Week 37: Countries of the World Unite

Over two years ago I started a series of flag squares. At the time, over 40 countries were contributing to Knit-a-Square. Now that number is up to 50 countries! In true Sagittarian nature, the project eventually became an unfinished object (UFO). I thought now would be an excellent time to pick it up again. I also realized I’ve been relying on YouTube quite a bit lately so I’m making this a series on the blog. Without further ado, here are the first
two countries.

England is the largest country in Great Britain and the United Kingdom, and one of three countries I’ve visited. The name came from the Old English name Englaland, meaning the “land of the Angles,” people from continental Germany who invaded Britain in the late 5th century, along with the Saxons and Jute. This country has an incredibly rich historical tapestry, dating back to more than 700,000 years ago, that includes Stonehenge, Hadrian’s Wall, Roman forts, English law, the parliamentary system, agriculture, the Royal family, and so much more.

So as not to be confused, here is a breakdown of the country groupings:
Britain: England and Wales. The name Britain was made popular by the Romans when they came to the British islands.

Great Britain: England, Scotland and Wales. The term was first used during the reign of King James I of England (James VI of Scotland) in 1603.

United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Formed in 1707 by the Act of Union, creating a single Parliament (although Scotland has its own legal system). The Act of Union of 1801 joined Ireland to Great Britain but only Northern Ireland has been part of the U.K. since 1921.

The British Isles: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and approximately 5,000 small islands, including the Orkney and Shetland Islands, the Isle of Man, Hebrides, The Channel Islands and the Isle of Wight.

England FlagThe flag of England is the St George’s Cross and can be traced back to the Middle Ages, Saint George and the crusades of the 12th and 13th centuries. In 1188, Henry II of England and Philip II of France agreed to go on a crusade; Henry would use a white cross and Philip a red cross. St George’s Cross was used as a component of the Union Flag in 1606, currently the Union Jack (more on that flag in a future post).


The Emerald Isle is the third-largest island in Europe. The Republic of Ireland was known as the Irish Free State until 1937 and has long been a place of political and religious discord. Celts, Romans, Vikings, Normans, the English – this island and its people have been subjugated since well before the age of Christ. The Irish have endured and withstood civil wars, religious persecution and extreme famine. And yet, Ireland is a place of breathtaking beauty with some of the friendliest people in the world. Like its varied history, the geography is a mix of glaciers, islands, lakes, mountains, volcanoes, valleys and waterfalls. I’m fascinated by this country, its people and their lyrical accents. It’s definitely among the top five places I want to visit in my lifetime.

Ireland FlagThe flag of the Republic of Ireland, also known as the Irish tricolour, consists of vertical stripes of green, white and orange. Green represents the Gaelic tradition, orange the followers of William of Orange and white the aspiration for peace between them.

A small group of French women sympathetic to the Irish cause presented the flag as a gift to Thomas Francis Meagher, leader of the Young Irelanders, in 1848. It wasn’t until the Easter Rising of 1916, when it was raised above the General Post Office in Dublin, that the tricolour came to be regarded as the national flag.

Ireland Collage


Square two uses the granny stitch. Square five is a “T” for the Alphabet blanket. Square seven FINALLY uses up my wool stash, with the exception of two small remnants.

Week 37

Candy SquareSquare four uses a double-strand of baby yarn that my neighbour gave me. I think it looks like candy. Yum!

Square Count: 259
Bonus Squares: 1
Blankets: 7
Hats: 7

About Andrea Squared

I've been a crocheter since I was wee and I've been knitting since 2013. My life is filled with love and joy from my two boys, Mason and Evan, my dear husband and our dog.
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6 Responses to Week 37: Countries of the World Unite

  1. Pam Johnson says:

    Oh Andrea,
    you put me to shame, as I am an Englishwoman and Brit, with your concise and accurate explanation of our history and nomenclature. Simple it ‘ain’t! There are very few Brits who could give such and excellent breakdown of our island relationships. I am currently studying British history and know something of the Irish Easter uprising – but did not know so much about the Irish flag. Thanks as ever for an interesting an informative blog.

    • You have nothing to be ashamed of, Pam. I can’t say I remember much about Canada’s history. We always find other countries more interesting! And I had to do a lot of research to explain things succinctly. 🙂

  2. susan gillman says:

    Andrea you have made beautiful stashbusting squares. Thanks for that information about England and Ireland. My ancestry lies there and in Wales!

  3. ecozee says:

    Did I miss Scotland? Well done you for getting all the names sorted! Re the Union Jack – I have a vague recollection that it should only be called the Union Jack when it is on a ship – but I could be wrong. Its a very hard flag to draw/sew/knit etc. as the white stripes are not all the same width. Scotland has referendum vote for independeance at the end of next year and we are all wondering how the Union Flag will look without it’s blue background! Still, we’ll have to wait and see.

    • I haven’t done Scotland yet, not to worry! I was starting with the flags I’ve already finished. Thanks for the Union flag info – I haven’t done the research for that one yet but it’s good to know that it’s not “Jack”.

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