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union jack

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.
(often initial capital letter) the British national flag.
any flag the overall design of which is a union.
Origin of union jack
1665-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for union jack
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Another pause, and then, not a quarter of a mile in front of me, I beheld the union jack flutter in the air above a wood.

    Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The two dead men were buried, Burke wrapped in the union jack.

    From Pole to Pole Sven Anders Hedin
  • The story of the flag now brings us to the creation of the second two-crossed Jack, being the first real "union jack" .

  • She rolled them in a union jack for camouflage, and bore them off to the stable.

  • Then there's a union jack for the church and the village school.

    Tono Bungay H. G. Wells
  • It warms my blood, too, to think of the respect paid the union jack by all nations.

    The Buccaneer Mrs. S. C. Hall
  • Vernon ordered the union jack of England to be run up, and all appearances of war to be obliterated.

British Dictionary definitions for union jack

Union Jack

a common name for Union flag
(often not capitals) a national flag flown at the jackstaff of a vessel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for union jack

Union Jack

1670s, 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 (1630s) 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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