17 Sep 2013

United Kingdom (without Scotland)

The upcoming referendum about Scottish independence, to be held in 18 September 2014, has generated a doubt about a possible "rest of UK" flag. While many people say the UK flag won't change whatever is the result, we should be aware of the hypothesis of Scottish leaving the Union and the flag of the remaining kingdom being changed; if it occurs, what should be the best option?

My proposal is the following:

In the Yes-winning scenario, the remaining UK should be constituted of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. While the current flag represents the order of the kingdoms joining the Union, the design in the hypothetical could represent all the constituent countries in same way. The yellow cross on black background represents Wales, the red saltire on red stands for Northern Ireland, while the red cross overall represents the England. If Cornwall eventually become a constituent country, part of yellow fimbriation can be turned white. The saltire is completely red, and not counterchanged red and white like in current flag.

At least two other questions about vexillology can be resultant of the hypothetical scenario: the case of the ensigns and the royal standard.

Ensigns: They don't need to be changed. For this occur, it only needs that, while the national flag is changed, the current naval jack is kept. The now-independent countries that still adopt a British ensign (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tuvalu, Cook Islands) can also keep it for historical purposes.

Royal standard: It could be an excellent opportunity to Wales be represented in UK royal standard. However, its inclusion can be ambiguous, as the Prince of Wales uses the "royal" coat of arms of Wales (as used in Wales and in England and Northern Ireland). Other options are quartering England and Northern Ireland, or marshalling them, for example.

As it's a very complex issue, I invite you to leave your opinion on the comments.
This post is about vexillology, not politics. Comment gently, please.


  1. Interesting design, very similar to the current flag, which means it might work if the Scots leave. I agree with you on the flags of independent countries like Australia that for historic reasons their flags don't need to be changed. As for the Royal Standard that predates the act of union, between the English and Scottish governments by about 100 years, when James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne from his cousin Elizabeth I, and as the Scottish Nationalist Party want to keep the monarchy (to begin with at least) I think the Royal Standard will stay unchanged, however the coat of arms used by the UK government could change?

    1. I think that, in start, the royal standard would be kept, but they'd ultimately change it in respect to Scottish independence.

      About a different UK government CoA, it's an excellent idea! I'm not a fan of "arms of dominion", as they can cause confusions like this. Spain is an example of monarchy that successfully adopted diferent arms to the nation and the king (although the differences are so small that rarely are noticed).


Every comment is greatly welcome!