Flying the Union Jack the right way up

The Union Jack holds special significance to members of the Armed Forces community. Showing respect to the flag is showing respect to the brave men and women who gave their lives to protect our country and our freedoms.

According to a YouGov poll, less than half of Britons know how to fly the Union Jack or its history.

The Union Jack is not symmetric, and because of this many people hang it upside down without knowing it. Though there’s no malice in doing so, many feel that seeing the flag flown upside down is an insult.

The infographic below, provided by, explains how to fly (and not fly) the Union Jack.

Credit: BFBS

The Union Flag was first used in 1606, and combined the flags of England and Scotland. The Union Flag as we know it dates from 1801. Following the union of Great Britain and Ireland, St. Patrick’s Cross was added to the flag.

Both ‘Union Jack’ and ‘Union Flag’ are in fact correct, according to the Flag and Heraldry Committee.

If you or a friend or a relative have been injured or lost a family member as a result of service, contact the Veterans’ Gateway for a chat. Many of our advisers are veterans themselves, and are there for you 24/7.

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