The Union Jack, or Union Flag, is the national flag of the United Kingdom. The flag also has an official or semi-official status in some other Commonwealth realms; for example, it is, by parliamentary resolution, an official flag in Canada and known there as the Royal Union Flag. Further, it is used as an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas territories. The Union Jack also appears in the canton (upper left-hand quarter) of the flags of several nations and territories that are former British possessions or dominions.
The claim that the term Union Jack properly refers only to naval usage has been disputed, following historical investigations by the Flag Institute in 2013.
The origins of the earlier flag of Great Britain date back to 1606. James VI of Scotland had inherited the English and Irish thrones in 1603 as James I, thereby uniting the crowns of England, Scotland, and Ireland in a personal union, although the three kingdoms remained separate states. On 12 April 1606, a new flag to represent this regal union between England and Scotland was specified in a royal decree, according to which the flag of England (a red cross on a white background, known as St George’s Cross), and the flag of Scotland (a white saltire on a blue background, known as the Saltire or St Andrew’s Cross), would be joined together, forming the flag of England and Scotland for maritime purposes. King James also began to refer to a “Kingdom of Great Britaine”, although the union remained a personal one.
The present design of the Union Flag dates from a Royal proclamation following the union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. The flag combines aspects of three older national flags: the red cross of St George of the Kingdom of England, the white saltire of St Andrew for Scotland (which two were united in the first Union Flag), and the red saltire of St Patrick to represent Ireland.
Notably, the home country of Wales is not represented separately in the Union Jack, being only indirectly represented through the cross of St George, which represents the former Kingdom of England (which included Wales).
Start date: Apr 12, 1861
End date: Apr 13, 1861
Lived: Mar 09, 1934 – Mar 27, 1968 (age 34)
Height: 5′ 2″ (1.57 m)
Spouse: Valentina Goryacheva (m. 1957 – 1968)
Movies: First Orbit · Tank on the Moon
Space missions: Vostok 1
Children: Yelena Yurievna Gagarina (Daughter) · Galina Gagarina (Daughter)Highlights
- 1957: Yuri Gagarin married Valentina Goryacheva on November 07, 1957.
- 1960: In 1960, after much searching and a selection process, Yuri Gagarin was chosen with 19 other pilots for the Soviet space program.
- 1961: Yuri Gagarin was awarded Hero of the Soviet Union in 1961.
- 1961: He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961.
- 1963: On 20 December 1963, Gagarin had become Deputy Training Director of the Star City cosmonaut training base.
- 1968: On 27 March 1968, while on a routine training flight from Chkalovsky Air Base, he and flight instructor Vladimir Seryogin died in a MiG-15UTI crash near the town of Kirzhach.
Terrance Stanley “Terry” Fox CC OD (July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981) was a Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$650 million has been raised in his name.
Fox was a distance runner and basketball player for his Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, high school and Simon Fraser University. His right leg was amputated in 1977 after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, though he continued to run using an artificial leg. He also played wheelchair basketball in Vancouver, winning three national championships.
In 1980, he began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. He hoped to raise one dollar from each of Canada’s 24 million people. He began with little fanfare from St. John’s, Newfoundland, in April and ran the equivalent of a full marathon every day. Fox had become a national star by the time he reached Ontario; he made numerous public appearances with businessmen, athletes, and politicians in his efforts to raise money. He was forced to end his run outside Thunder Bay when the cancer spread to his lungs. His hopes of overcoming the disease and completing his marathon ended when he died nine months later.
In addition to being youngest person ever named a Companion of the Order of Canada, Fox won the 1980 Lou Marsh Award as the nation’s top sportsman and was named Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year in both 1980 and 1981. Considered a national hero, he has had many buildings, roads and parks named in his honour across the country.