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St George's Cross

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The St George's cross, a red cross on a white background, is the national flag of England and has been from about 1277. After England joined with Scotland by the Act of Union 1707 a Union Flag was created which was used for all national matters, but the flag of England (as opposed to the United Kingdom) remains St George's Cross, and continues to be used when showing allegiance to England alone — primarily nowadays at events such as international football matches.

Saint George is the patron saint of England, and various other countries and regions as explained in the article on Saint George. The St George Cross is also the symbol of Milan, Genoa, Freiburg and Montreal; and used, for example, in the flag of the city of Barcelona in Spain, and it appears on the flag of Georgia.

The flag of St George is also the rank flag of an Admiral in the Royal Navy, and civilian craft are forbidden to fly it. However, ships which took part in the rescue operation at Dunkirk during World War II are allowed to fly it as a jack.

St George's flag is not to be confused with the flag of the red cross. The flag of St George has a red cross which reaches from edge to edge of the flag. The flag of the red cross, like the Swiss flag, has a cross which does not reach the edges.

St George's Cross should not be confused with the Cross of St. George, a military distinction in Russia, and a civil distinction – the maximum honour – in Catalonia.

See also

Last updated: 05-18-2005 00:10:28