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Thread: Union Jack

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    Union Jack

    I am after explaining the meaning of the Union Jack flag to my cubs and scouts, for about 20 mins. I used to have a document that explained what its made up of etc. Does anybody know of anything that may be able to help me out with this

    Thanks

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    ASM (British Boy Scouts) tdjno's Avatar
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    First of all, it’s a Union Flag. It is only called a Union Jack if it is on the jack staff of a ship.

    I can dig out our tenderfoot test that explains the correct way to break and host the flag, the correct way to fly it and the composition. I think this might be on ‘The Dump’ somewhere too actually.

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    Map Geek marcush's Avatar
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    You could also say how it's changed over time.

    Rule 66. A map and compass offers no protection against getting horribly lost.

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    Senior Member cbKernow's Avatar
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    well for starters, don't worry about calling it the Union Jack, both are perfectly acceptable terms.

    the wiki page gives a pretty basic history of the makeup of the flag and of how the constituent parts come together to make the current flag.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Flag

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    ASM (British Boy Scouts) tdjno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcush View Post
    You could also say how it's changed over time.
    The addition of the St. Patrick's Cross in 1801?

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    I like the idea of incorporating the Welsh Dragon - but think it would look so much better with just a white dragon in the middle.

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    SM(s) julian's Avatar
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    Hold on a mo... Whist the reference 'jack' may be acceptable in common parlance (out on da street wiff da yoofs, innit AAAAiii), it doesn't make it acceptable! This is just another erosion of knowledge... and annoying to boot! Try coming to my group and saying 'Jack', and see how quickly you lose the respect of the troop! There's no point in the hoisting of a flag if you don't know its name...

    It's rather like calling your group colours a flag... aaaargh!

    If Kaastpauls wants to impart the knowledge of the flag (patriotism) onto his scouts, at least we can ensure that he does it correctly!

    It is is the flag of the union... a jack, as Tdjno pointed out is a naval term, for a small flag which is raised on the little (relative term) mast usually located at the back of the boat - called a Jack Staff; hence Union Jack. The only other place it can be referred to as a Jack (unless someone would like to expand my understanding) is at the residence of an Admiral or on a Naval base- this is due to a quirky bit of history that allows those places to be referred to as a 'boat'.

    http://www.fotw.net/flags/gb-hist.html

    This site has lots of useful stuff, and is the one i tend to use as it has some stuff about how we ended up with the flag we now have!
    Yours in Scouting, Traditionally!

    Julian Lenahan

    Acle Scout Group (B-PSA)
    Jamboree 2008 Team - It may be over, but i'm still a Jamboree 2008 team member!!!

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    pm sent
    Kate, CSL (and GDB(S))
    1st Weald Brook Scout Group
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    www.1stwealdbrook.org.uk

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    Senior Member cbKernow's Avatar
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    Well if we're going to be picky about language, it was a Union Jack long before it was a Union Flag and it was the Navy who called all their flags a jack.

    Its really got nothing to do with "street" langauge, I call it a Union Flag most of the time but also a union jack and I call our group flag colours as often as I call it colours. We teach the scouts using the term "union flag" but I'd never tell a kid off for using the term jack just as I wouldn't mind if they call the colours a flag. Does your group insist that the scouts use the term scarf or necker or neckerchief? If all it takes to lose the respect of your troop is the use of the "wrong" name, I'll stick with my own troop, we respect each other for a whole lot of reasons! :-)

    the last thing I want is to alienate kids for using the "wrong" word for something, theres more to Scouting than that.




    Quote Originally Posted by julian View Post
    Hold on a mo... Whist the reference 'jack' may be acceptable in common parlance (out on da street wiff da yoofs, innit AAAAiii), it doesn't make it acceptable! This is just another erosion of knowledge... and annoying to boot! Try coming to my group and saying 'Jack', and see how quickly you lose the respect of the troop! There's no point in the hoisting of a flag if you don't know its name...

    It's rather like calling your group colours a flag... aaaargh!

    If Kaastpauls wants to impart the knowledge of the flag (patriotism) onto his scouts, at least we can ensure that he does it correctly!

    It is is the flag of the union... a jack, as Tdjno pointed out is a naval term, for a small flag which is raised on the little (relative term) mast usually located at the back of the boat - called a Jack Staff; hence Union Jack. The only other place it can be referred to as a Jack (unless someone would like to expand my understanding) is at the residence of an Admiral or on a Naval base- this is due to a quirky bit of history that allows those places to be referred to as a 'boat'.

    http://www.fotw.net/flags/gb-hist.html

    This site has lots of useful stuff, and is the one i tend to use as it has some stuff about how we ended up with the flag we now have!

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    Senior Member Doug in Canada's Avatar
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    Julian and Tdjno you are undoubtedly correct in your explanation of the Union Jack and it is an interesting bit of information. However, as the British Navy were the ones that expanded and took over a significant portion of the world the flag was called the Union Jack. While your explanation is technically correct I would argue that the flag has come to be called the Union Jack virtually everywhere in the world. The language has evolved and terms are continuously being adopted and changed. I think that you will have to accept that the term Union Jack has evolved from it's original meaning as you describe to meaning the flag of the British Union, unless you can somehow reverse the effects of 300 years of history!! Ask anyone in North America what the flag of the British Union is called and I'm certain you will get the answer back "Union Jack"!

    Your majesty's humble servant from the colonies!
    Akela - 6th Burlington Cub Pack

    www.6thburlingtoncubs.org

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    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    This page is very useful.

    I also have quite a bit of resources on the patron saints of the UK, together with a Union Flag colouring puzzle, based on facts about the saints. If you are interested email me (baloo at 2ndbracknell dot co dot uk) and I'll dig them out for you.
    Peter

    Former CSL - 2nd Bracknell


    A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Lao Tzu (600 BC - 531 BC)

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    My father was a captain in the merchant navy and as a child I looked after the flags as 'flag monkey'. My understanding and I am not sure where it came from as I can't remember being told! is that being picky about it being called the union flag is a recent thing, it was the Jack going back in history. My father was about as picky about flags as you can be...


    We have a thing that you colour in and cut out where the Cross of St George and St Patrick fold over the the cross of St Andrew in stages to make the various flags with the history pertaining alongside.

    We copied it from a brilliant card thing the Girl Guides association used to issue. I just remembered I had one in my desk at work and notice it mentions 'JACK' in reference to James I on the card.

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    Senior Member neilr's Avatar
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    I'm sure BP refers to it as a Jack in Scouting for Boys but as I cannot lay my hands on my copy (hangs head in shame ) I can't check.
    Neil Rowland
    AGSL & SL 12th West Lothian (Knightsridge) Scouts


    www.12thwestlothianscouts.org.uk

    Who hath smelt wood-smoke at twilight? Who hath heard the birch log burning?
    Who is quick to read the noises of the night?
    Let him follow with the others:
    For the young men's feet are turning to the camps of proved desire and known delight!

    Rudyard Kipling

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    Senior Member cbKernow's Avatar
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    http://books.google.com/books?id=ej0...age&q=&f=false

    but I'm also of the belief that just because BP called it something 100+ years ago, doesn't mean we have to, but this time he agrees with me so I'll let this one slide.

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    The unpaid help ASLChris's Avatar
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    It's a niggling little annoyance when the Union Flag is called the Union Jack, but it's hardly a big issue!
    Chris Hawes, District Media Manager, Watford North Scout District and Watford Scouts; Group Treasurer and Webmaster, 9th North Watford Scout Group.
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