suez canal part vierw

Flying / Displaying the Union Flag (or Union Jack)

union flag
The Union Flag, or Union Jack as it is now often called, is one of the best-known National Symbols in the world.  This is not surprising it has been around for over 400 years with only minor changes.  The Union Flag signifies the unity of the nations that make up the United Kingdom and dependencies,and demonstrates the bonds of citizenship which we all share.  Whatever our differences may be, whatever our faith, culture, political views, ethnicity, first language or  traditional customs, we can all stand beneath  this flag  united together  in common purpose.  But, for too long our flag has been taken for granted and largely ignored.  Few children are taught  about it in schools, few people know its history, or even the correct way to fly or display it.  It is time that this changed and we become familiar with our National Flag, because all of us have the right to fly the flag and can use it on land wherever and whenever we wish.  It is the people's flag as well as the State Flag.
Owners of buildings have the freedom to fly the Union Flag all year round, not just designated flag flying days.  Everyone is encouraged to champion  the United Flag and fly it daily as a symbol of National Pride.

Unfortunately, it is shown many times on televised international sports events that some people do, probably un-knowingly, display the Union Flag upside down.

When displayed or hung over railings or barriers etc, such as at sports events,
in windows,
or anywhere not flown from a mast, it must be shown with the
thick white diagonal band above the red band
on the left hand side.

union flag                uinion flag
It is considered improper to fly the flag upside down.

union flag verticle
When hung vertical, the same rule applies,
thick white diagonal band above the red band on the left hand side.

union flag   union flag
When flying from a mast the thick white diagonal band
above the red band must be nearest to the mast.

If you have displayed a Union Flag supporting a British team during any recent internationa sports event etc.
don't put it away in your garage or loft,   please keep it flying.....
  small union flag

Odd bits of flag information.
Originally the flag was called the 'Union Jack' only when it was flown at sea from a short 'jackstaff', (a small vertical spar or pole,) on the bow of a ship.

Flags are normally flown from sunrise to sunset.  They may also be flown at night, but if so, they should be illuminated.  (From personal experience I find this rule seems to be disregarded in many cases.)

If flying two, or more, flags from one flag-pole and one of them is the National Flag, this must take seniority and be flown higher than the others with a gap of about 12" (30cm) between them.

The National Flag should never be flown in a worn, dirty or damaged condition.  To do so shows disrespect for the Nation.  When a flag becomes tattered or faded and is no longer in a suitable condition for use, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, for example, by burning it privately, or cutting into strips so that it no longer resembles the original flag.

Flying at 'half mast' means the flag is flown two-thirds of the way up the flag pole, with at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag and the top of the flag-pole.

The Royal Standard raised above Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle when the Queen is in residence, measures
38ft x 19ft. (11.5m x 5.8m)

Return to the  Index  page here.

Contact the website editor: