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The modern British flag consists of three crosses, one verticle one representing England, and two diagonal ones (St. Andrew's cross) representing Scotland and (St Patrick's cross) representing Ireland.

Ireland was not incorporated into the United Kingdom until the Act of Union in 1801, so the British flag before that date lacked that cross.

The British flag, correctly called the union flag, but also known as the union jack, consists of the flag of England-a red plus cross on a white background,(the flag of St George) The flag of Ireland-a red multiplication, or saltire cross on a white background,(the flag of St Patrick) The flag of Scotland-a white multiplication cross on a blue background. The flag of of Wales, a red dragon on a green and white background was not incorporated into the design.

When the 3 flags are incorporated, Scotland is overlayed by Ireland which is then overlayed by England this produces the union flag. The jack that is sometimes mentioned is the pole that the flag fly's from - ( the jack-staff) If you look closely at a union flag it is possible to identify the three crosses layed on top of each other.

MoreThe Flag flown by the British in the American Revolution is not the Union Jack it shares many of the same qualities but the Union Jack did not come around until 1801.

The pre 1801 Union flag is shown below on the link and would not have had the red St Patrick's cross included in it at the time. It is only called a Union Jack when flown on a ship but the term has entered popular culture. The red cross of St. George represented both England and Wales which were considered a single State and Kingdom.

MoreI would just add that there were also many types of flags flown. Naval Units would hoist a different flag than land forces and we must not forget regimental flags. It was not uncommon for different regiments (units) to have their own flag in addition to the National flag.
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8y ago
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13y ago

During the American Revolution, the British flag was the old union jack that had been designed for the navy of King James I of England and made the official flag of the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Acts of Union 1707. It was the Cross of St George, a red + cross on white, superimposed on the Cross of St Andrew, a white x cross on blue.

The old union jack differed from the current one, because it did not have the other crosses superimposed on the Cross of St Patrick, a red x cross on white, as the new one does.

There is a link below to an image of the Union Jack at the time of the American Revolution. For the purpose of comparison, there is also a link to the newer Union Jack.

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9y ago

The Union Jack was the flag that was flown over colonial America in 1758. The colonies were under British rule at the time.

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16y ago

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Q: What did the British flag look like during the American Revolution?
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