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(Header image: Flag Institute)
With the possibility that Scotland will vote for independence on the horizon, there remains an important question: what will happen to the Union Jack? (Yes, it is apparently the Union Jack in this and other contexts.) The famous red, white and blue flag has been a mainstay of British culture, and a recent survey conducted by the Flag Institute (apparently, our national flag charity) indicates a majority of people believe the flag will change if our Scottish brothers (and sisters) choose to go it alone this year.
To that end, the Guardian has recently released a poll allowing readers to vote for the flag they’d like to see run up the mast if our old friend was retired. The list is made up of creations from the public and members of the Flag Institute, and range from the conventional to the truly bizarre. Number 5 in the list seems to be a favourite, though at the time of writing, it’s Number 2 (replacing the blue sections with black) that’s the clear winner.
At the time of writing, the poll had 2 days left for readers to vote on their preferred flag choice. So far, the aim seems to be retain as much of the flag’s original design (whilst acknowledging Scotland’s departure from the UK) or alternatively emphasise the presence of other countries such as Wales.
There is, of course, nothing to say the flag will or won’t change: Charles Ashburner, chief executive of the Flag Institute, has said that they aren’t arguing for or against a change in flags, simply facilitating debate on it. In any case, it’s an interesting look at both design and issues of national identity.