The Union Jack the flag of Great Britain
The Union Jack This is the popular name given to the flag of Great Britain. Actually it is called the Union Flag and it is a mixture of several flags:
It all began in 1606 when Scotland was joined to England and Wales The Scottish flag, St Andrew’s Cross, + the English Flag, St George’s Cross
The English people got the Union Flag which is red, white and blue. King James the First (1566 – 1625) ordered that the Union Flag should be flown on the main mast of all British ships, except on ships of war. Here the flag was flown at the front of the ships, on what was called the bowsprit. The end of the bowsprit was called the Jack Star and so we get the name of Union Jack. A “jack”, by the way, is an old word for the sailor.
In 1801, when Ireland was joined to the Union, as it was called, the Irish Flag of St Patrick’s Cross was added
BRITISH IMPIRE (to 1921) The Union Jack is also on the flags of Australia and New Zealand