Is that the end of the UK "flag question"?

So Scotland has chosen to stay in the union. The UK can leave the prospect of break-up behind and move on. As part of their campaign, the unionist side made promises which will have remifications outside Scotland and perhaps re-define the UK as a more federal union of four constitutionally equal nations.

Perhaps as a small part of that redefintion a couple of symbolic inconsistencies should be put right. The main one, of course, is the exclusion of Wales from the national flag and arms, but perhaps this would also be a good time to make a gesture to Scotland by altering the blue of the Union flag to a lighter shade, in keeping with the Scottish flag itself. This could give us a new, brighter, flag to take us into our more devolved and, hopefully, more democratic future:

uk-four-crosses-two-versions2

As for the coat of arms, as I’ve posted before, it should look like this (unless we change the arms for Nothern Ireland too – see the previous post):-

uk-with-wales2

Addendum: When I posted this flag elsewhere, someone suggested that the white and red saltires should be un-counter-changed, leaving a simple narrower red saltire on a wider white one. This would get over the problem of people unknowingly or accidentally flying the flag upside down. I wasn’t too sure at first, but I have warmed to the idea and think it probably looks better; so here it is:

uk-four-crosses-nocc-and-flying

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UK royal arms : ditch the harp?

vx-uk-shieldDespite the fact that most of Ireland left the UK in 1922, and became a republic in 1949, the British royal arms still uses the arms of Ireland (Azure, a harp Or stringed Argent), presumably on the grounds that it represents Northern Ireland; but perhaps also because of a conservative resistence to change (also seen in resistence to changing the UK flag if Scotland becomes independent).
But does it make sense to use the arms of the Irish nation to represent an entity which consists of only six of the nine counties of one of the four provinces of Ireland? Does it make sense when the reason for Northern Ireland’s existence is that its unionist majority wanted to be British rather than Irish? Would it not be more sensible to replace the Irish harp with something specific to Northern Ireland, and leave the harp to the republic?
The question is : what should replace the harp for Northern Ireland? The obvious place to go for arms is to the province of Ulster.
vx-ulster
The arms of Ulster

The ancient symbol of Ulster is the famous Red Hand of O’Neill, which dates back to pagan times. In the 13th century this was placed on a white shield on the red cross on yellow of Walter de Burgh, who had become Earl of Ulster. This remains the arms of the whole province (nine counties). 

vx-niarms
Northern Ireland government arms, pre-1972
The government of Northern Ireland which existed until 1972 used the hand on a six-pointed star (for the six counties) ensigned by a royal crown and placed on a St.George’s cross (red on white). The banner of these arms are still used (unofficially) as a flag of Northern Ireland today, but it is particularly associated with unionism (the English cross and royal crown are not exactly popular with nationalists!). What is needed now is something which is acceptable to the whole community.
The traditional arms of Ulster seem the obvious starting point, but they need to be modified to represent the six counties, instead of the whole province. Since the six-pointed star is fairly sectarian, another alternative would be to use a hexagon. The six sides still represent the six counties, but the shape also alludes to the basalt columns of Giant’s Causeway, a spectacular and thoroughly non-sectarian natural site in Northern Ireland.

vx-nothernIreland vx-giants-causeway

Northern Ireland: coat of arms idea

Giant’s Causeway, with its hexagonal columns

The would give us a nice, completely red-and-gold, royal coat of arms, with or without Wales:

vx-uk-nowales-altni vx-uk-wales-altni

And if Scotland leaves the union:

vx-uk-noscot-altni

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Copyright © 2014 Vexaldry,
except the image of the pre-1972 Northern Ireland arms is from Wikipedia by Adelbrecht, and the image of Giant’s Causeway is from Wikipedia by Chmee2; both reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence.

Here we go again! ….

Another idea for a no-Scotland UK flag. Like one of my earlier ones, this has similarities to the South African flag because of the sideways “Y” shape (a “pall fesswise” in heraldry). There’s no attempt to represent individual countries : instead, the three arms of the pall represent the three remaining UK nations. Red and white are the two colours common to all three constituent national flags, and blue represents the sea in which this island nation sits. Because of the colours, this still has a British feel to it.

uk-pall-rwb

Here it is along with the royal standard and various ensigns. The ensigns are proportioned 1:2 whereas the land flags are 3:5, as is usual practice in the UK nowadays

uk-pall-rbw-flags

The background could be green, represent the land and green fields, and giving all the main colours of the three flags, but I prefer the blue:

uk-pall-rwg

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Yet another rUK idea

Something a bit more radical, which works with or without Scotland:

For a single, unified flag for England plus one or more Celtic countries (Scotland, Wales, NI), we could dispense with St.George (who was not English, and never came anywhere near England) and replace his cross with the cross flory from the attributed arms of St. Edward the Confessor and other Saxon kings. Then add a circle in the middle to produce a “Celtic cross flory”.

If all the symbolism is in the design, the colours wouldn’t really matter, but I’ve used the blue and gold of the attributed Saxon kings’ arms, plus one version in the traditional red, white and blue.

ukewni-celtic-crosses-flory

The only trouble is that the “Celtic cross flory” looks familiar to me, but I can’t think where from.

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A couple more UK-without-Scotland ideas

Two more weeks to go before we discover whether the UK will need a new flag or not, so unless and until the need goes away, I’ll keep dreaming things up! These keeps all the crosses and their backgrounds intact:

uk england on roundel

uk england on diamond

Of course, if Scotland does remain in the UK, there’s still the little matter of getting Wales into the flag.

Copyright © 2014 Vexaldry

Another rUK flag

I’ve just come up with this idea for a UK without Scotland. Trying to keep it simple while representing all three remaining nations (England, Wales, Northern Ireland), I’ve taken my inspiration from South Africa. Here the colours are from the three flags (red and white St.George’s Cross for England, red and white St.Patrick’s Cross for Northern Ireland, and the red, white and green Ddraig Goch flag of Wales), but no specific national symbols are included. The three arms represent the three nations:

uk-sa-idea

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New Australian flag

Someone on a Facebook flags group cam up with designs for a new Australian flag which included the colours of the present flag (red, white and blue), the colours of the Aboriginal flag (black, red and gold), and the “national colours” (green and gold). I wasn’t overly keen on his designs because they were a bit too “stripey” and fussy, so I came up with one of my own, which also incorporates a boomerang-like curve:

Australia flag idea australia-idea1-flying2
   

The black and red are kept in the horizontal configuration of the aborginal flag rather than put side-by-side which makes the flag too “stripey”, in my view.

This same idea, without the aborine colours, could be used like this:

australia-idea2 australia-idea2-flying
   

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