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
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.
The 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.
The 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.
THE SQUARES – WEEK 37
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.
Square Count: 259
Bonus Squares: 1