Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number DEC.013.1
Title Replica - Flag - Rhode Island Colony
Artist unknown
Date n.d.
Description Replica of DEC.013

Blue flag with a white cross, a white saltire, and a narrower red cross placed on the white cross. The flag is made of blue cotton on which are painted in white the cross and the saltire. Upon the white cross is painted the red cross of St. George. The four layers of paint, two on each side of the cotton, make the red cross of this flag rather stiff. (Howard Chapin, Redwood Library Booklist, February 1937)

The flag is a combination of the English flag - the red cross of St. George on a white field - with the Scottish flag - the white saltire (diagonal cross) of St. Andrew on a blue field. The Scottish flag was used as the basis of the design and the motive of the English flag as a red cross fimbriated, or edged, white. Being a combination or union of the English and Scottish flags, it was sometimes called the British flag and sometimes the Union flag. When it was flown as a small goag at the bow of a boat it was called the Union Jack.
By a Royal Proclamation of May 5, 1634, the use of the Union Jack was restricted to His Majesty's ships. Thus it became the government's flag in contradistinction to a national flag, a flag used by private individuals and merchant ships. The Union flag fell into disuse during the Commonwealth and the Protectorate, but it again came into use as the government flag upon the restoration of Charles II n 1660. This flag continued in use until the cross of St. Patrick was added to the design of the Union flag in 1801. In 1908 the British government ordered that the Union flag, or Union Jack as it is now usually called, should be the national flag of the British Empire and it is now so used. (Howard Chapin, Redwood Library Booklist, February 1937)
Object Name Flag
Medium Paint
Material Dyed Cotton
Dimensions H-68.5 W-94 cm
Credit line n.d.
Provenance n.d.
Collection Decorative Arts
People unknown
Related Publications