Designs proposed for union jack
flag without Scotland


Alternative designs proposed for the union jack flag without Scotland

News: alternatives to the current United Kingdom flag presented by a national flag charity have provoked a debate about whether a new design should be commissioned if Scotland chooses independence in its upcoming referendum.

Alternative designs proposed for the union jack flag without Scotland
The union jack flag with gold St David's cross added

The Flag Institute, an independent charity dedicated to the study and documentation of flags, asked experts and members of the public to design new versions of the union jack that would reflect Scotland's independence.

Alternative designs proposed for the union jack flag without Scotland
Design exchanging the blue of Scotland's cross of St Andrew with the black of Wales' cross of St. David

The designs were proposed by people responding to a survey conducted by the Flag Institute, in which 65 percent of respondents claimed the Union Flag should change if Scotland becomes independent.

Alternative designs proposed for the union jack flag without Scotland
Design with a colour change from blue to black and symbols representing the different (current) home nations

The United Kingdom's current flag features the saltire of St Andrew representing Scotland, the English cross of St George and the red saltire of St Patrick for Ireland.

Alternative designs proposed for the union jack flag without Scotland
Design incorporating the green of the Welsh Dragon flag

Suggestion for a possible new flag included replacing the saltire with colours or shapes representing Wales, which was part of the English kingdom when the flag was originally designed.

Alternative designs proposed for the union jack flag without Scotland
Design with black and gold from the St. David flag

One proposal showed the blue saltire of St Andrew replaced with the black ground and yellow cross of the patron saint of Wales, St David.

Alternative designs proposed for the union jack flag without Scotland
Design combining elements from the existing flags

Other designs employed the red, white and green colours of the Welsh Dragon flag, or featured the dragon itself. A design by John Yates fragmented the colours and crosses of each nation into a pattern of overlapping shapes, while others integrated royal iconography.

Alternative designs proposed for the union jack flag without Scotland
Modern interpretation of the flag with the colours of St David's flag and the Scottish blue

The Flag Institute's chief executive Charles Ashburner pointed out that the organisation is neither encouraging nor discouraging a change to the flag, but is "simply here to facilitate and inform the debate if there is an appetite for such a thing."

Alternative designs proposed for the union jack flag without Scotland
Design with the Royal Coat of Arms added and surrounded by a garland of items symbolic of the Commonwealth nations

"As this subject has generated the largest post bag of any single subject in our history ever, there clearly is such an appetite," Ashburner added.

Alternative designs proposed for the union jack flag without Scotland
Design with the white of St Andrew's saltire removed and a crown and Royal Standard included

When the alternative flags were posted on the BBC's online magazine they prompted further suggestions from the public, including many "which kept the shapes in the current union jack but changed the colours."

Alternative designs proposed for the union jack flag without Scotland
Design with elements of the Welsh Dragon flag (Y Ddraig Goch)

The Scottish public will vote on the issue of independence on 18 September 2014, however the College of Arms, which oversees matters relating to flags and heraldry and acts under Crown Authority, told British broadcaster ITV that there are no plans to change the Union Flag if Scotland becomes an independent state.

  • Henri Drion

    I like the “flag with the colours of St David’s flag and the Scottish blue”, because it looks like a really old-fashioned European flag. A cross made from the French, Dutch, Belgian and German flags.

  • zsnajorrah

    The ‘modern interpretation’ flag looks like what the current flag might have been, had Germany invaded and taken over the UK in the 40’s.

    • Mike Ummels

      I would think that applies more for the ‘design with black and gold from the St. David flag’.

  • These all look so wilfully unattractive. Isn’t the easiest solutions simply to replace the blue of the St Andrew’s saltire with the green of the Welsh flag? At least one company has used this approach for an Italian-British marketing campaign over the last couple of years:

    • Lamia

      Agreed, Andrew. It’s a simple, elegant and will allow the flag to incorporate change while keeping continuity. It also maintains the current, striking overall design. I think it would be the least painful solution, would look great and would quickly seem absolutely natural and right.

  • Drop the blue for the Welsh green. I’m sure the colour change could easily be spun as positive. 201 days to go, and the polls are showing a favourable trend. No doubt the scandals involving corruption in London will help make the campaign successful.

  • iag

    Pretty bad. Not quite sure why the St. Andrews cross still remains in a any of them, surely the solution is omit the entire Saltire ( ) and replace with a more balanced Welsh & Northern Ireland representation?

  • george

    Leave it as it is.

