union jack

union jack

noun
1.
a jack consisting of the union of a national flag or ensign, as the U.S. jack, which has the white stars and blue field of the union of the U.S. national flag.
2.
(often initial capital letter) the British national flag.
3.
any flag the overall design of which is a union.

Origin:
1665–75

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
Union Jack
 
n
1.  a common name for Union flag
2.  (often not capitals) a national flag flown at the jackstaff of a vessel

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Union Jack
1674, from union + jack (n.); properly a small British union flag flown as the jack of a ship, but it has long been in use as a general name for the union flag. The Union flag (1634) was introduced to symbolize the union of the crowns of England
and Scotland (in 1603) and was formed of a combination of the cross saltire of St. Andrew and the cross of St. George. The cross saltire of St. Patrick was added 1801 upon the union of parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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