English Flag

English Flag



The Flag of England - Description of the English Flag
  • As the above picture of the English Flag indicates the overall background is white
  • The description of the English Flag is as follows:
    • White with a centred red cross that extends to the edges of the flag
  • According to Ancient and Heraldic traditions much symbolism is associated with colors. The colors on the English flag represent the following:
    • White - peace and honesty
    • Red - hardiness, bravery, strength & valour

  • The basic style shown in the picture of the English flag is described as Cross reflecting the central design of the flag pattern
  • All Flag pictures depict flags flying, from the viewer's point of view, from left to right
  • The shape and flag ratio of the English flag is described as 1:2 ( length twice the height )
  • The Meaning & History of the English Flag and St. George - The English flag depicts the cross of St. George, the Patron Saint of England. The feast of England's patron saint is celebrated on 23rd April and Knighthoods of the Order of the Garter are also bestowed on 23rd April

Canton - Flag Terminology

Flag Terminology - Did you Know ?
  • The design and description uses specific flag terminology based on Heraldic principles
  • Animal blazons should always appear with the heads facing the flag - staff side
  • The Study of the Flags is called Vexillology
  • Your interest in flags makes you a Vexillologist!
  • Increase your knowledge - Play the Flag Quiz

The Real St. George

  • George run the family estate in Palestine and was born of noble, Christian parents and was a Roman Soldier
  • He held the rank of a Roman Tribune. A Tribune was a Roman magistrate whose task it was to protect the people against oppression
  • The Emperor was Diocletian (245-313) who was a great persecutor of Christians
  • George complained personally to the Emperor about the harsh treatment and persecution of the Christians
  • Emperor Diocletian threw George into prison where he was tortured, but he refused to recant his Christian faith
  • He was sentenced to death, dragged through the streets and beheaded
  • He was martyred at Lydda in Palestine (Nicomedia) and became a cult figure for Christians
  • St. George became England's patron saint in the 14th century

The Legend of St. George and the Dragon

  • St George was venerated as a soldier saint
  • Many legends surrounded the honour and bravery of St. George - the most famous was the legend of St. George and the Dragon
  • According to legend a dragon was terrorising a Pagan land. The dragon was at first pacified by being fed sheep but then demanded human sacrifice including a beautiful princess
  • The brave St. George rode into the land and, single-handed, slaughtered the dragon

St. George the Saint of Battles

  • St George became the Saint of Battles and his symbol, the red cross on the white field, was closely associated with the Crusaders and King Richard the Lionheart
  • The Crusaders were Christian Knights who went on Crusades to free Jerusalem from the Infidels
  • The Knights wore chain mail armor which was covered by a surcoat. This livery was a white tabard, or tunic, emblazoned by the red cross of St. George.
Flag History & Evolution:
  • The idea of flying a flag grew from the requirements of ancient warfare and the battlefield
  • Shields were painted with emblems to identify Friend or Foe
  • Warriors needed to know where their leaders were - the custom of carrying a pole was adopted
  • An emblem such as a shield, animal or religious device was attached to the pole for identification
  • The emblems were also used for identity and to cover suits of armour - Coats of Arms  were born
  • These emblems were the forerunners of modern flags
  • The Romans were the first to use a cloth flag - they were square and fastened to cross bars at the end of spears - the idea of fastening a flag to the side of a pole soon followed
  • The strict rules of Heraldry are still used when designing an emblem and creating a new flag
English Flag Etiquette
  • English Flag etiquette is very strict and is is essential that Flag protocols and rules are followed correctly
  • Basic Flag Etiquette applies to all nations, including English as follows:
  • Etiquette relating to the order of precedence for the flag
    • National Flag of English
    • State Flag of English
    • Military Flag of English (in order of creation date)
    • Other Flag of English
  • The United Nations uses alphabetical order when presenting a national flag including the English Flag. Their flag etiquette ensures that no one country's flag has precedence over another country's flag
  • The National flag of English should never be flown above another national flag on the same staff as this would suggest superiority, or conversely, inferiority of one flag, or Nation, over another
  • The English flag should never be allowed to drag along the ground
  • A tattered or faded flag of English should be removed and replaced with a new flag
  • Due care and consideration must be taken to ensure that the English flag is always flown the correct way up
  • A Flag of English, when in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning in private with all due care and respect
Terminology & Etiquette in English Flag display
  • Hoist - the act or function of raising the English flag, as on a rope
  • Half Staff or Half Mast - the English flag is hoisted to half of the potential height of the flag pole to denote grief and mourning
    • Performed by first raising the English flag to the top, then lowering the English Flag halfway
  • Manner of hoisting - The English flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously
  • No disrespect should be shown to the English flag
  • The English flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit the Flag to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way
  • The English flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing on the flag of any nature
  • The English flag should be hoisted first and lowered last
  • International Flag relating to English Flag usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace
  • We hope that the presentation of facts and information regarding English Flag Etiquette has provided a useful resource.
  • English Land Size : 130,373 square kilometers (50,337 square miles)
  • English Climate / Weather : temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast
  • Former English Name(s) : n/a
  • English Capital City: London
  • English Main Industries :  machine tools, electric power & automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronics and communications equipment, metals, chemicals, coal, petroleum, food processing, textiles, clothing, and other consumer goods
  • English Agricultural products : cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish
  • English Currency : British pound (GBP) Stirling
  • Main Colors of the English Flag : White with red cross

