A guest post by Alasdair Graham on behalf of Elanders UK Printing

The mighty Union Jack has represented the United Kingdom since its official adoption in 1801 and is the product of 3 distinct flags in union (…I know)

England represented by the cross of St George. Scotland by the saltire of St Andrew and Ireland – represented by the red saltire of St Patrick. Notice no sign of poor old Wales! This is because Wales was annexed by “The Kingdom of England” in 1282 and has been represented by the flag of England historically.

However – this timeless vexillogical wonder could be under threat of disappearing in the wake of Scotland’s bid for independence…perhaps. Lord West, deputy chairman of the UK flags and heraldry committee has gone on record to say that “it is nonsense to imagine the St Andrew’s blue could remain”.

The official flag authority of the UK and Commonwealth (we never knew there were so many flag experts/authorities!) have stated that the Queen will retain the title of ‘head of state’ in an independent Scotland, and therefore the Union Flag would not be affected. Frankly, we don’t know who to believe!

Despite this, keen designers from around the UK have mocked up potential new designs for the new Union Jack flag which will represent England, Wales and Ireland should Scotland win their “yes” vote to independence tomorrow (Friday 19th September 2014).

Elanders UK Printing have collected 5 alternative Union Jack flags for your viewing pleasure and critique – please do let us know what you think in the comments! (we’ll tell you our favourites after the vote!)

Bringing England and Wales Closer Together

England and Wales flag design

This design incorporates the green of the Welsh flag and with the cross of St. George

Source: Flag Institute

This fine specimen brings the historically overlooked (from a vexillogical perspective) Welsh back into the design equation with England represented through the white background and red cross of St George. Wales have the lower half, with green being used in the background and not forgetting of course the red saltire of St Patrick of Ireland.

St David and George Flag combine

Combining the flag of St. David and the flag of St. George

Source: Flag Institute

In another design, the blue from the flag of St Andrew has been replaced with the black from the flag of St David, once again bringing the noble Welsh back into the picture with the rest of the design holding true to the original format of the Union Jack.

England and Red Dragon Flag

Traditional English flag with the national Wales flag in the bottom right

Source: Flag Institute

The final flag variation is the presence of a small ‘Y Ddraud Goch’ (The Red Dragon) Welsh national flag, implemented within an amalgamation of the St Georges Cross for England and the red saltire of St. Patrick representing Ireland.

Union Jack designs incorporating the Crown of Arms

Coat of Arms Florial

This Union Jack flag not only represents the UK but also the Commonwealth

Source: Flag Institute

The most favourable flag designs among this collection are those amalgamated from two or three different flag designs from other countries within the United Kingdom. Alongside these designs are some that incorporate the Royal Coat of Arms along with a floral garland to symbolise the Commonwealth.

What happens if Scotland doesn’t become independent?

New Union Jack Flag incl Wales

The modern representation of the Union Jack, including the introduction of Wales

Source: Flag Institute

This redesign of the current Union Jack flag design named “United Britain” designed by John Yates is a unique and modern take on the flags from all four countries forming the United Kingdom. If introduced, it will the first time Wales has been identified on the Union Jack, as it has always been represented by the flag of St George on the Union Jack.