The 1800 Act of Union merged the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain (itself a merger of England and Scotland under the Act of Union 1707) to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801.
Under the terms of the union, Ireland had over 100 MPs representing it in the united parliament, meeting in the Palace of Westminster (more than would be proportionate according to population). Part of the trade-off was to be the granting of Catholic Emancipation, thereby allowing some of the majority Roman Catholic population in Ireland to vote (though this would still have been restricted by property qualifications). However this was blocked by King George III who argued that emancipating Roman Catholics would breach his Coronation Oath; it was delayed until 1829.
The flag created by the merger of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801 still remains the flag of the current United Kingdom. Known as the Union Jack or the Union Flag, it combines the flags of England and Scotland with St. Patrick's flag from Ireland. The upright red cross, St George's Cross, represents England. The blue background, on which St Andrew's Saltire (in the shape of a white X) appears, represents Scotland, while the diagonal red X which overlays the white X on the blue background of Scotland, is known as "St Patrick's Cross " and represents Ireland.
Last updated: 08-16-2005 01:35:38