What the Union Jack would have looked like if Scotland seceded

Scotland recently participated in a historic referendum vote debating whether or not to secede from the United Kingdom, an issue that quickly became a highly debated political issue. As of this Friday, NPR reports that the country has voted no. However, even so the decision has prompted speculation surrounding what would have occurred if Scotland became an independent nation.

One of the many questions buzzing through commentator heads before the vote was: If Scotland leaves, what will happen to the Union Jack? This flag has been the symbol of the combined nations of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Island since the UK was formed. Bloomberg recently featured a gallery of alternatives to the famous design that take the Scottish elements out of the equation.

As many know, the Union Jack combines the individual elements that represent Ireland, Scotland and England. The Scottish part is depicted through the blue background and white cross, which is the standalone flag for the country (and a key image in its independence campaign).

Several graphic designers created possible versions for a reduced UK Union Jack. These range from the satirical and facetious—such as one that shows the blue and white "ripped out" of the flag"—to variants that represent Wales or England specifically.

With the blue and white cross removed entirely, the remaining image from Bruce Mau Design, shows a much more vivid red cross on top of another. Mike Preston, of the firm Siegel and Gale, took this basic image and merged the two colors to make a less jarring version.

It looks like the standard Union Jack will be able to stay intact. However, this thought exercise shows how entities should consider changing their logos and designs over time. A business should use custom screen printing to create appropriate visuals that are up-to-date and account for dramatic changes.