UK Prime Minister

As I have mentioned before on my blog many world leaders have a personal flag. Now what has recently been brought to my attention is that the elected Leader of the United Kingdom the Prime Minister has no flag. The UK is considered one of the top players on the international stage (not as top as we might like to think but certainly in the top six or seven at least) so I think it is right that our leader has a personal flag.
Of course it could be argued the Monarch is the British leader and has the Royal Standard, which is right however although in theory the monarch is the leader and all power comes from the crown, in practice the monarchy is only the figure head and does more public work such as opening hospitals, being patrons of charities and taking part of ceremonies of state. In fact the Queen very rarely addresses the nation Christmas day being the one regular address  Compared to the Prime Minister who is head of the House of Commons and makes laws and holds numerous conferences and meetings.

Compare this picture of the US President:
Notice the President's flag on the right. Now look at the UK Prime Minister:
No Personal or office flag

The first design is for indoor purposes like the flags in the above pictures it can be displayed alongside the Union Flag:

It contains the coat of arms of "Her Majesty's Government" in the centre, the wreath is common on most diplomatic flags. It contains the shields of the four Constituent Countries: England(top left) Scotland(top right) Northern Ireland(bottom left) and Wales(bottom right). Northern Ireland is repressed by St Patrick's Cross because this is what represents it on the UK flag, and in the lack of an official flag is increasingly used alongside the other flags to represent NI, for example the Royal Barge Gloriana flew it to represent Ni at the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant. There is a red, white and blue boarder reflecting the national colours and I used a navy blue field as I think this colour when used like this has a rather official and authoritativeness feeling. The Text emphasise that this is the flag of the bearer of the office of Prime Minister rather than a political or personal flag. The Full title of the country is also used.
The Coat of Arms used by the government is different in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. So I made a separate flag to be used when the PM is making a speech or holding a conference in Scotland or  specifically addressing the Scottish people:
First the coat of arms id that which is used in Scotland with the Royal Arms of Scotland taking the dominant positions, The shield is surrounded by thistles rather than a garter, the supporters have switched places (a unicorn traditionally being used on the Scottish arms and is now in the position of honour) and the crown of state being replaced with the Crown of Scotland. The Scottish Saltire is also now in the canton rather than the fly. "United Kingdom" has been moved to the top and shortened to the name in common usage rather than the full name. "Office of the Prime Minister" in Scots and Scots Gaelic is in the bottom. The red, white and blue boarder has been replaced with a blue, whit, blue boarder reflecting the Scottish colours.

As I have stressed before these designs are for decorative indoor use. My idea for a flag for outdoor use (flown from buildings, cars, flag poles etc) is more conventional. A Union Flag with the Government coat of arms in the centre of the diplomatic wreath: 
File:British Ambassador Ensign.svg
The problem is this flag is already in use! This is the flag used by British embassies all around the world!
So to make a more unique flag I took away the supporters and the motto:
The crown is also moved to rest on the shield rather than the garter. Again there is a separate Scottish variant but the only changes are the state crown being replaced with the Scottish one, the movement of the Scottish representation on the shield and the absence of a garter:
Scottish Variant

At present in the UK there is a coalition government. Meaning that two political parties are power sharing so there is a Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) from the lesser party shearing power. So in the case of coalitions I think the DPM should also have a flag. The DPM flag is based on the indoor flags except it is quartered with the full flag rather than a shield in each quarter. 
Deputy Prime Minister Flag

Deputy PM Flag for use in Scotland

These are outdoor flags, the DPM can use the PM indoor flag for decoration as in a coalition this is supposed to be a shared office. 

In the UK many of the Constituent Countries have their own local governments with devolved powers from the central government in Westminster for governing their own local and regional affairs. As such these regions have a secretary of state who represents the central British Government in the regional parliament or assembly, although they have little or no voting powers. Each region also has a First Minister who is the head the elected head of the regional government. I have also designed personal flags for these offices, there can also be coalitions at this level so I have also designed a secondary flag for the Deputy First Minister in this event.

