Thursday April 12th 2012 Tim
In 1603, or
there about, James fifth of Scotland inherited England and Ireland.
A big moment for him, I guess. Three years later, on April the
Twelfth, a decision was finally taken to give his empire a red, white
and blue flag. Red for the cross of Saint Andrew, white for the
cross of Saint George and Blue for the cross of Saint Patrick. This
first Union Jack lasted until The Act of Union in 1800. A year later, to
mark the occasion, the Union Jack was very slightly redesigned by a
committee of imbeciles.
And I should add, for those
curious about the fate of Wales, that ever since Llywellyn was out
castled by the first King Edward, seven hundred years ago, Wales has had
the distinction of belonging to the heir apparent of the reigning
monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and parts of
Ireland. And, though I don't know quite why, it's worth
remembering the first Queen Elizabeth and several of the Henry's were
I prefer the first Union Jack, because there was no way
a person could fly the first Union Jack upside down. The second Union
Jack is an appalling complexity of geometry, obviously designed by
nit-pickers and grammarians, about whom I cannot say any more, without
further advancing into that part of frustration over which I have absolutely
no control, and which has already been cruelly tested today by frost and
foul thoughts from imagination..
But for those who might still be
curious about what happened to the Welsh flag when James inherited both the
English and the Irish, I believe it enough to suggest the Welsh flag has
contained a dragon since the last great Pen Draig sent cavalry to terrify
the Saxons, around five hundred AD. An event from the Arthurian Legend
which we here in Kentucky often find ourselves celebrating in a sometimes
widespread and spontaneous manner.