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‘Replace Scotland with Wales on the Union Jack’, says Mail columnist

31 Jan 2021 3 minutes Read
Picture by ketrin1407 (CC BY 2.0)

Scotland should be replaced with Wales on the Union Jack, according to a columnist for the Mail on Sunday.

Peter Hitchens believes the flag, which has nothing that represents Wales on it because it was considered to be part of England when it was created, will need to be redesigned, because there is “no way of stopping Scotland from leaving the Union”.

The present design, adopted in 1801, combines aspects of three national flags, which are the red cross of St George for the Kingdom of England, the white saltire of St Andrew for Scotland and the red saltire of St Patrick to represent Ireland.

Mr Hitchens said Scotland leaving the union would create an opportunity to “right a historic wrong” done to Wales, provided it doesn’t opt for independence too.

He said: “Quite soon we will have to redesign the Union Jack. I can see no way of stopping Scotland from leaving the Union, so there goes St Andrew’s Cross.

“At least that will give us a chance to right a historic wrong and include some symbol of Wales on the national flag, provided they don’t declare independence too.

“Did you know that the Royal Arms of England used to feature a lion for England and a dragon for Wales? The dragon was dropped, in favour of a unicorn, when the English and Scottish crowns were united in 1603.

“I find this a useful way to think about it. We have in recent years seen major nations, including Yugoslavia, Germany and the USSR, change shape utterly. Perhaps we should get used to the idea we are about to undergo the same thing.”

‘Referendum’ 

Mr Hitchens also argued that Boris Johnson should not attempt to block a referendum on independence in Scotland.

He said: “The last thing we should do is behave as Spain has towards Catalonia. Heavy-handed rigidity will only make the divorce worse when it comes. It really is going to be very hard to prevent another vote, and we shouldn’t try.

“Attempts to argue about finances, or defence, or currency just won’t work. Younger people in Scotland are used to the idea.

“Many don’t share the English view of the EU – not surprising, as Scotland’s law and politics are much closer to the continental model than ours.

“Why cover ourselves in bruises in a vain effort to keep hold of people who – for now at least – prefer to leave? Far better to stay on the best terms with them once they go.

“Let us, for a while, think rather harder about whether we can save England, our beautiful, free prosperous country, its unique liberty, its limited government, its literature, music, architecture and landscape, its inventiveness and its courage, the things that made us great in the first place and which – if we take the trouble to preserve them – might keep us in being in the future when others fail.”

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