First off  in no particular order is Scotland. Now I have on other sites using an ensign type flag for the Scottish First Minister but this was for an independent Scotland.

For Scotland within the United Kingdom I suggest a saltire defaced with the Royal Arms of Scotland and Scottish Crown(as technically the FM is governing on the Queen's behalf):
The secondary flag for a Deputy First Minister is the same except there is a crowned thistle rather than a coat of arms:
The flag of the secretary of state for Scotland is a Union Flag(which will be standard for secretaries of state) defaced with the badge used by the Scotland Office of the British Government (Which is the Scottish version of the Government coat of arms):
This flag can be used on both sides of the boarder.

Next up is Northern Ireland. According to the terms of the Good Friday Agreement Unionists and Nationalists must share power so the NI government is always a coalition.

The flag of the First Minister is a St Patrick's Cross defaced with a gold harp on blue shield. This can be interceded as an Irish Symbol or NI's Representation on both the Royal and Government coat of arms, and hence avoiding (in theory) any political sensitivities. 
The flag of the deputy First Minister is the same except with the flax flower badge of the the Northern Ireland Assembly:
As is standard the flag of the secretary of state for Northern Ireland has a union flag. It is defaced with a coat of arms I designed for the Northern Ireland Office. Which is the same as the British coat of arms except the shield only contains a harp, but the crown, supporters, garter and motto are all unchanged.

The next country is Wales I have two proposals for the flag of the Welsh First Minister and  secondary flag for use by a deputy First Minister in the event of a coalition.
The first flag is based on the National flag of Wales, the dragon flag:
It features the Royal Badge of the Welsh Assembly (minus the floral design around it) on a green and white field reflecting the national flag.
The Flag of a Deputy First Minister features the Welsh Dragon Shield, topped by the crown of state in a plain circle similar to the garter design, and the Prince of Wales Feathers at the base, the design is inspired by the badge of the Wales Department of the UK Government:

The other proposals are the same badges but on a cross of St David:
First Minister
Deputy First Minister

The Flag for the secretary of state for Wales is a union flag defaced with the badge of the Wales Department:

Now England currently has no devolved government and is under direct rule from the central government of the United Kingdom. But you never no what could happen in the future. So here are flags for an English First Minister and Deputy First Minister and Secretary of State in-case England ever gets a devolved government. (although at present there is no real demand for one)

First Minister of England flag is St George's Cross defaced with the Royal Arms of England and State Crown:

The Secondary flag for a deputy first minister is the same except it has a Tudor rose. (Keeping with the flora designs of Scotland and N.Ireland's Deputy FM):

The Secretary of State for England will use the same badge but in a union Flag:

All Comments Welcome.

All designs are by Samuel McKittrick and reflect creativity and imagination and are designed to represent the respected offices not the individuals or political parties that occupy them. 

Northern Ireland Green Ensign

This is another idea for a Northern Ireland flag. To see my other ideas click here and here.
I admit that I don't think this is one my better designs but I though I should publish it anyway.

On Saturday in my home town was the annual commemorations of the Shutting of the Gates of Londonderry in 1688 which led directly to the Siege of Derry. At the beginning of the celebrations the 'siege flags' are placed on the city walls. These are replicas of the flags that were used during the conflict.
Notice the green ensign on the left this was supposedly the ensign used by one of the relief ships that saved the city.
The Green Ensign is an historical flag flown by some Irish merchant vessels from the 17th century to the early 20th century. The flag consists of a green field with a golden harp and a canton containing either the English Flag (St George's Cross) or a version of the Union Flag, depending on which flag was used at the relevant point in history. There remains a lively debate concerning whether the flag had any form of local official status within the British Isles or was simply an unofficial, informal flag used by some merchant ships. It was definitely used as it appears in several historical flag charts and books.
File:Green-Ensign 1783.jpgFile:Green Ensign (1701).svg
Left: Irish Ensign on 1783 flag chart. Right: More clear Picture of what it might have looked like
Now you might be wondering what this historic flag which probably wasn't official got to do with modern day Northern Ireland. Well it gave me an idea for the biases of a new flag:

