Is the Union Jack the coolest flag in the world? Well, it’s certainly one of the most recognisable. An instant design classic that is forever associated with Britain, the Queen and, of course, the swinging Sixties portrayed in every recent Hollywood movie.

However, the flag has also become an English stereotype, a symbol that reflects English pride all under one red, white and blue umbrella, or flag. BUT if you want to be specific it is a proud icon of Britain – NOT the English. The Union flag is exactly that – a celebration of the countries in the United Kingdom.

It came fully into existence (as we know it now) on the 1st January in 1801 when the Act of Union merged the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain.

 WHY IT LOOKS LIKE IT DOES…

The reason the flag looks like it does is because it actually comprises elements of the three individual flags of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland bundled together.

The flag has an even greater history of uniting countries: it has at one time or another, been proudly flown by 26 other countries, including the United States, and four nations still feature it in the corner of their national flags: Australia, New Zealand, Tuvalu and Fiji.