The flag of England is derived from Saint George's Cross (heraldic blazon: Argent, a cross gules). The association of the red cross as an emblem of England can be traced back to the Middle Ages, and it was used as a component in the design of the Union Flag in 1606. Since the 1990s it has been in increasingly wide use, particularly at national sporting events.
|Use||Civil and state flag|
|Design||A white field with centred red cross|
(Argent, a cross gules)
In 1188 Henry II of England and Philip II of France agreed to go on a crusade, and that Henry would use a white cross and Philip a red cross. 13th-century authorities are unanimous on the point that the English king adopted the white cross, and the French king the red one (and not vice versa as suggested by later use). It is not clear at what point the English exchanged the white cross for the red-on-white one.
There was a historiographical tradition claiming that Richard the Lionheart himself adopted both the flag and the patron saint from Genoa at some point during his crusade. This idea can be traced to the Victorian era, Perrin (1922) refers to it as a "common belief", and it is still popularly repeated today even though it cannot be substantiated as historical.
Red crosses seem to have been used as a distinguishing mark worn by English soldiers from the reign of Edward I (1270s), or perhaps slightly earlier, in the Battle of Evesham of 1265, using a red cross on their uniforms to distinguish themselves from the white crosses used by the rebel barons at the Battle of Lewes a year earlier. Perrin (1922:37) notes a roll of accounts from 1277 where the purchase of cloth for the king's tailor is identified as destined for the manufacture of a large number of pennoncels (pennons attached to lances) and bracers (worn by archers on their left forearms) "of the arms of Saint George" for the use by the king's foot soldiers (pro peditibus regis). Perrin concludes from this that the introduction of the Cross of St George as a "national emblem" is originally due to Edward I. By 1300, there was also a greater "banner of St George", but not yet in a prominent function; the king used it among several banners of saints alongside the royal banner. Saint George had become popular as a "warrior saint" during the crusades, but the saint most closely associated with England was Edward the Confessor until the time of Edward III, who in thanks for Saint George's supposed intervention in his favour at the Battle of Crécy gave him a special position as a patron saint of the Order of the Garter in 1348. From that time, his banner was used with increasing prominence alongside the Royal Banner and became a fixed element in the hoist of the Royal Standard. The flag shown for England in the Book of All Kingdoms of 1367 is solid red (while St George's Cross is shown for Nice and, in a five-cross version, for Tblisi). John Cabot, commissioned by Henry VII to sail "under our banners, flags and ensigns," reportedly took St George's banner to Newfoundland in 1497.
St George's Day was considered a "double major feast" from 1415, but George was still eclipsed by his "rivals" Saints Edward and Edmund. He finally rose to the position of the primary patron saint of England during the English Reformation, with the revised prayer book of 1552, when all religious flags, including all saints' banners except for his were abolished. The first recorded use of St George's Cross as a maritime flag, in conjunction with royal banners, dates to 1545. In 1606 it was combined with the Scottish St Andrew's Cross to form the Union Jack.
The concept of a national flag, as opposed to royal banners, naval ensigns or military flags, developed in the late 18th century, following the American and French Revolutions. In the 19th century, it became desirable for all nations of Europe (and later worldwide) to identify a national flag. Since during that time, the terms Britain and England were used largely interchangeably, the Union Flag was used as national flag de facto, even though never officially adopted. The observation that the Cross of St George is the "national flag of England" (as opposed to the Union Flag being the flag of all of the United Kingdom) was made in the context of Irish irredentism, as noted by G. K. Chesterton in 1933,
The flag of England is one of the key components of the Union Flag. The Union Flag has been used in a variety of forms since the proclamation by Orders in Council 1606, when the flags of Scotland and England were first merged to symbolise the Union of the Crowns. (The Union of the Crowns having occurred in 1603). In Scotland, and in particular on Scottish vessels at sea, historical evidence suggests that a separate design of Union Flag was flown to that used in England. In the Acts of Union of 1707, which united the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England to become the Kingdom of Great Britain, it was declared that "the Crosses of St. George and St. Andrew be conjoined, in such Manner as her Majesty shall think fit, and used in all Flags, Banners, Standards and Ensigns, both at Sea and Land."