For obvious reason I replaced the Cross of St George with that of St Patrick, and put the NI Assembly flax plant logo on top of the harp, I also used a brighter more emerald green. The problem is today green is considered a nationalist colour. If you have read any of my other posts you would find that I have used the more traditional colour of blue and green together loosely representing unionism and nationalism. But that wouldn't work in this case and I don't think a blue field works as well as green:
The best compromise I see is to put the harp in the traditional blue shield set on a green field:

Now with the flag goes a coat of arms so I designed a new coat of arms. It fallows the standard design basics of previous designs. The Shield is naturally a the one on the flag but to distinguish it from that of the Irish Republic, I placed a red hand on it:

It has shamrocks and Giant's Causeway stones at the base. Flax plant crest, and a Union Flag representing N.Is place in the United Kingdom and Unionism, and a green harp flag representing Irish Nationalism. 
I do relies that to attempt to represent both traditions equally and use a Union Flag and not an Irish Tricolour is somewhat controversial  However I think it would be too ironic to place a Republic of Ireland flag on a NI coat of arms as this would suggest shared sovereignty which, while North and South and UK and Eire often work together, is not the case. 
So I decided to replace the UK flag with St Andrew's Saltire as most unionists are of Scottish descent and would identify with that flag symbolising their Ulster-Scots heritage:
While this represents unionism and nationalism more equally, I feel that it is to political, which should have no place on a coat of arms that represents everyone, so I decided to use St Patrick's Saltire:
However I don't like this so I replaced one with the cross of De Burke the Norman Earl of Ulster. This is appropriate as most of NI would be on the ancient De Burk lands:
I also made a version where the red hand of Ulster is on the De Burk cross turning into the province of Ulster Flag, this is sometimes associated with nationalism, but it has also been used by Ulster Unionists in the past and I think it is becoming more accepted in the unionist community:
Of the Latter two I like both and would use either one of them. Now just to adjust the flag, so that the shield on it matches the coat of arms:
I have removed the flax plant logo from the flag as this is the crest of the coat of arms and unless the full coat of arms is being used on the flag shouldn't be included.
Of course another alternative is to just use a banner of the coat of arms:
But this laves out the green and I feel the green field and St Patrick's Saltire really gives the flag some character.

All Comments are Welcome.

Siege flags picture from the Associated Clubs of the Apprentice Boys of Derry. Green Ensign Picture and flag chart  from Wikipedia all new flag designs and coats of arms are by Samuel McKittrick

NI Flag Radio and TV Braodcasts

Here are some links I got from the New flag for Northern Ireland Facebook Page. These are about the official status of the flag for my native Northern Ireland. It is a link to part of the BBC Radio Ulster "Good Morning Ulster" programme in which various issues are discussed and addressed. In This was broadcast a good while ago but I still think I still think I will share it. Click Here
This was a BBC(NI) Newsline TV broadcast from about two years ago again about the flag issue. To watch click here
The address of the Facebook page is here
The link to Twitter is here

Happy Saint Andrew's Day

Giving the day I think I will make a post about St Andrew's Cross also known as the saltire, the national flag of Scotland.
And wish everyone a happy St Andrew's Day.

File:Flag of Scotland.svg

The Flag of Scotland, (Scottish Gaelic: Bratach na h-Alba, Scots: Banner o Scotland), also known as Saint Andrew's Cross or the Saltire, is the national flag of Scotland.As the national flag it is the Saltire, rather than the Royal Standard of Scotland, which is the correct flag for all individuals and corporate bodies to fly in order to demonstrate both their loyalty and Scottish nationality. It is also, where possible, flown from Scottish Government buildings every day from 8am until sunset, with certain exceptions.

