Saturday, 20 September 2014

Federal Britain

With a clear 'No' vote on Scottish independence the question on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom has been answered, for now at least. There are many good things about this, not least of which is I won't have to buy a new Union Flag ;)  Unless Wales gets representation:

However the the question on how the UK should be governed is still being asked, and big constitutional change is coming our way. 
The question of England being included in a nation wide devolution is interesting and raises, many question, like will their be a separate English parliament and first minister, or will the UK be federalised and what would this mean for England?
Although no expert and far be from me to tell the English how they should be governed, but I think the best way for a federal UK with a similar administrative system to the USA, Germany and Brazil to name a few. In this England would be to divide into three 'federal provinces' and a Greater London Area; these along with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would be the federal administrative regions:
What will flags will the "English Federal Assemblies" uses? I think a standard design featuring St George's Cross is most likely. As England would no doubt retain its National identity. At first I thought about defacing the Cross of St George with an individual emblem for each 'province.'
Southern England

Central England

Northern England
The Southern England emblem is taken from a possible coat of arms of Richard I, although the number of lions is disputed.  I also put it on a blue background, as I wanted it based on the arms but not an exact copy. The central England emblem is based on the medieval royal crest. The Northern England flag is based on another North England flag, with a tudor rose as Lancashire also falls into this 'province.' The colours represent the ancient Kingdom of Northumbria which dominated the north before England was united by the saxons under Alfred the Grate. 
The emblems are generic English symbols as it was pretty impossible to use county symbols that could truly represent the region. For example one could use the Northumberland flag, for Northern England, to symbolise Northumbria. But this flag is used as the county flag of Northumberland so therefore not truly represent everyone. 
I also decided it would be better if St George's Cross remained intact, moving the emblems instead to the canton. However the above flags could be the personal flag of the First Ministers.

Southern England

Central England

Northern England
I based these flags on those of Sark and Herm . My flag design for the Grater London Administrative Area is the London flag I did a while back:
Alternatively the central portcullis could be placed in the canton of a St George flag bringing the region in line with the other English regions:
I expect Scotland and Wales would continue to use their current flags, but as Northern Ireland has no official flag perhaps it could use a St Patrick's Cross with a red hand:

Last what about the coats of arms used by the regional assemblies (or parliament in Scotland's case)? None of the devolved administrative regions currently use a coat of arms (although Wales has a Royal Badge). I think this should be corrected:


Northern Ireland

Greater London

Southern England

Central England

Northern England
The arms of the English Federal Provinces are relatively uniformed, each with lion supporters and St George's flag. The Scottish Parliament can use the pre union of the crowns coat of arms. The Welsh arms are designed by Paul James from the flag forum. The Northern Ireland arms are an old design of mine as is Greater London.
However if England is not divided but gets an English Parliament it could use a version of the English Royal Arms:
However this is about a Federal UK, so in conclusion a Federal Britain could look like this:


  1. I think England needs to be divided into more than four regions. There is no particular commonality between, say, southwest and southeast England, or the Welsh marches and East Anglia (other than their Englishness, of course). The nine "government regions" would be a better starting point.

    The problem is that there's little to no appetite for regional devolution in England!

    On the English coat of arms, I wonder whether one of the supporters shouldn't be something other than a lion. Before the Tudors introduced the Welsh dragon, a greyhound or white hart (stag) were common.

    1. I divided England into four regions as I think it would spread the population more evenly and be fairer, although as I said I am no expert, and am interested more on the vexiology rather than politics.
      You are right about the English coat of arms, in fact they have had many supporters including angles, eagles, wild boars, antelope and even white lions, they were often symbols of either the Royal House or the individual monarch, I think two lions are the simplest but thats just my view, if it ever happens the college of arms might chose a more English animal

  2. Hi Samuel
    Some interesting ideas and nice designs for the flags! I had a similar but different map in mind. I tried to divide up England as best I could on regional identities and balance of population. Each province has a population of around 9 - 12 million but hopefully retain a sense of historical identity: I'd like to know what you think!

