Monday, 24 November 2008
England, Britain, Great Britain, The United Kingdom, The Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Union Jack, red rose, thistle, leek (daffodil), shamrock.
Answer the questions using the map.
1. The correct and official name of the country is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2. The official name of the state is sometimes referred to as "Great Britain" or "Britain" (but it is the name of the largest island of the British Isles and it is made up of England, Scotland and Wales, it does not include Northen Ireland) England (after its major historic part) or the British Isles.
3. The main countries of the UK are England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
4. National emblems are:
the red rose-of England,
the thistle-of Scotland,
the leek-of Wales,
the shamrock-of Ireland.
The red rose became the emblem of England after the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485) which was the war of the dynasties for the English throne. All rivalry between the Roses ended by the marriage of Henry VII Tudor (the Lancastrian whose emblem was the red rose) with Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward IV (the Yorkist whose emblem was the white rose).
The thistle, the national emblem of Scotland, was chosen as such, because it saved the country from the enemy.
The leek or daffodil is Welshmen`s national emblem. Welshmen all over the world celebrate (on March 1st) St. David´s Day by wearing either leeks or daffodils. St. David is supposed to have lived for several years on bread and wild leeks, so the link between the leek and St. David is a strong one.
The shamrock, the national emblem of the Irish, is proudly worn on St. Patrick´s Day, March 17. It is worn in memory of Ireland´s patron saint, who when preaching the doctrine of the Trinity to the pagan Irish used the shamrock as an illustration of the mystery.
5. The UK's national flag is Union Jack. It was set up in 1801 after the last of the three Acts of Union. Union Jack presents the combination of colours and crosses reflecting the peculiarities of the existing at that time national flags of England, Scotland and Ireland. The name, the colours and crosses symbolize the union of the united parts of the country. Union Jack comprises 3 crosses. The red upright cross on the white field is St. George's Cross-the patron saint of England. The diagonal white cross on the blue field is St.Andrew's Cross-the patron saint of Scotland. The red diagonal cross on the white field is St. Patrick's Cross-the patron saint of Ireland.
6. Wales is not represented on the Union Jack because Wales was annexed by England in 1282. With the Laws in Wales Act 1535 - 1542, it is legally part of the Kingdom of England and thus represented under the St. George's Cross flag. "The Union Flag represents the United Kingdoms of Great Britain (Briton) and later Northern Ireland. Wales was not a kingdom but a principality and as such was not included in the union flag.
7. Wales has its own flag called the Welsh dragon. The Welsh flag has two equal horizontal stripes, white above green, and a large red dragon passant.