Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Antique Flags > British & French Flags


Web ID: BRITj-832
Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L):
Flag Size (H x L): 23" x 54.75"
British Union Flag, better known as the "Union Jack," dating to the era surrounding WWII (British involvement 1939-1945). The flag is made of wool bunting that has been pieced and joined with machine stitching. There is a twill cotton sleeve along the hoist, through which a braided hemp rope, looped at the top, was passed and stitched into place for hoisting. A black-inked stencil near the bottom of the hoist, on the obverse, reads "1 1/2" to indicate the size in yards. War drove flag production to massive levels and is the most likely reason for manufacture, though the flag could date slightly prior or after.

Some interesting facts about British flags:
No law has ever been passed to make the Union jack the national flag of the United Kingdom. Instead it has become so through precedent. Its first recorded recognition as a national flag came in 1908, when it was stated in Parliament that "the Union Jack should be regarded as the National flag". A more categorical statement was made by the Home Secretary, Sir John Gilmour, in 1933 when he stated that "the Union Jack is the National Flag". It is still officially a flag of the monarch, however, rather than the country.

Civilian use of the Union Jack is permitted on land, but non-naval/military use at sea is prohibited. On land, the Union Jack can be flown by any individual or organization on any day they wish. Until very recently, however, government was strictly regulated. Prior to 2007, it could only be flown on government buildings on days certain specified days, such as those marking the birthdays of members of the Royal Family, the wedding anniversary of the Monarch, Commonwealth Day, Accession Day, Coronation Day, The Queen's official birthday, Remembrance Sunday and on the days of the State Opening and prorogation of Parliament.

At sea, different rules apply. Prior to 1864, the Red Ensign, White Ensign, and Blue Ensign were all flown by ships of the Royal Navy (RN). In that year, all RN ships were ordered to fly the White Ensign and it became the sole naval flag of the United Kingdom. Until the mid- to late 1960's, the White Ensign was also flown by Canadian, Australian and New Zealand warships. The Blue Ensign was reserved for merchant vessels whose masters are qualified Royal Naval Reserve [RNR] officers and which meet certain other requirements, while the Red Ensign became the British civil ensign.

When flown from the bows of RN ships, the Union Jack is the British naval jack. When flown from the mast in 2:3 proportions, it is the rank flag of an Admiral of the Fleet. At sea, the Union Jack is reserved for the RN and no other British ships are permitted to fly it.

Measurements: 23" x 54.75"

Mounting: The flag is presently unmounted.

Condition: There is minor mothing in limited areas, accompanied by a couple of modest losses in the lower, hoist-end quadrant.

Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1935
Latest Date of Origin: 1955
State/Affiliation: Other
War Association: WW 2
Price: $1,450
Nautical: Yes

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