The Union Flag is officially the national flag of the United Kingdom. It also includes the Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories. This is according to international flag protocol.
THE UNION JACK FLAG: The Union Flag is synonymous with the Union Jack.
It's nominated and regarded as the national flag by long established custom and practice. That is because there is no statutory Flag Act for it, by law, in the United Kingdom.
Created a few centuries ago in 1606, the very first Union Flag combined those of England and Scotland.
Today's modern version national flag dates back to 1801 with the addition of St. Patrick's Cross to represent Ireland.
The addition of this cross made it possible to display the flag incorrectly in an inverted position (i.e. an upside down Union Jack). There is only one correct way to fly the Union Jack Flag.
In other words it has a correct way up for flying and it is not reversible. Officials would consider it improper use and disrespectful flag flying etiquette to display it inappropriately or to fly an upside down Union Jack.
Important: The correct term is 'union flag' when flown on land and the 'union jack' when at sea (i.e. when flying from a jack staff pole).
As well as occupying the role of our state flag, it is also recognized as being that of the British people. It is unmistakably one of the world's most easily identified and best-known national symbols around the globe.
Perhaps the reason is because it has been proudly displayed for more than 400 years. But you could also argue that there have only been a few minor design changes since the 1600s.
Besides being the people's flag, it also signifies the unity of the nations. They all combine to make up the United Kingdom and its dependencies.
It clearly demonstrates a unique bond of citizenship which we share with those territories and countries overseas.
Note: The Union Flag has a correct way up, it is not reversible, and it is considered improper to fly the British flag upside down. The only correct way to fly the Union Jack flag is when the half nearest to flagpole displays the wider diagonal white stripe above the red diagonal stripe.
In times of trouble and adversity, no matter what traditional customs, faith, culture, language, or political views we follow. The truth is that the people can 'all' share a common purpose standing beneath our flag.
We're united together, despite any superficial differences that there may appear to be. Many would say that the UK flag code represents some of this.
Even so, our country's flag is one taken for granted for too long and largely ignored in some circles. It constantly surprises many patriotic individuals why few children get taught about it in schools.
It is not uncommon to meet some British people who do not know the origins and history of our nation's emblem. Indeed, how many UK citizens truthfully know the correct way to fly the Union Jack Flag?
Is it time to make a change and become more familiar with the flag of our country?
Well, we do not make the flag flying rules. But, we all have the legal right to proudly display it on land wherever and any time we need use it to represent our patriotic nation.
Note: The government issued new guidance on flying the Union Flag in an effort to strengthen the institutions that define Britain.
Flying the Union Flag Rules: British Flags Protocol