What does PSTN call the United Kingdom

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18th century

Before William the Conquerer conquered the land of the Angles, also known as England, in 1066, the island consisted of many rival principalities and kingdoms. With an iron fist and meticulous administration, he united the country and was crowned king. The English flag with the red St. George cross on a white background dates back to the time of the Crusades. In the 13th century, St. George became the patron saint of England.

The fishing rods, like the Romans before them, were invaders. The ancient British people had moved west. They settled in Brytonlond under the red dragon flag. The English called the foreign people Welsh (non-Germanic) and the land they populated was called Wales. There was seldom peace between England and Wales. Tired of the border disputes, Edward I conquered the country and made Wales part of the Kingdom of England in 1284. His son and heir to the throne was named Prince of Wales, a tradition that continues to this day. The Welsh flag did not go into the Union Jack, but the red dragon is in the royal coat of arms.

Norman settlers settled in Ireland early on, the reason for constant clashes with the Celtic inhabitants. Since the end of the 15th century, bills of the Irish Parliament had to be approved by the English king. Henry VIII even went a step further. In 1541 he declared Ireland a kingdom and himself King of Ireland. Historical Ireland is symbolized by a white flag with the red St. Patrick's cross. St. Patrick is the patron saint of the Catholic Irish. Henry VIII's break with the Catholic Church and the expropriation of the Catholics laid the foundation for the conflict in Northern Ireland, which continues to this day. After a war of independence, the country was divided into the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland, which still belongs to Great Britain, in 1921. The Irish Free State declared itself a republic in 1948 and left the territory of the English King and the Commonwealth. Northern Ireland remained in the UK under British government.

Even the Romans could not defeat the Caledonians, as the Scots were called at that time. To protect the Roman Empire from raids, they built Hadrian's Wall. Even after the Romans withdrew, there were repeated border wars between England and Scotland. But neither side could conquer the other. That changed after Queen Elizabeth I died childless in 1603. Due to his descent from Henry VII, the English crown was offered to the Scottish King James. With the Stuart dynasty he founded, both countries were united under the same king. The Scottish flag bears a white St. Andrew’s cross on a blue background. It is said that the remains of the saint came to Scotland after a shipwreck.

The Catholic Stuarts were not very popular in England. Just 85 years later, the English nobility deposed another James, grandson of the Stuart founder. The English crown was given to the Protestant William III. of Orange and his wife Mary Stuart, daughter of the deposed king. Although the crown remained practically in Stuart hands, a rift was looming between England and Scotland. To avoid division, the Scottish and English Parliaments were united with the Act of Union in 1707. After this formal union, the country was henceforth called the “United Kingdom of Great Britain”, today the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. The flag, the Union Jack, consists of the superimposed flags of Scotland, Ireland and England. If Scotland's aspirations for independence are successful, that could change from 2014 onwards.

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Categories: 18th Century, Discover England

Tagged as: Act of Union, England, Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Union Jack, United Kingdom, United Kingdom, Wales