Flags and saints
The Saint George's cross is the English flag. Saint George is the patron saint of England. He was a soldier famous for saving a princess from being eaten by a dragon. George wounded the dragon and took it back to the city of Silene, Libya, on a lead like a dog. Saint George's Day is celebrated on 23 April. Saint George is also the patron saint of Germany, Portugal and Greece.
The Saint Andrew's cross is the Scottish flag. Saint Andrew, a fisherman, was one of the 12 apostles who followed Jesus Christ. Paintings of Saint Andrew often show him being killed on an X-shaped cross. Saint Andrew's Day is celebrated on 30 November. He is the patron saint of both Scotland and Russia.
The Saint Patrick's cross is the former flag of Ireland. Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He was born about AD 390. He converted the Irish to Christianity and is supposed to have got rid of all the snakes in Ireland. Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated on 17 March.
The British flag, known as the Union Jack, is a combination of three flags: the Saint Andrew's cross, the Saint Patrick's cross and the Saint George's cross.
The Welsh flag shows a dragon. Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, started a number of monasteries in the country. Paintings of Saint David normally show him with a dove on his shoulder. His relics are now in Saint David's Cathedral in Wales. Saint David's Day is celebrated on 1 March.
a Which country in the British Isles is not represented on the Union Jack?
b Draw the flag of your country. What does it represent?
c Describe one of the paintings. What is happening?
d Who is the patron saint of your country? Why is she/he famous?
Michael Vaughan-Rees, Geraldine Sweeney, Picot Cassidy: In Britain; Cornelsen Verlag, 2000, page 5