The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed from the merger of the Kingdom of Great Britain (itself a merger of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England in 1707) and the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801. The merger was facilitated by the decision of the Irish Parliament in College Green, Dublin in August 1800 to vote itself out of existence by passing the Act of Union.
Generations of Irish leaders campaigned to establish home government in Ireland. Daniel O'Connell successfully forced the British Government to grant Catholic Emancipation finally in 1829. However his campaign to 'Repeal' the Act of Union failed. Later leaders such as Charles Stewart Parnell campaigned for a version of Irish self government called Home Rule within membership of the United Kingdom.
|St. Patrick's saltire (also called St. Patrick's Cross)|
|The merger of both flags (shown above) produced the modern Union Flag|
The flag created by the merger of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801 still remains the flag of the current United Kingdom. Known as the Union Flag or the Union Jack, it combines the then flags of England and Scotland with St. Patrick's flag from Ireland. The red cross, St. George's Cross, represents England. The Blue background, on which St. Andrew's Saltire (in the shape of a white 'x') appears, repesents Scotland, while the red 'x' which overlays the white x' on the blue background of Scotland, is known as 'St. Patrick's Cross' and represents Ireland.
Kingdom of Ireland
Kingdom of Great Britain
|Irish States (1171-present)||
Irish Free State
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland