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)
Well someone ships USUK…
British Indian Ocean Territory, since 1990
The BIOT is an unusual territory and it has an unusual ensign with a wavy white and blue background. The device on the fly is a palm tree with a crown over it, which seems to be imperialist shorthand for “We control a tropical island.” Looking at this flag you would never know that there was a whole group of people that called this place home. Then again, maybe that’s kind of the point.
United Kingdom (proposed civil air ensign), 1929
The original civil air ensign came about because the UK is really stuck up about who gets to use the Union Jack. See, back in the day international airlines used these things called “flying boats”, which were basically seaplanes with giant buoyant fuselages. The great thing about them was that they didn’t need a runway, so they could fly to places with minimal infrastructure.
When a flying boat stopped flying it was just a boat, which meant it needed an ensign. The British airline Imperial Airways wanted to fly the Union Jack, but they were informed that it was reserved for British warships. So they requested a new flag that they could. The Air Ministry considered a bunch of different designs, all of which had a sky blue background. Some of them, like the one above, tried to incorporate a red St. George’s cross. In the end they realized that red on light blue wasn’t the most appealing colour scheme in the world (see also Queensland), and went with the more unconventional dark blue cross.
How can they walk with that hat ?
Noted American flag collector, Boleslaw Mastai, referred to this rare 48 star parade flag design as the “Franco-Anglo-American Flag”. Made in support of the Allied Forces in WWI, only 12 or 13 of these flags are known to have surfaced, 9 or 10 of which were part of the Mastai collection.
Printed on silk, the design is extraordinarily beautiful. One of the Mastai examples is illustrated on page 237 of his landmark book, “The Stars and the Stripes”, (Alfred A. Knopf , New York, 1973). He describes it as follows: “Here the three national flags have actually been fused instead of combined. Emphasis is, nonetheless, on the flag’s American elements: the stars appear on a canton of French tri-color bands, and rows of small Union Jacks joined form the stripes.”
The Mastai’s held the most highly publicized collection of American flags in the country. Many of the flags and patriotic items they owned marked with a Mastai identification stamp, most often with red ink. Note that the Mastai stamp appears on this flag at the end of the last white stripe, in the bottom, fly end corner. While some observers cringe when they see this mark and consider it defacement, no flag collector could successfully argue that it decreases the value. Just the opposite is true, in fact. It significantly increases both interest and value.
Take note of the patent date below the canton that reads: “Pat’d Feb 26, 1918”. The first one of these flags that I ever encountered was acquired in Canada. When considering French, British, and American influences in Canada, a good guess might be that these flags are of Canadian origin. The red patent date is commonly seen in British and Canadian parade flags, but seldom in their American counterparts, so British production for the American market is also a possibility.
Mounting: The gilded American molding dates to the period between 1830 and 1870, and therefore significantly pre-dates the flag. This is a sandwich mount between 100% cotton twill and U.V. protective acrylic. The black fabric was washed to remove excess dye. And acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the dye and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. A length of white silk was placed behind the flag, both for further protection and to strengthen it’s color against the black background.
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, since 2010
Established in 2009, the Supreme Court took over the old judicial functions of the House of Lords. The gold omega symbolizes the court’s function as the highest and final court of appeal in the country. The floral device in the centre combines the Tudor rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the flax flower of Northern Ireland, and the er… leek of Wales. Not quite as romantic as the other three.