According to legend, the Christian apostle and martyr Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, was crucified on an X-shaped cross at Patras, (Patrae), in Achaea. Use of the familiar iconography of his martyrdom, showing the apostle bound to an X-shaped cross, first appears in the Kingdom of Scotland in 1180 during the reign of William I. This image was again depicted on seals used during the late 13th century; including on one particular example used by the Guardians of Scotland, dated 1286.

Use of a simplified symbol associated with Saint Andrew which does not depict his image, namely the saltire, or crux decussata, (from the Latin crux, 'cross', and decussis, 'having the shape of the Roman numeral X'), has its origins in the late 14th century; the Parliament of Scotland having decreed in 1385 that Scottish soldiers shall wear a white Saint Andrew's Cross on their person, both in front and behind, for the purpose of identification.

The earliest reference to the Saint Andrew's Cross as a flag is to be found in the Vienna Book of Hours, circa 1503, where a white saltire is depicted with a red background. In the case of Scotland, use of a blue background for the Saint Andrew's Cross is said to date from at least the 15th century, with the first certain illustration of a flag depicting such appearing in Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount's Register of Scottish Arms, circa 1542.

The legend surrounding Scotland's association with the Saint Andrew's Cross was related by Walter Bower and George Buchanan, who claimed that the flag originated in a 9th century battle, where Óengus II led a combined force of Picts and Scots to victory over theAngles, led by Æthelstan. Supposedly, a miraculous white saltire appeared in the blue sky and Óengus' troops were roused to victory by the omen. Consisting of a blue background over which is placed a white representation of an X-shaped cross, the Saltire is one of Scotland's most recognisable symbols.


According to legend, in 832 A.D. Óengus II led an army of Picts and Scots into battle against the Angles, led by Æthelstan, near modern-day Athelstaneford, East Lothian. The legend states that whilst engaged in prayer on the eve of battle, Óengus vowed that if granted victory he would appoint Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland; Andrew then appeared to Óengus that night in a dream and assured him of victory. On the morning of battle white clouds, forming an X shape in the sky, were said to have appeared. Óengus and his combined force, emboldened by this apparent divine intervention, took to the field and despite being inferior in terms of numbers were victorious. Having interpreted the cloud phenomenon as representing the crux decussata upon which Saint Andrew was crucified, Óengus honoured his pre-battle pledge and duly appointed Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland. The white saltire set against a celestial blue background is said to have been adopted as the design of the flag of Scotland on the basis of this legend. Although the earliest use as a national symbol can be traced to the seal of the Guardians of Scotland in 1286, material evidence for the Saltire being used as a flag, as opposed to appearing on another object such as a seal, brooch or surcoat, dates from somewhat later. Certainly by 1542, a white saltire set against a blue background was depicted as being the flag of Scotland, although an even earlier example known as the "Blue Blanket of the Trades of Edinburgh", reputedly made by Queen Margaret, wife of James III (1451–1488), also shows a white saltire on a blue field. However, in the case of the Blue Blanket of the Trades of Edinburgh, the Saltire is not the only emblem to be portrayed.According to legend, in 832 A.D. Óengus II led an army of Picts and Scots into battle against the Angles, led by Æthelstan, near modern-day Athelstaneford, East Lothian. The legend states that whilst engaged in prayer on the eve of battle, Óengus vowed that if granted victory he would appoint Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland; Andrew then appeared to Óengus that night in a dream and assured him of victory. On the morning of battle white clouds, forming an X shape in the sky, were said to have appeared. Óengus and his combined force, emboldened by this apparent divine intervention, took to the field and despite being inferior in terms of numbers were victorious. Having interpreted the cloudphenomenon as representing the crux decussata upon which Saint Andrew was crucified, Óengus honoured his pre-battle pledge and duly appointed Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland. The white saltire set against a celestial blue background is said to have been adopted as the design of the flag of Scotland on the basis of this legend.


