Read the text, then choose words from it with same meaning (synonym) or the opposite meaning (antonym).
The flag of Britain, commonly known as the Union Jack, embodies the emblems of three countries under one sovereign. The origin of the name is disputed – one theory is that it derives from the use of the flag on the jack-staff (a flag pole attached to the bow of a ship) of naval vessels, another that Jack comes from a shortened form of Jacobus, the Latin for James. It was King James VI who ordered the creation of the first British flag in 1606, made up of the flags of England and Scotland.
The emblems that appear on the Union Flag are the crosses of the three patron saints:
i) The red cross of St. George, for England, on a white background. According to legend, St. George rescued a maiden in distress by slaying a dragon with his sword.
ii) The white diagonal cross, or saltire, of St. Andrew, for Scotland, on a blue background. St. Andrew was supposed to have been crucified on a cross of this shape.
iii) The red diagonal cross of St. Patrick, for Ireland, on a white background. After six years in slavery, Patrick escaped, trained as a missionary and was a vital factor in the spread of Christianity in Ireland.
The final version of the Union Flag, including the cross of St. Patrick, appeared in 1801, following the union of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) with Ireland. The cross remains in the flag although now only Northern Ireland, and not Ireland, is part of the United Kingdom.
Wales is not represented because, when the first version of the flag appeared, Wales was already united with England. The national flag of Wales is a red dragon on a field of white and green. The red dragon is popularly believed to have been the battle standard of King Arthur.
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Based on 100 Questions Answered (Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, May 2000)