Saint Andrews cross flag

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Saint Andrews cross

This is the flag of Scotland and is often seen flying in areas where there was heavy Scottish immigration in Northern Ireland.


The X shape of the cross, also called a saltire, is based on a belief that Andrew the disciple of Jesus (Saint Andrew) was crucified on such a cross. The symbol was used by numerous Byzantine emperors.

Who was St.Andrew?

St Andrew, brother of St Peter, was a missionary in the area around the Black Sea. He was crucified in Patra, Greece, on an X shaped cross. Legend has it, that some of his relics were taken to Scotland and buried there.


St Andrew has been the patron of Scotland since the 11th century. The White Saltire of St Andrew has been used as a Scottish national symbol since the 12th century. It was only in the 15th century that the blue field was introduced.

As the flag of Scotland it is the oldest national flag still in use the earliest attestation being in AD 832.

Now that you know all about this flag, why don’t you read about the other unofficial flags of Northern Ireland?

Unofficial Flags flown in Northern Ireland:

Saint Patrick’s Saltire

Flag of Ireland

Independent Ulster Flag

Province of Ulster

Four Provinces of Ireland

Orange Order Flags

Are you sure you know which is the Official flag of Northern Ireland?

Read about:

The Union Jack Flag

The Royal Standard Flag

The Ulster Flag (or Ulster 6 Counties flag or Red Hand Ulster Flag)

Return from Saint Andrews Cross to Northern Ireland Tourism Homepage 2008-2014.
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About the author

Originally from Scotland, Colin now resides near the beautiful seaside town of Portstewart on the Causeway Coastal Route. By day he works in IT and by day off he spends much of his time travelling around the Island with his young family, writing about his experiences for many sites both locally and nationally.