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History of the flag of the United Kingdom

The British flag is formed by the meeting of the crosses of the patron saints of England and Scotland since 1606, and of Ireland in 1801.

Representing a territory that had been incorporated into the Kingdom of England as a principality as early as 1282, the flag of Wales did not participate in the creation of the first standard in 1606.

  • England: a red cross, that of St George. According to legend, he saved a princess from the clutches of a dragon and his blood drew a cross on her white shield.
  • Scotland: the white cross on a blue background, St Andrew's cross. Scottish patron saint since the 11th century who was crucified in Patras (Greece) on a cross in the shape of an "X" while preaching the word of God.
  • Northern Ireland: the third cross, red and oblique, that of St. Patrick, symbolises the relationship with Ireland. The universally known tricolour also appears on certain national flags of countries of the former British Empire.

The United Kingdom is made up of physically and culturally distinct regions: England, Scotland. Wales and Northern Ireland.

Great Britain is the largest of the British Isles, and, by extension, of the United Kingdom. Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland is on another island to the west.

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