Use by the Scottish Government 

A further Scottish distinction from the UK flag days is that on Saint Andrew's Day, (30 November), the Union Flag will only be flown where a building has more than one flagpole - the Saltire will not be lowered to make way for the Union Flag where a single flagpole is present. If there are two or more flagpoles present, the Saltire may be flown in addition to the Union Flag but not in a superior position. This distinction arose after Members of the Scottish Parliament complained that Scotland was the only country in the world where the potential existed for the citizens of a country to be unable to fly their national flag on their country's national day. (In recent years, embassies of the United Kingdom have also flown the Saltire to mark St Andrew's Day). Many bodies of the Scottish Government use the flag as a design basis for their logo; for example, Safer Scotland's emblem depicts a lighthouse shining beams in a saltire shape onto a blue sky. Other Scottish bodies, both private and public, have also used the saltire in similar ways.The Scottish Government has ruled that the Saltire should, where possible, fly on all its buildings every day from 8am until sunset. An exception is made for United Kingdom"national days", when on buildings where only one flagpole is present the Saltire shall be lowered and replaced with the Union Flag. Such flag days are standard throughout the United Kingdom, with the exception of Merchant Navy Day, (3 September), which is a specific flag day in Scotland during which the Red Ensign of the Merchant Navy may be flown on land in place of either the Saltire or Union Flag.

Use by military institutions on land

Immediately prior to, and following, the merger in March 2006 of Scotland's historic infantry regiments to form a single Royal Regiment of Scotland, a multi-million-pound advertising campaign was launched in Scotland in an attempt to attract recruits to join the reorganised and simultaneously rebranded "Scottish Infantry". The recruitment campaign employed the Saltire in the form of a logo; the words "Scottish Infantry. Forward As One." being placed next to a stylised image of the Saltire. For the duration of the campaign, this logo was used in conjunction with the traditional Army recruiting logo; the words "Army. Be The Best." being placed beneath a stylised representation of the Union Flag. Despite this multi-media campaign having had mixed results in terms of overall success, the Saltire continues to appear on a variety of Army recruiting media used in Scotland.The seven British Army Infantry battalions of the Scottish Division, plus the Scots Guards and Royal Scots Dragoon Guards regiments, use the Saltire in a variety of forms. Combat and transport vehicles of these Army units may be adorned with a small, (130x80mm approx.), representation of the Saltire; such decals being displayed on the front and/or rear of the vehicle. (On tanks these may also be displayed on the vehicle turret). In Iraq, during both Operation Granby and the subsequent Operation Telic, the Saltire was seen to be flown from the communications whip antenna of vehicles belonging to these units. Funerals, conducted with full military honours, of casualties of these operations in Iraq, (plus those killed in operations in Afghanistan), have also been seen to include the Saltire; the flag being draped over the coffin of the deceased on such occasions.

In the battle for "hearts and minds" in Iraq, the Saltire was again used by the British Army as a means of distinguishing troops belonging to Scottish regiments from other coalition forces, in the hope of fostering better relations with the civilian population in the area south west of Baghdad. Leaflets were distributed to Iraqi civilians, by members of the Black Watch, depicting troops and vehicles set against a backdrop of the Saltire.

Other uses of the Saltire by the Army include the cap badge design of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, which consists of a (silver) Saltire, surmounted by a (gilt) lion rampant and ensigned with a representation of the Crown of Scotland. (This same design, save for the Crown, is used on both the Regimental flag and tactical recognition flash of the Royal Regiment of Scotland). The badge of the 655 Squadron (The Scottish Horse) Army Air Corps (Volunteers) bears a Saltire between two wreaths ensigned 'Scottish Horse'; an honour they received in 1971 which originated through their links with the Royal Artillery. The Officer Training Corps units attached to universities in Edinburgh and Glasgow, plus the Tayforth University OTC, all feature the Saltire in their cap badge designs.

The Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy adorn three of their aircraft with the Saltire. Specifically, the Westland Sea King Mk5 aircraft of HMS Gannet, operating in the Search and Rescue role from Royal Naval Air Station Prestwick, Ayrshire, display a Saltire decal on the nose of each aircraft.  
Although not represented in the form of a flag, the No. 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force uses the Saltire surmounted by a lion rampant as the device shown on the squadron crest. The station crest of RAF Leuchars, Fife, also shows the Saltire, in this case surmounted by a sword. The crest of the former RAF East Fortune, East Lothian, also showed a sword surmounting the Saltire, however unlike Leuchars this sword was shown invereted, and the station crest of the former RAF Turnhouse, Edinburgh, showed a Saltire surmounted by an eagle's head. The East of Scotland Universities Air Squadron crest features a Saltire surmounted by an open book; the book itself being supported by red lions rampant.

General use

Planning permission to fly the Saltire from a flagpole is not required, therefore it can be flown at any time by any individual, company, local authority, hospital or school. Many local authorities in Scotland fly the Saltire from Council Buildings, however in 2007 Angus Council approved a proposal to replace the Saltire on Council Buildings with a new Angus flag, based on the council's coat of arms. This move led to public outcry across Scotland with more than 7,000 people signing a petition opposing the council's move, leading to a compromise whereby the Angus flag would not replace but be flown alongside the Saltire on Council Buildings.

In the United Kingdom, owners of vehicles registered in Great Britain have the option of displaying the Saltire on the vehicle registration plate, in conjunction with the letters "SCO" or alternatively the word "Scotland". In 1999, the Royal Mail issued a series of pictorial stamps for Scotland, with the '2nd' value stamp depicting the Flag of Scotland.In Northern Ireland, sections of the Protestant community routinely employ the Saltire as a means of demonstrating and celebrating their Ulster-Scots heritage.

Use of the Saltire at sea as a Jack or courtesy flag has been observed, including as a Jackon the Scottish Government's Marine Partrol Vessel (MPV) Jura. The ferry operato rCaledonian MacBrayne routinely flies the Saltire as a Jack on vessels which have a bow staff, including when such vessels are underway. This practice has also been observed on the Paddle Steamer Waverley when operating in and around the Firth of Clyde. The practice of maritime vessels adopting the Saltire, for use as a jack or courtesy flag, may lead to possible confusion in that the Saltire closely resembles the maritime signal flag M,"MIKE", which is used to indicate "My vessel is stopped; making no way."For the benefit of Scottish seafarers wishing to display a Scottish flag other than the Saltire, thereby avoiding confusion and a possible fine, a campaign was launched in November 2007 seeking official recognition for the historic Scottish Red Ensign.Despite having last been used officially by the pre-Union Royal Scots Navy and merchant marine fleets in the 18th century, the flag continues to be produced by flag manufacturersand its unofficial use by private citizens on water has been observed

Incorporation into the Union Flag

The Saltire is one of the key components of the Union Flag which, since its creation in 1606, has appeared in various forms following the Flag of Scotland and Flag of England and first being merged to mark the Union of the Crowns. (The Union of the Crowns having occurred three years earlier, in 1603, when James VI, King of Scots, acceded to the thrones of both England and Ireland upon the death of Elizabeth I of England). The proclamation by King James, made on the 12 April 1606, which led to the creation of the Union Flag states:
By the King: Whereas, some differences hath arisen between Our subjects of South and North Britaine travelling by Seas, about the bearing of their Flagges: For the avoiding of all contentions hereafter. We have, with the advice of our Council, ordered: That from henceforth all our Subjects of this Isle and Kingdome of Great Britaine, and all our members thereof, shall beare in their main-toppe the Red Crosse, commonly called St. George’s Crosse, and the White Crosse, commonly called St. Andrew’s Crosse, joyned together according to the forme made by our heralds, and sent by Us to our Admerall to be published to our Subjects: and in their fore-toppe our Subjects of South Britaine shall weare the Red Crosse onely as they were wont, and our Subjects of North Britaine in their fore-toppe the White Crosse onely as they were accustomed. – 1606.

