Happy St. Georges Day
Posted by episode81 on April 23, 2009
Have you noticed all the people wearing red today? All the bars advertising red beer. Badges and hats that say “Kiss me. I’m English”? Me neither. Substitute green for red and Irish for English and you have St Patrick’s day – the big Irish holiday. Well, today is St George’s day – the modest English day.
I thought I would take this opportunity to clear up the confusion around the difference between English/British/Scottish/Welsh/Irish, United Kingdom/Great Britain/Britain and the Union Jack/Union Flag.
This wasn’t in the least bit important to me when I lived in the UK. In fact I didn’t know much about the flag or the different country terminology. Now I do and I am going to share that with you. Oh you lucky, lucky people.
Anywho, I digress …
The flag image above is the Union Flag – it is only called a Jack when it is flying from a boat. It consists of the 3 flags of the countries that comprised Great Britain in 1801 – England, Scotland and Ireland. Where is Wales? It was already part of England in 1801 🙂 The animation starts with the cross of St Andrew – a white X on a blue background. Then the red cross (+) on a white background of St George is added. Finally, the red cross (X) on a white background of St Patrick is added. The flag should always be displayed with the wide white diagonal to the left and at the top. And there you have it. There will be a test later.
The astute amongst you will already know that Ireland is no long part of Great Britain and Wales is no longer part of England. The United Kingdom comprises Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland. We are British. Try to avoid referring to people from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as English – you may not get the response you desire 😉
Great Britain/Britain refers to the large island that contains most of England Scotland and Wales and all the little islands off the coast. It does not include Northern Island.
There is a great website with excellent graphics and further details here.
All that remains is to wish you a Happy St George’s Day! Wear red with pride 🙂