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Union Jack-o-lantern


What?!? It’s a date-relevant if not exactly accurate title…

It’s days like this when I thank my lucky stars (though I’m not sure which specific stars are lucky and which of those are actually my lucky stars) that I started this blog.

I have a duel love of history and trivia with a sprinkling of geography on top.  Consequently, the fact I learned this morning is right up my alley (I have an alley too?!?  Where do these expressions come from?).  Since none of you could possibly have been in same position as I was this morning and thus couldn’t possibly have learned this little tidbit, I’m compelled to share it with you all.

Everyone should know that the flag of the UK is known as the Union Jack but how many of you (be honest) knew its origins before you snuck a peek at the chart below?  Since you’ve all scrolled down already, the short version is that England and Wales brought the flag of St. George, Scotland the flag of St. Andrew and later Ireland the flag of St. Patrick.  All 4 components of the UK get their patron saint’s flag mashed into one starless unspangled banner.

The flags of the Union Jack

Can you imagine if we did the same thing in the US with all 50 combined state flags – or even just the original 13?  It would likely not turn out as nice as the UK with their 3 flag combo.  There are a few 2 or 3 state combos what would be awesome, my favorite being….

Overlaid by Alabama….

Check out the list and see if you can beat that combo.

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  1. Mark
    November 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Very interesting, and I appreciate the graphic flow chart! Good to have you back in Colorado.

  2. November 2, 2009 at 8:58 am

    It did work out nicely for the UK–and I’ve always enjoyed the way that some British colonies turned to commonwealths worked the Union Jack into their flags–Australia and NZ spring to mind, and some islands as well. While watching gymnastics recently, I got to see a nice sparkly Union Jack on some leotards.

  3. November 2, 2009 at 9:14 am

    I was informed and am forced to admit that I was wrong in my nomenclature. A proud British friend informed me that in the insular world of the UK, the preferred term is Union Flag as the ‘Jack’ has navel connotations and only used when on a ship at sea. It’s apparently not a common term outside of the UK since ‘Union’ a little vague and doesn’t immediately bring to mind the UK.

    For the record, I responded to my friend that since the last time we saw it on this side of the world (ignoring Canada, as I often do) was almost 200 years ago as it SAILED out of sight, we were still free to refer to it as a ‘jack.’

  4. November 3, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Nice work – I would also like to use Alabama…and the reverse of Oregon. Our forefathers in the great state of Orebama did not consider women as equals for a very, very long time.

  5. Anonymous
    May 6, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Check out the Hawaii flag, an American state with a Union Jack in it!! We do refer to it as the Union Jack in the UK, the fact that Jack is a naval term has pretty much been forgotten by the general public.

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