Union - The Usher Gallery, Lincoln, 2010
Commissioned by the Lincoln Art Programme, 'Union' highlighted the alternate history of the Union flag.
Seen the world over as an emblem of unity between nations, its actual history is signicantly more fraught with quarrles and changes. I produced four different versions of the flag, each of which have either been adopted or proposed, to illustrate this alternate history.
The first version of the flag, in 1603, had the St George's Cross over the top of the St Andrews Cross. This did not sit well with the Scots of the day and an unofficial, reversed, version was flown.
In the mid 1600s came the Protectorate Jack, which also incorporated the Irish Harp in to the flag. This survived only a couple of years.
Leaping forwards, to 2003, came the 'reFLAG' campaign - the idea that the colour black should be incorporated in to the flag to represent the diversity of nationalities now living in Britain.
Most recently, in 2007, Welsh MP Ian Lucas raised the issue of the lack of visual representation for Wales in the flag and proposed two new designs.
My interest in highlighting this history was as a life-long resident of the United Kingdom, a Kingdom I would argue has never ben truly united and is currently less united than it has been for hundreds of years. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have devolved governments and Scotland's call for total independence are being taken more seriously than ever.
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