National Flags of the World Map


Location: Western Europe,
northwest of France

The Celts and Ancient British / English History
  • Bronze and Iron Age - The emergence of the Celts across Europe
  • 400BC - By this time the ancient culture of the Celts had settled in many European countries including Austria, Britain, France, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Western Germany, Northern Spain, Turkey and Hungary
  • The Celts were people from various tribes and were called Galli by the Romans and Galatai or Keltoi by the Greeks. These terms all had one meaning in common - barbarian
  • It is from the Greek word Keltoi from which the word 'Celt' is derived
  • Despite the name of Barbarian the Celtic society was based almost entirely on pastoralism and the raising of cattle or sheep
  • 15 BC The Romans had begun to extend their empire. Gallia (in English Gaul) is the Roman name for the region of Europe occupied by the Celts. The word Gaul commonly refers to a Celt inhabitant of that region in ancient times
  • 224 - 220 BC - Rome conquered the Celts
  • 390 BC - The Celts sacked Rome
  • 280 BC - The Celts sacked many Greek cities
  • 390 BC - The Celts sacked Rome
  • 50-100AD - The spread of Christianity
  • 476 AD The Roman Empire collapsed
  • Middle Ages - Various different cultures emerged in the lands of the Celts and the history of each country changed accordingly
  • The above information provides a concise background to the Ancient British / English civilisations

The Emergence of England

  • After the Romans leave the country Britain is separated into many small kingdoms
  • 486 - 865 The Middle Ages are dominated by increasing English trade links with the continent including the German Saxons and Viking raids
  • The English inhabitants were referred to as the Anglo-Saxons
  • Christianity spreads throughout the country and St Augustus is sent by the Pope to convert the English population
  • Information about this period has been obtained from a monk and Historian referred to as The Venerable Bede (673 - 735) in his writing "Ecclesiastical History of the English People"
  • The Venerable Bede introduced the concept of England and the English people - a Christian people untarnished by any Pagan past...
  • 1120-1129  "HISTORIA REGUM BRITANNIAE" was written by Geoffrey of Monmouth and details the English Arthurian legend of King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin and the chivalric court of Camelot. This provided the Welsh with a claim to the sovereignty of the whole island of Britain of which the Tudors took advantage
Concise History of England
  • 871 Wessex Saxon King Ethelred and his brother Alfred, defeat the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown (in Berkshire)
  • 871-899 King Alfred the Great
  • 1016-1035 - Danish under King Canute rule England
  • 1042 - House of Wessex is Restored under Edward, the Confessor (1042-66) and Harold II (1066)
  • 1066 - The Battle of Hastings - William, Duke of Normandy crowned King of England (William I)
  • 1066-1087) - The Normans rule the English
  • 1086 - 1088 - The English Domesday Book is compiled
  • 1154 - 1399 - The Plantagenets (Angevin Line)
  • 1399 - 1371 - The Plantagenets (Lancastrian Line)
  • 1371 - 1485 - The Plantagenets (Yorkist Line)
  • 1485 - 1603 - The Tudors
  • 1603 - 1649 - The Stuarts
  • 1649 - 1659 - The Commonwealth under the Cromwells
  • 1660 - 1688 - House of Stuart, Restored
  • 1689 - 1702 - House of Orange and Stuart
  • 1702 - 1714 - House of Stuart
  • 1714 - 1901 - House of Brunswick, Hanover Line
  • 1901 - Present Day - House of Windsor
"Around the World in 80 minutes!"
  • A combination of information regarding a Nation's flag, History, Geography and Current Events provides an accurate snapshot of the evolution of each country
  • In just a short period of time this concise information with specific facts will improve your overall understanding of the great countries of the World
  • A useful Educational Resource accessed from the Index
  • You can go "Around the World in 80 minutes!"
The English Flag and Nation

We hope that the presentation of facts and information regarding the English Flag and Country has provided a useful educational resource. To improve your knowledge of Flags and Vexillology still further check out the Flags and Nations Index and test your knowledge with our interactive, multi-choice, picture-based Flag Trivia Quiz Game - it's fast and it's fun!


English Flag

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