British Red Ensign

1707 A.D.

Red field, with the Union Jack in the canton (see C5). (C8)

The Union Jack (C5) and the Red Ensign were the most familiar flags during the colonial period.

In 1707, when the parliaments of Scotland and England were united and the designation Great Britain became the official name for the union of Scotland, England and Wales, a new flag was adopted by the navy. It combined the Union Jack in the canton on a red field. This was called the British Red Ensign or the Cromwell Flag. Queen Anne adopted a new flag for England and her colonies.

This is the flag flown by the British during the French and Indian War of 1754-1759. Until that time, France occupied what is now Canada. The war brought an end to French involvement in North America in 1763. The British Red Ensign flew over the thirteen colonies until it was lowered for the last time in Yorktown in 1781 when General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington to end the Revolutionary War.