From 1801, to symbolise the union of the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland, a new design which included the St Patrick's Cross was adopted for the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Flag of the United Kingdom, having remained unchanged following the partition of Ireland in 1921 and creation of the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland, continues to be used as the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The flag of the City of London is based on the English flag, having a centred St George's Cross on a white background, with a red sword in the upper hoist canton (the top left quarter). The sword is believed to represent the sword that beheaded Saint Paul who is the patron saint of the city.
The flag used by the British Royal Navy (the White Ensign) is also based on the flag of England, consisting of the St George's Cross and a Union Flag in the canton. In addition to the United Kingdom, several countries in the Commonwealth of Nations also have variants of the White Ensign with their own national flags in the canton, with the St George's Cross sometimes being replaced by a naval badge.
Churches belonging to the Church of England (unless for special reasons another flag is flown by custom) may fly St George's Cross. The correct way (since an order from the Earl Marshal in 1938) is for the church to fly the St George's cross, with the arms of the diocese in the left-hand upper corner of the flag.
The flag is also seen during other sporting events in which England competes, for example during England Cricket matches (the Cricket World Cup and The Ashes), during Rugby Union matches and in football. It is also used in icons on the Internet and on the TV screen to represent teams and players from England.
Before 1996, most of the flags waved by supporters were Union Flags. It is now observed that most are England flags. In a sporting context, the flag is often seen being waved by supporters with the unofficial addition of the word 'England' across its horizontal bar.
As the national flag of England, the St George's cross is also used in English nationalism in conscious distinction from the Union Flag. This is parallel to, but less widely practised, than the use of the flag of Scotland as distinct from the Union Flag in Scottish nationalism. While the flag of Scotland has been officially defined by the Scottish Parliament in 2003, the flag of England does not figure in any official legislation, and its use by English nationalists was for some time limited to the "far-right", notably the British National Party (founded 1982). Since the flag's widespread use in sporting events since the mid-1990s, the association with far-right nationalism has waned, and the flag is now frequently flown throughout the country both privately and by local authorities, although it also remains in use by nationalist groups such as the English Defence League (founded 2009).
Since the 1980s, an alternative 'White Dragon of England' flag has been in use by some English nationals. This was created and spread in order to have a flag with pre-Norman Conquest symbolic leanings.
Due to the spread of the British Empire, the flag of England is currently, and was formerly used on various flags and coats of arms of different countries, states and provinces throughout the territories of the British Empire. The St George's Cross is also used as the city flag of some northern Italian cities, such as Milan and Bologna.
The Blue Ensign is a flag, one of several British ensigns, used by certain organisations or territories associated with the United Kingdom. It is used either plain, or defaced with a badge or other emblem.
The evolution of the Blue Ensign followed that of the Union Jack. The ensign originated in the 17th century with the St George's cross (the Flag of England) in the canton, and with a blue field (top right).
The Acts of Union 1707 united England and Wales with Scotland in the Kingdom of Great Britain, thus producing a new Blue Ensign with the new Union Flag in the canton. With the Act of Union 1800, Ireland joined the United Kingdom and St Patrick's Cross was added to the Union Flag and, accordingly, to the cantons of all British ensigns from 1 January 1801.Caedmon College
Caedmon College is a mixed secondary school and sixth form located in Whitby, North Yorkshire, England. The school is named after Cædmon, the earliest English (Northumbrian) poet whose name is known.
Established in 1912 as the County School, Whitby, it was a mixed grammar school for pupils aged 11 to 18 until 1972 when it became comprehensive and was renamed Whitby School. At this time the school starting age decreased to 14. The school was renamed Whitby Community College in 1993 when the school started to offer adult education classes. In September 2014 Whitby Community College merged with Caedmon School to form Caedmon College and increased its starting age to 11 once again. Today Caedmon College is a community school administered by North Yorkshire County Council. The emblem of the County School was Captain Cook's ship HMS Endeavour, portrayed with the Whitby ammonites on the sail and a flag composed of the flag of England with the upper third having three white roses on a red background.
