Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns was forced to brush up on her flag knowledge this week after a failed attempt to drum up some patriotism on Twitter.
She made a post with two hashtags, one celebrating election day and calling on people to vote for the Conservative Party, and the other honouring the Union Jack.
The MP, however, failed to notice that the flag she posted didn't include the St. Patrick’s cross, and hasn’t been in use for more than 200 years. She therefore excluded Northern Ireland.
In its current design, the Union Jack – or Union Flag – has been used since 1801, when the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was created. It includes the red Saint George's Cross representing England, the white X-shaped cross – or saltire – of St. Andrew on a blue background representing Scotland, and the red saltire of St. Patrick representing Ireland. The flag is not symmetrical because the only way to splice all of the banners together was to cut the crosses in half lengthwise.
Jenkyns, however, didn't seem too concerned by any of this when she made her patriotic post, leaving the King's Colours from the 18th century blowing in a digital breeze on her page for an hour until finally replacing it with a GIF of the right flag.
The MP naturally faced criticism online for the gaff.
— Otto English (@Otto_English) May 6, 2021
Jenkyns told the Mirror that the post was “an honest mistake”: “been up since the crack of dawn for elections, quickly tweeted, and later saw my mistake so deleted.”
Millions of people in the UK will vote on Thursday for 143 councils, 39 police commissioners, 13 mayors, two regional parliaments (Scotland and Wales), the London Assembly, and the new representative to the UK Parliament from the English constituency of Hartlepool.