In a 1906 letter written by the Bailiff of Jersey, the flag is described as "St. Andrew’s Cross on white ground". This was supposed to show the neutrality of the Channel Islands during the wars between England and France. Some sources say that the flag is as a result of a mistake in a 1783 flag book by Carington Bowles. However, this can’t be true since Jersey was using the red saltire before the said year. Therefore, the origin and meaning of the flag is still unknown. It however is easy to observe that it borrows heavily from the flag of England. Without the yellow crown on top of the badge, what is left is actually the coat of arms of England.

Many people in Jersey felt that there was too much confusion between their flag and the cross of St. Patricks. Therefore, the decision was made that a new flag was needed. The call for a new flag began in 1977 when Queen Elizabeth was celebrating her silver jubilee. At the time, others wanted to keep the traditional red saltire so the current flag is an amalgamation of the differing opinions. The saltire was maintained with the addition of the three leopards.

Jersey’s flag can’t be attributed to any specific origin or inspiration for its design. It is a red saltire on a white background, with a red coat of arms with a yellow Plantagenet crown on top. The coat of arms with the crown are both located on the upper quadrant of the flag. While there has not been a clear explanation of the meanings of every aspect of the flag, some sources claim that the initial meaning of the saltire on a white background was meant to indicate Jersey’s neutral ground during England-France wars. The flag was adopted in 1979, two years after the calls for a new flag had gained momentum during Queen Elizabeth’s silver jubilee celebrations. A year later, in 1980, the flag was made official before it was was officially hoisted on April 7th, 1981.

The current flag is the first to have been officially adopted and since its adoption there has been no single change.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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