Caedmon College offers GCSEs, BTECs and Cambridge Nationals as programmes of study for pupils, while students in the sixth form have the option to study from a range of A-levels and further BTECs. The school also offers a provision of adult education courses in conjunction with the Whitby Adult Learning and Skills Service.Coat of arms of Saint Helena
The coat of arms of Saint Helena, part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, was authorised on 30 January 1984.
The arms feature a shield, with the top third showing the national bird, the Saint Helena plover (Charadrius sanctaehelenae), known locally as the wirebird – stylized, but with its unmistakable head pattern. The bottom two thirds depict a coastal scene of the island, a three-masted sailing ship with the mountainous island to the left. The coastal scene is taken from the colonial seal of the colony and shows the flag of England flying from the ship (when the shield was first introduced in 1874 the flag was a White Ensign).
The motto is Loyal and unshakable. The full coat of arms features, above the shield, a woman holding a cross and a flower. This represents Helena of Constantinople, also known as Saint Helena, after whom the island is named. The cross is shown as Helena is credited with finding the relics of the True Cross (cross upon which Jesus was crucified).The shield of the arms features on the flag of Saint Helena and the Governor's flag. The local two pound coin has the full coat of arms on its reverse.Coat of arms of Sydney
The Corporate Logo of the City of Sydney was adopted by the City Council in 1996. It includes a graphic artist's "version" of parts of the actual arms.
The blue shield features a crown and anchor, symbols which have long been the working images for Sydney. The white anchor represents Sydney as a port city on Sydney Harbour and the discovery of Australia by a naval officer. The gold masoned mural crown, common in many Commonwealth municipal arms, denotes the power and authority of a city.
The upper division of the shield features simplified versions of the three emblems in the upper part of the previous coat of arms, which together represent the naming of Sydney, the British contribution to Sydney's establishment and Sydney's emergence as a port city. The leftmost, with three white shells and a blue chevron on a gold background, is based on part of the arms of the man for whom the city was named, Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney. Townshend played an important role as Principal Under-Secretary of State when Sydney was founded in 1788.
The central emblem, a blue cross on white overlaid with a yellow circle, was originally the red cross of the flag of England, which is also a significant feature of British Naval Flag, acknowledging the contribution of Captain Arthur Phillip. The yellow circle represents the globe which was a principal feature of the arms granted posthumously to Captain James Cook, the naval officer who discovered the east coast of Australia.
The top right emblem, containing three white lion heads and a blue chevron with a curved upper edge, is based on the arms of the first Lord Mayor of Sydney, Thomas Hughes, who first suggested that the city obtain a grant of arms.
The shield is supported by a serpent and a coiled rope. The serpent, in blue with white and gold markings, represents the Rainbow Serpent, a creator-being said to have formed the landscape in the Dreamtime as it travelled through the country. Its markings are based on those used by the Eora people, who lived in the area on which Sydney was founded. The rope continues the maritime imagery, and symbolises the diverse origins of the people of Sydney. The rope and serpent are intertwined, representing cultural harmony.
The crest is a six-pointed star or "Mullet of six points".Flag of Guernsey
The flag of Guernsey was adopted in 1985 and consists of the red Saint George's Cross with an additional gold Norman cross within it. The creation was prompted by confusion at international sporting events over competitors from Guernsey and England using the same flag. It was designed by the Guernsey Flag Investigation Committee led by Deputy Bailiff Sir Graham Dorey. The flag was first unveiled on the island on 15 February 1985. The gold cross represents William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy (who became, after the conquest, William I of England). William purportedly was given such a cross by Pope Alexander II and flew it on his standard in the Battle of Hastings. Since 2000, a red ensign with the cross in the fly has been used as the government's civil ensign and as a blue ensign.Flag of the City of London
The flag of the City of London is based on the flag of England, having a centred red St George's Cross on a white background, with the red sword in the upper hoist canton (the top left quarter). The sword is believed to represent the sword that beheaded Saint Paul who is the patron saint of the city. The tip of the sword always points upwards; therefore, when the flag is held on its side as a banner, the sword would be printed to face hoist and would be located on the left as it is hanging down (see below).
