2. Tenerife, since 1989, maritime flag since 1845.

    There are quite a few legends about how this Spanish island came to have a flag that looks just like Scotland’s, but in reality it’s just a total coincidence. In 1845 Spain’s maritime provinces were assigned individual flags. These flags were just supposed to distinguish one province from another, and didn’t have anything to do with local symbolism. The designs were simple and geometric: crosses, saltires, cantons, borders, and basic divisions of the field, and they used just four colours: red, blue, yellow, and white. The Canary Islands maritime province was arbitrarily assigned a white saltire on blue. That province was split into Tenerife and Las Palmas in 1869, and the former kept the original flag.

    Even though the flags weren’t supposed to represent local symbolism, many of them turned into local symbols anyway. (The Galician flag is the classic example of this.) The Tenerife flag made its way onto land, and gradually evolved from a flag representing ships from the island to a flag representing the island itself. It was officially adopted on land in 1989.

  3. United Kingdom (minus Scotland), 2012 proposal 

    Okay just for the record: the idea that the rest of Britain would have to stop using the Union Jack if Scotland separated is just silly. Flags aren’t like automatically updated by a computer whenever the size of the country changes. If the people of the United Kingdom want to keep their flag they are entitled to do so, protestations of the deputy chairman of the parliamentary flags and heraldry committee notwithstanding.

    If you want to see this principle in action, look to the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Before the split the Czechs and Slovaks had both agreed that neither would use the old Czechoslovakian flag, but then the Czech Republic decided to keep the old flag anyway and there was nothing Slovakia could do about it. Or look at the Comoros. They have a star and a stripe on their flag representing Mayotte, an island which has never even been a part of their country.

    Bottom line: if Scotland declares independence, the UK will be allowed to keep St Andrew’s Cross on their flag, just like Newfoundland was allowed to keep using the Union Jack after it became a Canadian province and New Zealand was allowed to keep the Union Jack on its flag after it became fully independent. So don’t worry about it.

  4. South Uist

    South Uist is one of the Outer Hebrides, also known as the Western Isles. The Isles themselves don’t have a flag, but it’s been suggested that the South Uist flag could be adopted by the whole chain. The Shetland and Orkney islands already have offset cross flags to pay tribute to their Nordic heritage.

  6. I don’t know what happened here but you probably shouldn’t try and repeat it.

    (Source: openlibrary.org)

  7. Funeral Ensigns of Honor belonging to his Late Serene Highness O. Cromwell, 1787

    (Source: openlibrary.org)

  8. nae-danger:


  9. United Kingdom (proposed), 2013

    This one comes from a BBC News article about the fate of the British flag if Scotland secedes. (Short answer: probably nothing.) It doesn’t seem to be a proposal for a post-Scotland UK though. Rather it combines the crosses of St. George, St. Andrew, St. David, and St. Patrick into a crazy new pinwheel design. Kind of like a modern reinterpretation of the process that created the current Union Jack. I can’t imagine it would ever become a national flag, but wouldn’t it be rad if it did? 

    (designer: John Yates)

  10. dharmatv2:


    11/09/2013 - Maresme

  11. King of Scotland, 1603-1689

    James VI of Scotland was crowned on 29 July 1567. In 1603, he also became James I of England, and got this new royal standard.

    So in the first and fourth quarters were the arms of Scotland, used since at least at least 1222. On the third quarter were the arms of Ireland, officially adopted when the Kingdom of Ireland was created in 1542 but used since the 13th century. (The harp is still used today but there’s no naked lady on it. Ireland changed the harp to look more like a traditional Celtic harp when it gained independence in 1922. And in the UK, Queen Elizabeth II expressed her preference for a ladyless harp in 1954.) On the second quarter were the arms of England, which was itself quartered between the three lions of England (used since 1198) and the fleurs-de-lis of France (used since the 13th century, reduced in number to three in 1406) owing to the English claim on the French throne. King James also had a royal standard as King of England, where the English and Scottish arms swapped places.

    Medieval heraldry was complicated.

  12. djgagnon:

    Union Flag

    from: For Freedom and the Right - The Allies; The Montreal Daily Star - Family Herald and Weekly Star (insert); 1918.

    (via djgagnon-deactivated20130820)

  13. benvironment:

    Here’s a nice photo for St Andrew’s Day.  Michael Forbes, voted by the public as ‘Top Scot’ at this week’s Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards.

    There IS an environmental story at the heart of this and you can read more at ‘Man who lives in a ‘pigsty’ wins ‘Top Scot’ award’.

  14. nerdcrafteria-fun:

    Some people representing their countries at their houses.

  15. lizard-socks:

    Minimalist flags.