The National Flag of Scotland
(a diagonal white cross form (called a saltire) on a blue field)
After Queen Elizabeth I of England died in 1603, King James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne and became King James I of England. It was a Union of the Crowns, but not yet of the nations. Each country still kept their own parliaments.
Early in his reign James attempted to combine England and Scotland in a united kingdom of 'Great Britain'. This was the policy he presented to his first Parliament, called on 22 March 1604. The union was resisted.
James defied them. On 20 October 1604 he proclaimed a new title for himself as 'King of Great Britain'.
A problem arose, which flag should be hoisted on the king's ships. English sailors resented the Scottish colours and the Scots scorned the cross of St. George .