Period: Early-Twentieth Century
Height: 31 inches
Width: 52 inches
The printed Union Jack flag in soft thin cotton is in worn but sound order with a lovely consistent gentle fade across the fabric particularly to the blue, now paled to a sky blue slate. There is some fraying to some edges and a couple of stains, with one corner still tied in a knot, all of these anomalies making for a textile of real character.
The current design of the flag dates from the union of Ireland and Great Britain in 1801. When the first flag was introduced in 1606, it became known simply as "the British flag" or "the flag of Britain". The word "jack" was in use before 1600 to describe the maritime bow flag. One theory goes that for some years it would have been called just "the Jack", or "Jack flag", or "the King's Jack", but by 1674, while formally referred to as "His Majesty's Jack", it was commonly called the Union Jack, and this was officially acknowledged.
With a beautiful fade, this is a superbly evocative textile, once flown proudly on English streets.