This flag does not represent Greater London (which does not have its own flag, aside from the banner of the arms of the former Greater London Council), only the historical City of London which covers approximately 1 square mile (2.6 km2). All references in this article relate to that city, not Greater London, unless specified.Flag of the East India Company
The flag of the East India Company represented the British East India Company between 1600 and 1874. The flag was altered as the nation changed from England to Great Britain to the United Kingdom. It was initially a red and white striped ensign with the flag of England in canton. The flag was later updated to include the flag of Great Britain and flag of the United Kingdom in 1707 and 1801 respectively, as the nation developed.Flags of the English Interregnum
There were a variety of flags flown by ships of the Commonwealth during the Interregnum of 1649–1660.
At sea, royalist ships continued to fly the Union Jack of 1606, while on 22 February 1649 the Council of State decided to send the parliamentary navy an order (signed by Oliver Cromwell on 23 February) that "the ships at sea in service of the State shall onely beare the red Crosse in a white flag" (viz., the flag of England).
On 5 March 1649 the Council further ordered "that the Flagg that is to be borne by the Admiral, Vice-Admiral, and Rere-Admiral be that now presented, viz., the Armes of England and Ireland in two severall Escotcheons in a Red Flagg, within a compartment."
A sole surviving example of a naval flag following this description is kept by the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, others having fallen victim to the destruction of Commonwealth symbols at the Restoration of Charles II.
Scotland was formally reunited with England in 1654. According to Perrin (1922), the saltire of Scotland did not reappear on naval flags of the Commonwealth until 1658.In 1658 Cromwell's personal standard as Lord Protector became the 'Standard for the General of his Highnesse fleet', while the Cross-and-Harp jack was replaced by the "Protectorate Jack", consisting of the royal Union Flag with the addition of the Irish Harp at the centre.Flags of the Holy Roman Empire
The Flag of the Holy Roman Empire was not a national flag, but rather an imperial banner used by the Holy Roman Emperor; black and gold were used as the colours of the imperial banner, a black eagle on a golden background. After the late 13th or early 14th century, the claws and beak of the eagle were coloured red. From the early 15th century, a double-headed eagle was used.
In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte declared the First French Empire. In response to this, Emperor Francis II of the Habsburg dynasty declared his personal domain to be the Austrian Empire and became Francis I of Austria. Taking the colours of the banner of the Holy Roman Emperor, the flag of the Austrian Empire was black and gold. Francis II was the last Holy Roman Emperor, with Napoleon forcing the empire's dissolution in 1806. After this point, these colours continued to be used as the flag of Austria until 1918.
The colours red and white were also significant during this period. When the Holy Roman Empire took part in the Crusades, a war flag was flown alongside the black-gold imperial banner. This flag, known as the "Saint George Flag", was a white cross on a red background: the reverse of the St George's Cross used as the flag of England. Red and white were also colours of the Hanseatic League (13th–17th centuries). Hanseatic trading ships were identifiable by their red-white pennants and most Hanseatic cities adopted red and white as their city colours (see Hanseatic flags). Red and white still feature as the colours of many former Hanseatic cities such as Hamburg or Bremen.
In northern Italy, during the conflict between the Guelphs and Ghibellines in the 12th to 14th centuries, the armies of the Ghibelline (pro-imperial) communes adopted the war banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (white cross on red) as their own, while the Guelph (anti-imperial) communes reversed the colours (red cross on white). These two schemes are prevalent in the modern civic heraldry of northern Italian towns and remains a revealing indicator of their past factional leanings. Traditionally Ghibelline towns like Pavia, Novara, Como, and Asti continue to display the Ghibelline cross. The Guelph cross can be found on the civic arms of traditionally Guelph towns like Milan, Vercelli, Alessandria, Reggio, and Bologna.Hail to England
Hail to England is Manowar's third album which was released in 1984. The album title is a tribute to the country that the American band members met and formed the band in, and in particular the predominantly British NWOBHM that had emerged in the early 1980s. The album was also reported to have been recorded in its entirety in only six days. The album peaked at No. 13 on the UK charts. The album actually features the flag of the United Kingdom on the front cover, and not the flag of England.Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland (Classical Irish: Ríoghacht Éireann; Modern Irish: Ríocht Éireann) was a client state of England and then of Great Britain that existed from 1542 until 1800. It was ruled by the monarchs of England and then of Great Britain in personal union with their other realms. The kingdom was administered from Dublin Castle nominally by the King or Queen, who appointed a viceroy (the Lord Deputy, later Lord Lieutenant) to rule in their stead. It had its own legislature (the Parliament of Ireland), peerage (the Peerage of Ireland), legal system, and state church (the Protestant Church of Ireland).
