Many companies today recognize the economic advantages of using popular images of unity and culture.? One such example would be the Union Jack Flag.? Originally made in the early 17th century to symbolize the unification of Scotland, England and Wales by James I, the combined banner is officially referred to as the "Union Flag" when seen in England, despite the fact that most people outside the UK refer to it as the ?Union Jack." In 1801 the Union Flag incorporated the Cross of St Patrick into the former layout in acknowledgement of the Act of Union with Ireland.? Since the flag isn't copyrighted, anybody can print or embroider their personal Union Jack image onto to any garment without being required to pay any royalties.? For instance, Virgin Atlantic recently added the British Flag motif to their planes.? Small businesses, too, are jumping on the bandwagon by having products imprinted with the Union Jack flag.? Plus, with the current coverage of royal events, from the Queen?s Jubilee to the Olympic Games, many people around the world have become once again interested in British Culture. The flag is now used on numerous products.? From mugs to t-shirts, the Union Flag has found its way even into American culture ? a good test to see if this is true is to make note of how many times you see the flag in any given week.? The British emblem of unity can be seen on clothing and television shows, and it does seem to be one of the cool decorative accents that you see in many furniture stores.? However, this has not always been the case.? The flag itself has had a checkered history and has not always been so popular. In previous generations it has been seen by many as a throwback image of the golden age of the British Empire.? It was also adopted by the conservatives in Britain, which lead to the false perception of xenophobia or blind national pride. But these days British culture is very much back in vogue, especially in light of the royal wedding.? It seems that after the tragic death of Princess Diana, there was a sense that we had lost something special, resulting in renewed appreciation for the charm and magic of a royal family.? To have true royalty today is rarer then ever before, and even though very few nations desire a monarchy, there does definitely seem to be a desire on the part of many to have the sense of royalty in their cultures.? The Union flag is that universally recognized symbol that will immediately capture a world of tradition and history in just one image.? It stands to reason, then, that such images would have resurgence in western culture.? As happy as we are with democracy and independence, there is still something in us that likes how a royal family can gives us a sense of another world.? A flag like the Union flag is one of those powerful reminders that we still do desire to have some things rooted in history and tradition despite our postmodern bend towards rapid change.