The Saltire is one of the key components of the Union Flag which, since its creation in 1606, has appeared in various forms following the Flag of Scotland and Flag of England and first being merged to mark the Union of the Crowns. (The Union of the Crowns having occurred three years earlier, in 1603, when James VI, King of Scots, acceded to the thrones of both England and Ireland upon the death of Elizabeth I of England). The proclamation by King James, made on the 12 April 1606, which led to the creation of the Union Flag states:

However, in objecting strongly to the form and pattern of Union Flag adopted by James' heralds, whereby the cross of Saint George surmounted that of Saint Andrew, (regarded in Scotland as a slight upon the Scottish nation), a great number of shipmasters and ship-owners in Scotland took up the matter with John Erskine, 18th Earl of Mar, and encouraged him to send a letter of complaint, dated 7 August 1606, to James VI, via the Privy Council of Scotland, stating:
Most sacred Soverayne. A greate nomber of the maisteris and awnaris of the schippis of this your Majesteis kingdome hes verie havelie compleint to your Majesteis Counsell that the form and patrone of the flaggis of schippis, send doun heir and commandit to be ressavit and used be the subjectis of boith kingdomes, is very prejudiciall to the fredome and dignitie of this Estate and will gif occasioun of reprotche to this natioun quhairevir the said flage sal happin to be worne beyond sea becaus, as your sacred majestie may persave, the Scottis Croce, callit Sanctandrois Croce is twyse divydit, and the Inglishe Croce, callit Sanct George, haldin haill and drawne through the Scottis Croce, whiche is thairby obscurit and no takin nor merk to be seen of the Scottis Armes. This will breid some heit and miscontentment betwix your Majesteis subjectis, and it is to be ferit that some inconvenientis sall fall out betwix thame, for oure seyfairing men cannot be inducit to ressave that flag as it is set doun. They haif drawne two new drauchtis and patronis as most indifferent for boith kingdomes which they present to the Counsell, and craved our approbatioun of the same; bot we haif reserved that to you Majesteis princelie determination,

Despite the drawings described in this letter as showing drafts of the two new patterns, together with any royal response to the complaint which may have accompanied them, having been lost, (possibly in the 1834 Burning of Parliament), other evidence exists, at least on paper, of a Scottish variant whereby the Scottish cross appears uppermost. Whilst, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, this design is considered by most vexillologists to have been unofficial, there is reason to believe that such flags were employed during the 17th century for use on Scottish vessels at sea. This flag's design is also described in the 1704 edition of The Present State of the Universe by John Beaumont, Junior, which contains as an appendix The Ensigns, Colours or Flags of the Ships at Sea: Belonging to The several Princes and States in the World.

On land, evidence suggesting use of this flag appears in the depiction of Edinburgh Castle byJ ohn Slezer, in his series of engravings entitled Theatrum Scotiae, c. 1693. Appearing in later editions of Theatrum Scotiae, the North East View of Edinburgh Castle engraving depicts the Scotch (to use the appropriate adjective of that period) version of the Union Flag flying from the Castle Clock Tower. A reduced view of this engraving, with the flag similarly detailed, also appears on the Plan of Edenburgh, Exactly Done. However, on the engraving entitled North Prospect of the City of Edenburgh the detail of the flag, when compared to the aforementioned engravings, appears indistinct and lacks any element resembling a saltire. (The reduced version of the North Prospect..., as shown on the Plan of Edenburgh, Exactly Done, does however display the undivided arm of a saltire and is thereby suggestive of the Scottish variant).

