So I had a little attempt at vexillology. Since I am from the United Kingdom I had a look at our own Floral Symbols, Coat of Arms and Flag as well as the countries with the closest relations to the United Kingdom such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
It took me a long time to piece together this chart and it is now on Revision 12. This extended chart incorporates all the State Flags as well as the Overseas Territories. Let me know what you think.
You will need to view the extended chart on a proper screen (it will be impossible to see on most mobile devices) click to maximise (or better right click and select save as…) to view in detail. Feel free to share it.
Bonus question, how many “Union Jacks” are on the chart?
This basic chart just looks at the Red, White and Blue Ensigns of the main countries; Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
For best results view the basic chart on a proper screen (it will be impossible to see on most mobile devices) click to maximise (or better right click and select save as…) to view in detail. Feel free to share it.
Edit note, add the 1970 Canadian Red Ensign to the Basic Chart.
I made also a YouTube video showing the evolution here:
Individual Flags with Notes:
1. St Andrew’s Cross – Scotland
This is the Flag of Scotland and is the oldest flag in Europe and the Commonwealth. The flag originally was a white cross on a sky blue background which was seen as a sign that St Andrew’s responding to King Angus’s prayer of deliverance. After King Angus’s victory St Andrew’s was made the patron St of Scotland. More details here The Legend of the Saltire.
Nowadays this flag is often seen with a Navy Blue Background or Royal Blue Background.
2. St George’s Cross – England
St George’s Cross was initially associated with the Crusades. In 1188, red and white crosses were chosen to identify English and French troops in the Kings Crusade of Henry II of England and Phillip II of France.
Although St George’s Cross is the national flag of England.
1284 Wales was a Principality of the Kingdom of England.
3. Royal Standards
Shield 1. Ontario (St George’s Cross and Maple Leaf), 2. Quebec (Fleur De Lis, Royal Lion of England and Maple Leaf), 3. Nova Scotia (Thistle and Fish) and 4. New Brunswick (Royal Lion of England and sailing ship).
Shield 5. Manitoba (St George’s Cross and bison who roamed the province), 6. British Colombia (The royal crest of the Imperial Lion upon the Imperial Crown), 7. Prince Edward Island (Three oak samplings denoting the Island’s three counties beneath a mature Oak which represents Great Britain).
Shield 6. British Colombia Updated (“The sun never sets on the British Empire”)
New Zealand had a referendum on changing their flag. They decided to keep their Blue Ensign:
The Southern Cross Crux α-Crux 9 sided, β-Crux 8 sided, γ-Crux 7 sided, δ-Crux 6 sided and ε-Crux 5 sided. The number of sides in each star denotes the relative brightness of the Southern Cross.
The Commonwealth star 6-sided representing the 6 states of the Commonwealth of Australia.
See the first Australia Red Ensign restored to its glory:
All stars in the Crux updated to 7 sides. This emphasises the Commonwealth star which is updated to 7 sides denoting 6 states and a territory (and any future territories).
Shield 7. Alberta (St George Cross above Rocky Mountains and their foothills followed by grass prairies and cultivated wheat fields) and 8. Saskatchewan (Royal Lion on yellow field – similar to the Royal banner of Scotland and three gold sheaves of wheat representing the province’s agriculture)
All stars in the Crux updated to 7 sides. This emphasises the Commonwealth star which is updated to 7 sides (6 territories and a state).
The change of flag was forced upon Canada by the Liberal government despite the popularity of the much loved Canadian Red Ensign (my personally favourite flag). If a referendum had occurred on the flag change it may have likely failed like the case with New Zealand. See the Great Canadian Flag Debate: