I bring this history to you for two reasons. (plus it makes a good SM minute.) We know where our
flag comes from but do you know how the British Flag came about? They are
our best allies in the world and we should know about it. Plus we will tie this into Scouting at the end.
England had their flag before the 1600s as the red cross of St. George's Cross. Saint George (c. 275/280–April 23, 303) was a soldier of the Roman Empire who later became a Christian martyr and much admired and worshiped in England.
Then in 1606 King James I of Scotland inherited the throne of England and
he combined the flag of Scotland which is the white X on a blue background
that is St. Andrews Cross.
and developed the flag of the Kingdom of Great Britain:
(No Two royal colors should touch so he had white beside the red so the
blue and red do not touch.)
In 1801 the Kingdom of Ireland was united with the Kingdom of Great
Britain to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The
flag of Ireland was the red saltire cross attributed to St. Patrick.
This was combined into the British flag resulting in the familiar Union Jack:
Again the colors cannot touch so the white around the red. And they did not
want the Scottish or Irish part to look like one was on top of the other so the
off set the St. Patrick's cross off center in the white area of the St. Andrews cross.
Many countries worshiped St. George who never went to England. He was a
Turkish soldier in the Roman Army who stood up against the persecution of
Christians and declared himself a Christian. He was beheaded and later made a
Saint. Baden Powell admired St. George and so he made the Boy Scout day
of recognition in England as April 23th which was St. George's day in England.