthday today – congrats to you all!
If you are feeling patriotic, or feel that you need to replenish your supply of bunting or Union Jack decorated party products we can certainly assist, with a whole riot of red white and blue on offer in the form of plates, cups, napkins, tablecovers, balloons, bunting and flags.
Although the Union Jack is recognised the world over, and is certainly very distinctive, especially compared to many other flags around the world, how much do you really know about it?
Here are 10 Union Flag facts for you to mull over, or fire at anyone nearby to demonstrate just how much more knowledgeable you are than them!
1. The Union Flag was created in 1606.
2. When it was originally created the Union Flag only incorporated the English and Scottish flags.
3. The present Union Flag, which combines the English, Scottish and Irish flags, dates from 1801.
4. Prior to the addition of the Irish flag of St Patrick in 1801 it was not previously possible to fly the Union Flag upside down.
5. There is no actual official Flag Act in the UK, meaning that the flying of the Union Flag is a tradition, rather than something flown by statute.
6. When the Union Flag was first designed it was known simply as ‘The British Flag’, and was solely designed for use on ships.
7. The idea that the Union Flag should only be referred to as the Union Jack when flown from the mast of a ship is a fairly recent idea, and there is no historic basis for this.
8. In 1908 Parliament stated that “the Union Jack should be regarded as the National flag”, rather than ‘the Union Flag’.
9. The word ‘jack’ in the context of ‘Union Jack’ probably comes from the ‘jack staff’, which is the flag pole on naval vessels from which the flag was flown.
10. The Welsh flag does not appear on the Union Flag because when the flag was first designed in 1606 Wales was already united with England, and was therefore technically a Principality rather than a Kingdom, and so couldn’t be considered as separate.