New Scotland flag

Scottish independence: which new British flag did you choose in our poll?

Our new union jack … at least according to you.Our new union jack … at least according to you.

In a year or two we may need to hold a national referendum, or at least what's left of the nation will. Last week, the Flag Institute unveiled 12 options for a Great Britain-sans-Scotland flag, and for now, the results of the Guardian's online survey on what should replace the union jack in the event of independence – our flag poll, if you will – will have to do. And they tell us a lot.

For one thing, most of us are too snobby to muck about with pictures, hallmark that they are of parvenu states like Canada or Brazil. "No child could ever draw it at school, " esja points out in the comments. Indeed we're generally quite conservative, showing a clear preference for three flags that offer basic twists on what we have already.

Your second choice, with a Welsh twist.

In fact the winner by a long way, flag No 2, looks very like our current one if you see it in the wrong light. "No 2 is our flag, known worldwide, why should we change it?" says isntnickwonderful, who obviously hadn't noticed that it replaced Scotland's navy blue with black.

Your second, choices, with a Welsh twist.As such, the poll result is a clear victory for sentiment, although what sentiment exactly is harder to say. If you feel nothing but weary scorn for Scotland, after all, does that mean you want shot of them? Or do you enjoy keeping them beneath the rest of Britain's yoke? The black in the flag neatly captures this ambivalence by giving a sense of losing Scotland being mourned, while at the same time suggesting that we've barely noticed. (As Jack McGruer and many others said, it also stops the old fascist chant that there "ain't no black in the union jack".)

Perhaps the more sensible, neutral choice was the flag that came second. No 11 simply removed the Scottish saltire altogether and added green Welsh-ish triangles to the bottom half, while leaving Northern Ireland's white on top. It is the union jack, in short, minus Scotland plus Wales, who really should have got a mention in the last one now you come to think about it. The end result, however, looks like we've annexed Italy, which would be fun, although Italians would never tolerate something so hideous.

No 3 in our poll … a bit ravey?

Then there's No 5. To look at this one's kaleidoscopic five-colour design is to feel suddenly and bewilderingly attacked, which historically of course was many foreigners' first experience of Britain. Modern Britons seemed to like it, however, because it announces us as a country full of staggering, unslept ravers. "Is it just me or does it start to revolve if you stare at it for a while?" SpongMonkey says. "It's like an aerial shot of a maypole, " says NormaStitz. Later, they and several other commenters presumably staggered downstairs to raid the fridge.

It's Interesting

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