The territory of the Kingdom had formerly been a lordship ruled by the kings of England, founded in 1177 after the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland. By the 1500s the area of English rule had shrunk greatly, and most of Ireland was held by Gaelic Irish chiefdoms. In 1542, King Henry VIII of England was made King of Ireland. The English began establishing control over the island, which sparked the Desmond Rebellions and the Nine Years’ War. It was completed in the 1600s. The conquest involved confiscating land from the native Irish and colonising it with settlers from Britain.
In its early years, the Kingdom had limited recognition, as no Catholic countries in Europe recognised Henry and his heir Edward as monarch of Ireland; although Catholic Queen Mary I was recognised as Queen of Ireland by Pope Paul IV. Catholics, who made up most of the population, were officially discriminated against in the Kingdom, which from the late 17th century was dominated by a Protestant Ascendancy. This discrimination was one of the main drivers behind several conflicts which broke out: the Irish Confederate Wars (1641–53), the Williamite-Jacobite War (1689–91), the Armagh disturbances (1780s–90s) and the Irish Rebellion of 1798.
The Parliament of Ireland passed the Acts of Union 1800 by which it abolished itself and the Kingdom. The act was also passed by the Parliament of Great Britain. It established the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on the first day of 1801 by uniting the Crowns of Ireland and of Great Britain.List of English flags
This is a list of English flags, including symbolic national and sub-national flags, standards and banners used exclusively in England.
The College of Arms is the authority on the flying of flags in England and maintains the only official register of flags. It was established in 1484 and as part of the Royal Household operates under the authority of The Crown. A separate private body called the Flag Institute, financed by its own membership, also maintains a registry of United Kingdom flags that it styles 'the UK Flag Registry', though this has no official status under English law.Certain classes of flag enjoy a special status within English planning law and can be flown without needing planning permission as advertisements. These include any country’s national flag, civil ensign or civil air ensign; the flag of the Commonwealth, the European Union, the United Nations or any other international organisation of which the United Kingdom is a member; a flag of any island, county, district, borough, burgh, parish, city, town or village within the United Kingdom; the flag of the Black Country, East Anglia, Wessex, any Part of Lincolnshire, any Riding of Yorkshire or any historic county within the United Kingdom; the flag of St David; the flag of St Patrick; the flag of any administrative area within any country outside the United Kingdom; any flag of Her Majesty’s Forces; and the Armed Forces Day flag.Saint George's Cross
In heraldry, Saint George's Cross, also called the Cross of Saint George, is a red cross on a white background, which from the Late Middle Ages became associated with Saint George, the military saint, often depicted as a crusader.
Associated with the crusades, the red-on-white cross has its origins in the 12th century. It may have been used as the ensign of the Republic of Genoa as early as during the 13th century. The symbol has since been adopted by the Swabian League in the pre-Reformation Holy Roman Empire. The red-on-white cross used extensively across Northern Italy as the symbol of Bologna, Padua, Genoa, Reggio Emilia, Mantua, Vercelli, Alessandria, is instead derived from an older flag, called the "Cross of Saint Ambrose", adopted by the Commune of Milan in 1045.Saint George also rose to the position of "patron saint" of England after the English reformation, and since the early modern period his flag came to be identified as the national flag of England. Saint George is the patron saint of Catalonia and also of Georgia, and the national flag of Georgia (2004) displays a combination of Saint George's cross and the Jerusalem cross.Supreme Governor of the Church of England
Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British monarch which signifies titular leadership over the Church of England. Although the monarch's authority over the Church of England is largely ceremonial, the position is still very relevant to the church and is mostly observed in a symbolic capacity. As the Supreme Governor, the monarch formally appoints high-ranking members of the church on the advice of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who is in turn advised by church leaders.Tags (Unicode block)
Tags is a Unicode block containing formatting tag characters (language tag and ASCII character tags).
