Union Jacks can be seen flying high across the UK as Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Platinum Jubilee this weekend (Picture: Getty Images)

The UK will be bathed in red, white, and blue this weekend as Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Platinum Jubilee.

The right royal occasional celebrates the monarch, aged 96, and her 70-year reign.

Special events will take place across the bumper bank holiday weekend, with plenty planned right here in the capital.

Flags, bunting, cutlery, and more can be purchased from shops across the country to mark the event, with many decked out in the iconic Union Jack.

But why is our flag called the Union Jack? And how do you know if you’re displaying the flag the right way up?

Why is it called the Union Jack?

The Union Jack, also sometimes called the Union Flag, gets its name as it ‘unites’ the three kingdoms of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The origins of the ‘Jack’ part of the name are uncertain, but it is theorised it comes from the name of a small maritime flag.

The Union Jack is the flag of the United Kingdom, and its design unites the flags of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

The earliest adaption of flag was designed by King James I in 1606 after he inherited the thrones of England and Scotland in 1603.

King James I of England and Scotland (1566-1625). (Picture: Getty Images)

Originally the flag only included St George’s cross and St Andrew’s cross, but in 1801 with the union of Great Britain and Ireland, St Patrick’s cross was added.

Despite being a part of the UK, there is no representation of Wales on the Union Jack.

While on land, the flag was traditionally known as the Union Flag, while when used at sea it was known as the Union Jack.

However, in 1902, it was officially announced that either name could be used.

Unlike most nation’s flags, there is no code of conduct surrounding the Union Jack.

This means that it can be folded, and can be reproduced in its original form on merchandise, printed materials, and other memorabilia.

Have you been hanging your Union Jack the right way up? (Picture: Getty Images)

How to tell if your Union Jack is upside down

While you may think that the Union Jack is symmetrical and can be hung in any way and look the same, you would be wrong.

Luckily, if you pay close attention to the size of the stripes, you will be able to tell if you’re hanging your flag correctly.

If you look at the white stripes on the flag closest to the flag pole, the wider stripes should sit on top of the diagonal red stripes.

On the flag, these wide white stripes represent St Andrew’s cross while the diagonal red stripes represent St Patrick’s.

This means that if you look at the opposite side of the flag, the thin white stripes should be sitting on top of the diagonal red lines.

When hung vertically, you should make sure that the thick white line is on the top left.


MORE : Prince Andrew says he’s got Covid so can’t attend Jubilee event


MORE : These are the best events in London this Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee 2022