    1. Yes not bad, I think there is an overwhelming sence of English identity rather than regional identity, I also think the extra layer of polictions also might play a role in how many federal regions there would be, and then there's Cornwall. three provinces and London is perhaps the most practical way. However I really only use this scenario to create flags so you might be interested in this follow up post I did

  3. Your NI arms need a correction to the Irish language element. The word order in Irish is VERB-SUBJECT-OBJECT
    Cultur mak Forrit [?=Culture makes (for) progress/advancement]
    Déanann Cultúr Dul Chun Cinn [Culture Makes Progress/Advancement literally 'go ahead-wards']
    or perhaps
    Déanann Cultúr Forbairt [Culture makes Development/Expansion]

    1. Thank you, I am not a native Gaelic speaker (as you can probably tell) and must admit to usinging an English-Irish dictionary.

  4. You have a real great blog site. I have a suggestion for provincial capitals based on the regions you suggest which are their largest cities. They are Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester for South, Midlands and North respectively with Greater London becoming a federal capital district like Australia's ACT or the USA's District of Columbia. The Federal parliament could consist of a House of Commons and a Senate while provincial parliaments could consist of a House of Assembly and a Legislative Council. The Queen could be represented at provincial level by a governor while provincial heads of govt could be Premiers.

    What do you reckon?

    Chris Clark

    1. You have put a lot more thought into it than I have, I really only like this way because it gives me an excuse to design flags. But interesting ideas I might include a post for the flags on some of your suggestions.

  5. Lancashire superseding Yorkshire? How silly :P
    I am a Yorkshireman, and we already have the best flag in the world :P

    Yorkshire take up majority of Northern England, and has a similar population size to Scotland XD
    (Also, as a point of interest, the Tudor Rose is based on the union of the house of York and Lancaster under Henry VII)

    I will admit, it is a great idea. I am a British federalist, but you should not do it based on population.

    And there was actually a consideration for a federal Britain in the 1960s cited in the Redcliffe-Maud Report (

    Following Christopher Clark's points:-

    A Federal Great Britain and Northern Ireland would be based on the already established regions, I will also include my idea of what the capitals would be:

    South East - Guildford
    London - (Already has an Assembly)
    North West - Manchester
    East England - Flempton
    West Midlands - Wolverhampton
    South West* - Bristol
    Yorkshire and the Humber - Leeds
    East Midlands - Leicester
    North East - Newcastle

    *People in Cornwall may want their county to be a separate area, if this is the case, Truro would be the capital.

    All of these cities are actual regional administrative cities of their respective areas.

    The leaders of each executive would not be called Premier, and there would be no need for a Governor as Chris suggested. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have First Ministers and London has a Mayor.
    If it was me, I would call each regional leader, Regional Executive Minister (or mayor).

    Now, for Parliament. Where current MPs in the House Of Commons have their own constituencies, I would keep these but move them to the Regional Legislatures.
    MPs in the Commons would then be elected based on the population of each County. This would lower MPs in the Commons and become more diverse.
    (I also include the Northern Irish, Welsh and Scottish legislatures in this, removing their MPs as they are already represented at a constituent country level their constituents are not needed in the UK parliament. Counties would be represented instead).
    The House of Lords would be reformed, but it would not be elected, but the hereditary peers and clergy would be removed. IT would be an Advisory Chamber, members appointed, much liked Life Peers are, for a 10 year term to give experienced advice on policy and scrutinise each legislature. Basically all what the HoL does now but much more like the Irish Senate.

    (Also, I would also include the Isle of Mann, the Channel Isles and other British overseas territories into a Federal parliament)

    But there is no need for Governors or Premiers, just applying what the UK has now but at a regional level.

    And that is how you federate the UK. Well, also establishing a fully codified constitution setting out the powers of each member of Government (Executive, legislature and judiciary from local, county, regional, constituent-country (Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, perhaps also establishing a Council of England for only English issues, but not an actual level of government) and the Monarchy).

    So, that's how you federalise the UK :P

    1. You clearly put more thought into it than I have although not sure you should remove the representatives from Scotland, Wales or Ulster from the national parliament. But this blog is more about flags than real politics Interestingly I did another post about a federal UK based on the historic anglo saxon of England you might be interested in

    2. Well, it has taken me two year to reply XD

      Eh, there is a probable with using the historic Anglo-Saxon kingdoms as the basis for federalising the UK. The current Regions of England are already well defined, you don't want to go back to something archaic, but rather using something that's already established or avaliable.

      As the point about removing Scottish Welsh, and NI MPs, I did mention that I would remove them as they have their own representatives in their respective Parliaments and Assembly, as does London.
      I mentioned that S, W, NI, would have Federal MPs based on their counties.

      Again, the Radcliffe-Maud report I linked had this proposed in 1912.