Monday, 15 October 2012

The Union Jack and The Stars and Stripes

The British flag is often called the “Union Jack
This is in fact a nautical term as a “jack” is a ship’s flag to show the ship’s nationality.
The British flag is the union of three flags in one, since it represents the crosses of the patron saints of EnglandScotland and Ireland.

The American flag is usually called the “Stars and Stripes

When the first thirteen colonies proclaimed their independence, they needed an emblem of their union. Congress decided that the flag of the United States would have thirteen alternative red and white stripes and a constellation of thirteen white stars on a blue background.
Every time a new state joined the Union, a new star was added on to the blue sky. Today, when you look at the American flag, you can still count the thirteen red and white stripes which represent the original thirteen states but you have fifty stars representing the fifty states belonging to the Union today. So the stripes represent the past and the stars represent the present.

1 comment:

  1. "a “jack” is a ship’s flag to show the ship’s nationality." Actually that type of flag is called an ensign, a jack is a secondary decorative flag flown from the bow of a ship on a pole called a jackstaff. Often in civil ship companies the jack is the house flag of the company. In Navies it is a specially designated flag, which in the Royal Navy is the Union Jack, (the white ensign is the ensign used by RN ships) See National Flags at Sea section of this article for more detail