Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Union Jack - or The Union Flag?

What’s this flag called? The Union Jack or the Union Flag?

The argument stems from the fact that a ‘Jack’ is a flag that is raised on a ship - so if you see the union flag on the bow of say a warship or lifeboat then it would be correct to call it a Union Jack. Otherwise you might refer to it as the Union Flag.

Vexillologists, or 'flag smart-arses' (I know what you’re thinking, ... really boring people who have beards, wear sandals, and watch repeats of Bergerac) say that at the time of the Union in 1801 King George II proclaimed the flag as “the Union Flag”; and therefore it should be referred to as such.
The Royal Navy would agree only calling the flag the Union Jack when at sea.

However, these beardy/sandal/Bergerac-watching chaps concede that the term Union Jack is so widely utilised and renowned by the United Kingdom that there is no real objection to either being used – mmm sounds like fence sitting to me.

Incidently the BBC does not use the term "union flag" because of its "great potential for confusion", preferring "Union Jack".

Whether to use "Union Flag" or "Union Jack" is a matter of debate.

Whether to watch Bergerac is not; the body is always found in Charlie Hungerford’s swimming pool.

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