Tag: England

The Union Jack – Who is Jack?!

“Who is Jack?” This was a question a student asked me when we were talking about flags. The Union Jack is the name of the United Kingdom flag. But who is Jack? I honestly had no idea.  So I set out to find the answer. The Union part of the name Union Jack is easy to understand. The first version of the flag was made up of the English flag and the Scottish flag, when the two countries formed a union in 1606. The current version of the flag also includes the Cross of Saint Patrick. This is not the official flag of Northern Ireland, but is used to represent the country in the Union Jack. Saint Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland. This version of the flag  was introduced in 1801. The Welsh flag is not included in the design because when the flag was first introduced in 1606, Wales was part of England. The Welsh flag (below) was only officially adopted in 1959. Some people have suggested adding in the Welsh flag, but this idea has not really taken off. So then, what about Jack? I looked it up online and it turns out that Jack was not a person.  (Although Jack is a popular boys name these days). The word jack was used in the 1600s to mean small. The flag is traditionally called the Union...

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3 Scary Things the New UK Government is Doing

The Conservative party won the general election last week with an absolute majority. This means that they have more seats in the parliament than all of the other parties, and have a lot of power to do what they want. Here are three things that the Conservatives have promised to do. They are very controversial and make me personally worried for the future of my country. 1) They want to scrap the Human Rights Act. (to scrap= to get rid of, throw away, cancel) The Human Rights Act ensures that people’s rights are protected in law. These rights include...

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Neo-Nazi March in Newcastle, UK

Police have arrested nine people after the city of Newcastle was invaded by a Neo-Nazi protest. The march was organised by the far-right wing group National Action. They sang racist songs and called their march “a white man march”. Anti-fascists tried to equal the National Action protest by trying to drown out the racist songs with their own chants. Police separated the two groups. The police said that most of the people at the event were peaceful, but that nine were arrested because their behaviour was unacceptable. Lawrie Coombs, who spoke for a group called North East Anti-Fascists (Newcastle is in the North East region of England) said it is important to challenge the views of fascists and racists. This is why he marched and chanted against the National Action protest. He said “Anytime fascists, racists or neo-Nazis appear on the streets they need to be confronted. We cannot allow them to spread their poison.” Vocabulary: to arrest (v), a march (n), far-right wing (adj), to drown out a noise (phrasal verb: cover a noise wit another noise), chant (n+v), to confront (v), spread (v), poison (n). Check the definition of these words here Story and Photos: Chronicle Live Discussion questions:  1) what do you know about Fascism? 2) Is fascism present in your country? 3) Is racism present in your country? 4) What is the best way to confront...

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Earthquake in England

Vocabulary: earthquake (n), magnitude (n), epicentre (n), to wonder (v), according to (prep.). An earthquake with a magnitude of 2.9 was felt in the south of England last night at about 6:30pm. The epicentre was just north of the city of Winchester. No one was injured and there was no serious damage done. It only lasted a couple of seconds but confused neighbours came out of their houses wondering what had happened. Some thought that a huge airplane had passed over the city, others thought that there had been an explosion. It is not uncommon for the UK to get small earthquakes. According to the British Geological Survey, the UK has about 10 small earthquakes a year. The biggest earthquake that the UK has experienced was in 1931. It had a magnitude of 6.1. Most of the country felt this earthquake, as well as some parts of France, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and...

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