From 1801, in order to symbolise the union of the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland a new design, which included the St Patrick's Cross, was adopted for the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. A manuscript compiled from 1785 by William Fox, and in possession of the Flag Research Center, includes a full plate showing "the scoth union" flag with the addition of the cross of St. Patrick. This could imply that there was still some insistence on a Scottish variant after 1801.On 17 April 1707, just two weeks prior to the Acts of Union coming into effect, Sir Henry St George, Garter King of Arms, presented several designs to Queen Anne and her Privy Council for consideration as the flag of the soon to be unified Kingdom of Great Britain. At the request of the Scots representatives, the designs for consideration included that version of Union Flag showing the Cross of Saint Andrew uppermost; identified as being the "Scots union flagg as said to be used by the Scots". However, Queen Anne and her Privy Council approved Sir Henry's original effort, (pattern "one"), showing the Cross of Saint George uppermost.

Despite its unofficial and historic status the Scottish Union Flag continues to be produced by flag manufacturers,and its unofficial use by private citizens on land has been observed.In 2006 historian David R. Ross called for Scotland to once again adopt this design in order to "reflect separate national identities across the UK", however the 1801 design of Union Flag remains the official flag of the entire United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Similar flags

Inverse representations, (blue saltire on a white field), of the Scottish Saltire are also used outside Scotland. In Canada, an inverse representation of the Saltire, combined with the shield from the Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland, forms the modern flag of theCanadian Province of Nova Scotia (New Scotland), the first colonial venture of the Kingdom of Scotland into the Americas.The flag and arms of the Nova Scotian county of Annapolis comprise inverse representations of the flag of Scotland.
File:Flag of Nova Scotia.svg 
Novo Scotia Flag

The U.S. state of Alabama's flag is officially "a crimson cross of St. Andrew on a field of white", however the reference is used only to describe the shape without using the vexillological term saltire. Similarly, the Spanish island of Tenerife and the remote Colombian islands of San Andrés and Providenciaalso use the saltire on their flags. The Saltire is also the flag for St. Andrew's Scots School in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and its "spinoff" university Universidad de San Andrés.

In Russia, during the period before and after the Soviet Union, the naval ensign of the Russian Navy has been an inverse representation of the Cross of Saint Andrew. The flag, known in Russian as the Andreyevsky flag, also forms the basis of the naval jack and several rank flags of the Russian Navy. (Saint Andrew is also a patron saint of Russia).

Russian Navy ensign 

In Poland, the official banner of the city of Kraków, (twinned with Edinburgh), feature the coat of arms of Kraków overlying a white saltire on a blue field. The Dutch municipality of Sint-Oedenrode, named after the Scottish princess Saint Oda, also uses the Saltire as the basis of its flag, although in this case the Saltire is defaced with a gold castle, having on both sides a battlement.

File:Banner of Krakow.svg 
Banner of KrakowPoland

Hae a Blythe Saunt Andra Day Yin an aw

Have a happy Saint Andrew's Day one and all

Belfast City Hall Flags Issue

Belfast City Council policy and resources committee has recently came to the conclusion that the National Flag of the United Kingdom the Union Flag should no longer 'fly' over Central Council Buildings in Belfast.
These buildings include the City Hall, Ulster Hall and the Duncrue complex. Currently the Union Flag is 'flown' over these buildings 365 days a year. However this is not the end of the case as Belfast City Council has to pass the motion which will be debated in council on 3rd December. for more on this story visit Ulster TV
Now I do not in any way support the complete removal of my national flag from a local government building. But it is interesting to note that while Belfast Council use the flag every day the Northern Ireland Assembly only use it on parliament buildings on designated days and public holidays, for example HM the Queen's Birthday, St Patrick's Day and 12th of July etc. Out of 365 days Parliament Buildings at Stormont only use the Union Flag 12 days a year, the rest of the time there is a bare flag pole.

Now I agree with the designated days policy to an extent but I do not like the idea of a bare flag pole. For Parliament buildings I would propose a New Northern Ireland flag be used the 353 days the Union Flag is not used. To see some of my proposals click here and here.

As for Belfast Council buildings I would propose that a City of Belfast Flag be used the 353 days the National Flag would not used. I think the best option is a banner of the Belfast coat of arms below:


The flag should look something like this:

I do not own these designs. All your comments are Welcome.