U+E0001, U+E0020–U+E007F were originally intended for invisibly tagging texts by language but that use is no longer recommended.
All of those characters were deprecated in Unicode 5.1.
With the release of Unicode 8.0, U+E0020–U+E007E are no longer deprecated characters.
The change was made "to clear the way for the potential future use of tag characters for a purpose other than to represent language tags".
Unicode states that "the use of tag characters to represent language tags in a plain text stream is still a deprecated mechanism for conveying language information about text".With the release of Unicode 9.0, U+E007F is no longer a deprecated character. (U+E0001 LANGUAGE TAG remains deprecated.) The release of Emoji 5.0 in March 2017 considers these characters to be emojis for use as modifiers in special sequences. The only usage specified is for representing the flags of regions, alongside the use of Regional Indicator Symbols for national flags. These sequences consist of U+1F3F4 🏴 WAVING BLACK FLAG followed by a sequence of tags corresponding to the region as coded in the CLDR, then U+E007F CANCEL TAG. For example, using the tags for "gbeng" (🏴) will cause some systems to display the flag of England, those for "gbsct" (🏴) the flag of Scotland, and those for "gbwls" (🏴) the flag of Wales. Sequences representing other subnational flags (for examples US states) are also possible using this mechanism, but as of Unicode version 11.0 only the three flag sequences listed above are "Recommended for General Interchange" by the Unicode Consortium, meaning they are "most likely to be widely supported across multiple platforms".Tudor rose
The Tudor rose (sometimes called the Union rose) is the traditional floral heraldic emblem of England and takes its name and origins from the House of Tudor, which united the House of York and House of Lancaster. The Tudor rose consists of five white inner petals, representing the House of York, and five red outer petals to represent the House of Lancaster.Union Jack
The Union Jack, or Union Flag, is the national flag of the United Kingdom. The flag also has a semi-official status in Canada, by parliamentary resolution, where it is known as the Royal Union Flag. Additionally, it is used as an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas territories. The Union Flag also appears in the canton (upper left-hand quarter) of the flags of several nations and territories that are former British possessions or dominions, as well as the state flag of Hawaii.
The claim that the term Union Jack properly refers only to naval usage has been disputed, following historical investigations by the Flag Institute in 2013.The origins of the earlier flag of Great Britain date back to 1606. James VI of Scotland had inherited the English and Irish thrones in 1603 as James I, thereby uniting the crowns of England, Scotland, and Ireland in a personal union, although the three kingdoms remained separate states. On 12 April 1606, a new flag to represent this regal union between England and Scotland was specified in a royal decree, according to which the flag of England (a red cross on a white background, known as St George's Cross), and the flag of Scotland (a white saltire on a blue background, known as the Saltire or St Andrew's Cross), would be joined together, forming the flag of England and Scotland for maritime purposes. King James also began to refer to a "Kingdom of Great Britaine", although the union remained a personal one.
The present design of the Union Flag dates from a Royal proclamation following the union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. The flag combines aspects of three older national flags: the red cross of St George for the Kingdom of England, the white saltire of St Andrew for Scotland (which two were united in the first Union Flag), and the red saltire of St Patrick to represent Ireland.
Notably, the home country of Wales is not represented separately in the Union Flag, as the flag was designed after the invasion of Wales in 1282. Hence Wales as a home country today has no representation on the flag; it appears under the cross of St George, which represents the former Kingdom of England (which included Wales).Young England women's cricket team
The Young England women's cricket team was a team that played in the 1973 Women's Cricket World Cup . They were an Under 25 side, playing in addition to the senior England team. They finished last in the seven team tournament, their only win coming against the International XI.