Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Stuarts and the Union Jack.

Last night I watched part one of a new three part series entitled The Stuarts. In part one, Cambridge University's Dr Clare Jackson argues that the Stuarts are "more than any other, Britain's defining royal family."

Dr Jackson, standing in the Great Hall of Stirling Castle, spoke of James I's family tree, staring in wonderment at its ceiling bosses which colourfully depicts the blood line of the Stuart dynasty which date back to 1371, pointing out that Henry VIII's images is sidelined beginning and ending in three generations. 

The main focus of Dr Jackson's presentation however, was the union of Scotland and England and how later, James I paved the way for the Act of Union between the two nations.

Recently discovered by Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, is a letter which revealed the kings enthusiasm for a union where it states 

"Whereby, the memory of all former mutual injuries being abolished, and the wealth of this country conjoined to the valour of that, we may be enabled the better to maintain our estate against all foreign power whatsoever, and transmit the Imperial Crown of Britain composed of the happy connection of two so mighty nations abundant in wealth and flourishing in peace to our posterity.” 

Aired ahead of a referendum on Scotland's independence this episode did make me think again on this subject.

Dr Jackson spoke of Kings James I commissioning different designs for a new union flag, it was at this point I thought that if independence goes ahead what will then happen to our most famous icon, the one that proudly flies over every castle, the one we all wave enthusiastically on grand occasions, the Union Jack. Surely it will have to go, for no longer will we be a United Kingdom, and what a sad day for all that will be!

My opinion on the matter? Well, it is as King James I of England and VI of Scotland said himself all those years ago, our two nations will be "better together"

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