The History of Leith

May 20, 2012

The Union Flag

In the April of the year 1606 the Union Jack
first made its appearance in the Port of Leith. It
would seem that when the King of Scotland added
England and Ireland to his dominions, his native
subjects—very unlike their descendants—manifested,
says Chambers, the utmost jealousy regarding
their heraldic ensigns, and some contentions in
consequence arose between them and their English
neighbours, particularly at sea. Thus, on the 12th
April, 1606, “for composing of some differences between
his subjects of North and South Britain
travelling by seas, anent the bearing of their flags,”
the King issued a proclamation ordaining the ships
of both nations to carry on their maintops the flags
of St. Andrew and St. George interlaced; those of
North Britain in their stern that of St. Andrew, and
those of South Britain that of St. George.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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