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UK media speculates on future of British flag without Scotland

Britain’s current flag, known as the Union Jack, represents the union of England and Scotland

Published: Updated:

With polls showing Scotland having a chance at becoming an independent nation in the looming referendum, UK newspapers are pondering how the British flag would change after a breakage in the union.

Britain’s current flag, known as the Union Jack, represents the union of England, Scotland and Ireland, evolved from a design commissioned by James VI of Scotland when he became James I of England. By 1801, around the time of the Napoleonic wars, the flag in its current state came into use.

In response to the flag’s future coming under threat, the UK-based Flag Institute has released conceptual designs showing what a new flag representing only England and Wales would look like.

In a reader poll published by the UK’s Guardian newspaper, 35% of readers picked a Union Jack lookalike flag which had had its famous blue color replaced by black.

An article on the newspaper’s website said that Britain’s famous flag was very symbolic for both its historic and modern connotations.

“The truth is that British pop culture is uniquely bound up with our breezy banner,” the article said.

“In the time the union jack was their symbol, the British did more than build, rule and give up an empire. They were not the world's worst baddies, and in some ways not baddies at all. They became a democracy without the bloodshed it cost in most other countries,” the article continued.

And a picture released by the Independent’s i100 site under the title “This flag shows just how much the UK loses without Scotland” shows a drastically reduced banner.