National flag of the United Kingdom. The earl of Nottingham's designs after the accession of James I and VI yielded to the 1606 superimposition of the red cross of St George (England), bordered by its own white field, upon the saltire of St Andrew (Scotland) on a blue field. An Irish harp at the centre was added by Cromwell but withdrawn after the Restoration. On the union of Great Britain and Ireland (1801), the diagonal red cross of St Patrick was combined while still maintaining the individuality of each emblem. Its dramatic design has influenced many other national flags.