World: List of Flags Containing the British Union Jack

Current Flags


There are currently five countries in the world with a national flag containing the Union Jack. I find it fascinating that although the British Empire has been mostly dismantled and was at its peak in the late 18th century to early 19th century, there are still some countries that wish to retain their historical ties with the United Kingdom.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The current flag of the United Kingdom, commonly known as the Union Jack or Union Flag, derives from the flag of the Kingdom of Great Britain, when England and Scotland united in 1707. After Ireland joined the union in 1801, the St Patrick’s Cross was added, representing Ireland. Since the Republic of Ireland became independent in 1922, the St Patrick’s Cross now represents Northern Ireland.
Commonwealth of Australia
The flag of Australia consists of the Union Jack in the canton with the Southern Cross constellation and the Commonwealth Star. A worldwide competition was held in 1901 and the current design was approved by King Edward VII.
New Zealand
The New Zealand flag was adopted after it became a colony of the United Kingdom. Since the country gained independence, there are a number of debates on whether the flag should be changed, for reasons including that it does not represent the indigenous population fairly, it is similar to the flag of Australia and the two are often confused, and the flag makes the country look like it is still a part of the United Kingdom. Others argue that it does represent New Zealand’s history because the fact that it has ties with the United Kingdom is shown.
Republic of Fiji
Contrary to New Zealand, Fijians are proud of their flag and have retained their colonial flag, making only one change: from a Blue Ensign to a Sky Blue Ensign. Despite the majority indigenous population and the fact of it becoming a republic, there seems to be no intention to change the flag. 
Each star on the flag of Tuvalu represents an island within the country. Surprisingly, the current flag was adopted around 20 years after it gained independence from the United Kingdom.

24 thoughts on “World: List of Flags Containing the British Union Jack

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  2. You need to add the Cook Islands and Niue – both sovereign nations whose national flags also retain the Union Flag. Of interest is that the flags of the State of Hawaii and the Province of Ontario also retain the Union Flag.

      1. I can’t think how you managed to get to 23 countries. The most I can come up with is 19 if you count the British Overseas Territories as countries which they are not. Depending on your definition of ‘country’ some BOTs could be included such as Bermuda, but others definitely cannot eg British Antarctic Territory. So best to say there are 19 Countries and Territories whose flags include the Union Jack and these are:
        – 5 Independent Sovereign States as included in this article, and
        – 2 Countries in free association with NZ (Cook Islands and Niue), and
        – 12 British Overseas Territories, being Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Ascension, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha which is one Terittory but each Island is represented by a separate flag and each contains the Union Jack. Even considering this last anomaly I could still only get to 21.

    1. The Cook Island and Niue are not Independent Sovereign States. They are both Independent States in free association with New Zealand, and along with Tokelau Islands and the Ross Dependency complete the Realm of New Zealand.

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  4. Sooner NZ adopts its own flag without the colonial Union Jack the better. As Prime Minister Key says its a representation of a by gone era. First change the flag then drop the foreign based monarchy

    1. and when NZ drop the “colonial union jack” maybe it should change all it town and city names given by the British? although renaming places like Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton and Nelson to name just a few may just confuse narrow minded people like you!

  5. Just thought I would add there are only two now as Tuvalu drooped the Union Jack on Oct 1 2015 and Fiji is in the midst of changing the flag. 23 designs have been selected and feedback will continue until 31 December 2015. So in 2016 Fiji will also have a flag with out the colonial Union Jack on their flag. Lets hope in March of 2016 NZ too will have enough sense to dump the old flag with the Union Jack on it and adopt the new one leaving only Australia left to change. Who knows maybe even the UK will beat Australia to the punch when, as will inevitably happen, Scotland votes for Independence the Union Jack will become irrelevant, as there will be no Union.

  6. Glasgow was basically the only part of scotland wanting independence, but as most of its citizens are illiterate or drunk, they were unable to register their votes

  7. The Union Jack is a symbol that is still a significant part of the making of Australia – the ANZAC spirit, when the young service personnel of Australia and the other Commonwealth nations proved that we are a country which can hold its own and show leadership amid the extremes of war as well as the development of a strong multi-cultural country – a growing past, a strong future leading our youth to great achievements!

  8. Is there a reason Bermuda’s flag isn’t included on this list? Adopted in 1910, it is a British Red Ensign with the Union Flag in the upper left corner, and the coat of arms of Bermuda in the lower right.

  9. There are Islands such as St.Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha as well. I am sitting in The Anchor Inn on Ascension Island, and there are 25 flags displayed. Most visitors can work out which are which but there are a couple no-one seems to know!

  10. A lot of these have already been mentioned but:

    New Zealand
    Fiji (the plan to drop the union jack is in debate amid strong opposition)
    Falkland Islands
    South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
    Falkland Islands
    Cook Islands
    St Helena
    Ascension Island
    Tuvalu (dropped the union jack but at the wish of the people re-instated it!)
    Turks and Caicos
    British Virgin Islands
    Cayman Islands
    Pitcairn Islands
    Tristan da Cunha
    British Indian Ocean Territory
    British Antarctic Territory

    It also appears on state flags like:

    British Columbia

    1. I should have read to the end and seen this before I made my comments above lol!
      To complete your list of it State and Provincial flags, the Union Jack also appears on:
      – 6 State flags of Australia: New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania,
      – 1 State Flag of the USA (Hawaii), and
      – 3 Provincial Flags of Canada, Ontario, and British Columbia (with proportions stretched horizontal)

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