  • pipe

    Don’t forget the changes to all those little commonwealth countries that still keep this piece of colonial heritage. Changing the colours will have obvious impact on Australia and New Zealand, countries that have in fact have been considering a change for many years. Might just be enough to push them towards republicanism.

    • craig

      Your point is well made but calling Australia and New Zealand “little commonwealth countries” smacks of a misguided condescension towards countries that have long outgrown our colonial status, but keep our connection to the commonwealth through our flags out of respect for history and attachment to the visual symbolism that has helped define our identity over the last century and a bit.

      Republicanism is an inevitability in Australia, and perhaps we will take that opportunity to give greater recognition to our indigenous history on a new flag. Or perhaps, as you say, if GB modifies the Union Jack, Australia will have incentive to move on from the symbolism of our colonial heritage sooner.

  • Vicente Fictício Cruz

    Are you having a laugh!? These are terrible!

  • Damla

    I don’t like any of the flags. Union Jack should stay as it is. The flag has so much character, it would be a shame if they decide to change it.

  • Tony Vann

    My great grandfather is buried in in Banff on the east coast of Scotland. My great grandmother was from the Channel Islands, so I have history with different parts of the UK, as do many people in Australia. Historically speaking, the first immigrants to this continent were from the constituent countries of the UK. With them came the legal and financial management framework, and common law principles that we still use today.

    I feel proud of my British heritage on my mother’s side of the family and Dutch heritage on my father’s side. The mere idea of a split of the UK, and the departure of Scotland merely because of one party leader’s desire to go down in history for something significant, is a joke that can only lead to disaster.

    Should Scotland opt out of the UK, the meaning of the existing UK flag can be changed to refer to the representative patron saints bordered by the great seas of crystal blue water – KEEP THE SAME FLAG. And if Scotland chooses to leave, then as much as they may protest about the blue remaining in the flag, they would be an independent country and no longer have any sway in UK affairs, including the flag. Rather the Scots remain part of the UK – but then again the question will re-appear as frequently as Quebec’s endless five-year referendum cycle to leave Canada.

    • Rosalind Alexander

      I’m Scottish and in no way is this about one man. It isn’t even about SNP as a party. After our independence day, we will get to vote in our new parliament for whoever we decide.

      SNP are just our means to getting to that point, but there is a lot of support from other political parties. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t really mind if the UK wants to keep the Scottish blue, but it would make more sense for them to change it to green for Wales which would give the welsh more respect (and I think they should have that respect as they are their own country). Just hope we get a yes vote tomorrow!

  • Doraemon

    UK could keep its current flag. The English flag was ‘stolen’ from Genoa some centuries ago, why not now with the Scottish flag if they become independent?

  • Pavane

    If Scotland separates then I suggest a new Union Jack: A cross of St.George (England), the red hand of Ulster in the 1st and 4th quarters (N. Ireland), and the red dragon of Wales in the 2nd and 3rd quarters (Wales). Clean, simple, and representative.

  • Juno

    Our desire to be independent is not because of “one man’s desire” to do any such thing! The previous referendum on independence in Scotland showed that more than 50% of Scottish voters wanted to leave the UK, hardly “one man”, and certainly not all supporters of the SNP.

    • Matt

      Does this mean the millions of Scottish in England will leave and free up jobs for English people? I’m all for the Scottish to leave, as are most English people.

  • penzance

    The flag shown with “the black of Wales’ cross of St. David” (and not the gold) looks more like it incorporates a white cross on a black background, which is St. Piran’s cross of Cornwall. As a Cornish-American, I like this one!

  • ptizza

    Just keep the flag you have now. Scotland leaves… So what? Jeez.

  • Ilyas Ali

    I think we should switch the blue with green, and have the welsh dragon in the centre of our flag. It would be nice to have a dragon on our flag. Rawr.

  • Calum Bennachie

    The Union flag was originally designed following the Union of Crowns, in 1603 when the English ran out of their own royalty and had to ask James VI of Scots to become their king. It originally didn’t have the red saltire – that was added when Ireland was incorporated into the Union in 1801. The independence of parliaments will not affect the union of crowns as the Queen still remains Queens of Scots, and therefore the blue would remain.

  • David

    The union jack without Scotland will be better.

  • AP

    Leave the flag as it is. It will cause a constant reminder to what they had and what they have now lost.

  • Fiona Macdonald

    Pahaha! Seriously?! Are countries like Australia who have the union jack on their flag supposed to change it too? Just leave it as it is.

  • Guest

    “Design” is a strong word to use for some of these flags.