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Question for Department for Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL7725, tabled on 18 April 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government by what published authority the Union Flag was established as the national flag of the UK and declared as such; when this was done; where the national flag's constitutional status is laid down; and what assessment they have made of whether that constitutes an appropriate formal and constitutional declaration of that flag's status.

Answered on

28 April 2016

The first Union Flag was created in 1606 after the Union of the Crown of England and Wales with the Crown of Scotland, by combining the Cross of St George with the Cross of St Andrew. It was established by Royal Proclamation, and adopted primarily as a flag to be used at sea.

The Union Flag in the form we now know dates from 1801 following the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland. The Union with Ireland Act provided that the flag “of the Union” should be such as His Majesty should appoint by proclamation. A Royal Proclamation of George III dated 1 January 1801 declared the design of the flag to be as it currently is.