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Quiz about Xshaped Crosses
Quiz about Xshaped Crosses

X-shaped Crosses Trivia Quiz

X-shaped crosses, called "saltires" in heraldry, are often used in flags, coats of arms and other emblems. Please match the flag to the corresponding country, region or city.

by wellenbrecher. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Quiz #
Jan 06 24
# Qns
Avg Score
7 / 10
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Gascony Scotland Burundi Russian Navy IndyCar disqualification flag Amsterdam Alabama Jamaica Basque Country Empire of China

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Gascony

The origin of the saltire dates back to the Middle Ages, when heraldic devices were used to distinguish knights in battle and tournaments. The word "saltire" itself is derived from the Old French term "sauteour", meaning "jumper" or "crosser", referring to the distinctive diagonal cross shape. Saltires played an important role in heraldry, helping to identify knights on the battlefield through the distinctive patterns and colours of their shields and banners.

Gascony, or "Gascogne" in French, is a historic region in the southwest of France. Its flag is steeped in historical legend. Although its origin during the Third Crusade remains unproven, it features the cross of St Andrew, the patron saint of Bordeaux, and the red colour of England's rule over Gascony from the 12th to the mid-15th century. After falling into disuse following the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453), a modern coat of arms was created in the late 17th century to symbolise the integration of Gascony into the French royal coat of arms. The contemporary revival of the historical flag serves to express the region's identity.
2. Russian Navy

The Russian naval ensign has a historical heritage dating back to the Russian Empire and continues to be the naval ensign of the Russian Federation. It has a white background with two blue diagonal bands forming a saltire, known as the St Andrew's Cross.

The flag's design pays homage to the Order of St Andrew, which was established by Peter the Great in 1698 to recognise military and public service. The flag's significance is linked to Peter I's efforts to create a distinctive naval flag in honour of his father and the first Russian naval ship, the frigate Oryol. Peter I personally proposed and refined several flag designs for the Russian Navy, with the final version bearing the St Andrew's Cross.
3. Scotland

The flag of Scotland, also known as the "Saltire" or "St. Andrew's Cross", features a white diagonal cross on a blue field. The Saltire, rather than the Royal Standard of Scotland, is the correct flag for individuals and corporate bodies to fly. It is also flown daily during daylight hours from Scottish Government buildings.

The use of this flag is first recorded with the illustration of a heraldic flag in Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount's Register of Scottish Arms, circa 1542. It's possible that this design was based on a late 15th-century precedent involving the use of a white saltire on a blue flag attributed to Queen Margaret, the wife of James III (1451-1488).

The flag's significance is linked to Scotland's conversion to Christianity by St. Andrew, who was described as "the first to be an Apostle" in the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath. The depiction of St. Andrew's crucifixion on a decussate cross had been seen on seals in Scotland since 1180, with its use on a seal of the Guardians of Scotland dating from 1286.

The use of the saltire as a field sign in the Middle Ages, without a direct connection to St. Andrew, was common. The link between the field sign and the saint's crucifixion mode may have originated in Scotland in the late 14th century. In 1385, the Scottish Parliament decreed that every Scottish and French soldier fighting against the English under Richard II should bear "a white St. Andrew's Cross."

Today, the Saltire is a powerful symbol of Scottish identity and heritage. It is widely recognised as the national flag of Scotland and is proudly flown on various occasions, including St. Andrew's Day, Scotland's national day. It is one of the constituent flags of the United Kingdom's Union Jack which combines the flags of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, symbolising the union of these nations.
4. Alabama

The flag of Alabama features a crimson red St. Andrew's cross which extends from corner to corner, dividing the flag into four quadrants. The field of the flag is white. It was adopted by Act 383 of the Alabama Legislature on 16 February 1895: "The flag of the State of Alabama shall be a crimson cross of St. Andrew on a field of white. The bars forming the cross shall be not less than six inches broad, and must extend diagonally across the flag from side to side."

The flag has faced controversy due to its resemblance to the Confederate battle flag, which is seen by some as a symbol of the Confederacy and its association with slavery and racial segregation. There have been discussions and movements to modify or replace the flag to address these concerns.
5. Amsterdam

The flag of Amsterdam consists of three horizontal stripes of black, red and black. These colours, as well as the crosses featured on the flag, are said to originate from the coat of arms of the Persijn family, who once owned a considerable amount of land in the city. It's worth noting that these colours and crosses can also be found in the flags of neighbouring areas like Ouder-Amstel and Amstelveen.

Contrary to popular belief, the notion that the three Saint Andrew's crosses were meant to ward off fire, floods and the Black Plague has no historical basis. The use of three St. Andrew's crosses by noble families in the region predates the arrival of the Black Death in Europe. Instead, these crosses have various interpretations, such as representing three fordable places in the river Amstel.

The flag was officially adopted on 5 February 1975, although it had been in unofficial use long before then. Various historical designs using red, black, and white existed, sometimes including the three St. Andrew crosses. Despite the uncertainty about their exact meaning, these crosses are a prominent symbol of Amsterdam, adorning buildings, logos, and even the city's iconic Amsterdammertjes, the typical red-brown steel traffic bollards.
6. Jamaica

The flag of Jamaica, adopted on 6 August 1962, when the country gained independence, is a striking emblem with deep symbolism. It features a golden saltire that divides the flag into four sections, with the top and bottom sections in green and the hoist and fly in black. Notably, it is the only national flag that does not contain the colours red, white or blue.

Prior to independence, Jamaica held a flag design competition which resulted in over 360 entries, which are now archived at the National Library of Jamaica. However, the competition failed to produce a winning design, so a bipartisan committee of the Jamaican House of Representatives created the current flag. The original design had horizontal stripes, but these were changed to a saltire to avoid resemblance to the flag of Tanganyika.

The colours of the flag have evolved in meaning over time. Initially, gold represented the shining sun, black reflected hardship and green symbolised the lushness of the land. In 1996, the interpretation was updated to black for the strength and creativity of the people, gold for the nation's wealth and sunshine and green for the island's lush vegetation and hope.
7. Empire of China

The flag of the Empire of China was designed during the brief period when Yuan Shikai, a powerful military leader, declared himself emperor. The Empire of China in 1915-1916 was a short-lived, transitional period in China's history marked by political upheaval and change. Following the abdication of the last Qing emperor, a republic was established, and Yuan Shikai became the first president of the Republic of China. However, he soon sought to restore the monarchy under his rule.

Yuan's self-proclamation as emperor was met with fierce opposition from various factions, including political leaders, warlords, and revolutionary groups. His reign was short-lived, and under mounting pressure, he abandoned his imperial ambitions and officially abdicated in March 1916. As a result, the flag of the Empire of China has no lasting presence or legacy in China's flag history.
8. IndyCar disqualification flag

The most common disqualification flag in motorsport is the black flag. This flag is used to signal to a driver that he has been disqualified or are penalised for a rule violation or unsportsmanlike behaviour. When a driver receives a black flag with an orange circle, he is required to return to the pits or serve a penalty, depending on the nature of the infraction.

In NASCAR and IndyCar, a black flag with an orange circle is used to send a driver to the pits. The black flag with the white saltire, however, is displayed next to the car number when a driver consistently ignores previous black flags over an extended period of time. It indicates that the car is no longer eligible to earn points or be classified. In NASCAR, the car is only re-entered into the scoring system once it complies with the black flag by making a pit stop after the flag has been displayed. Conversely, in IndyCar, the car remains ineligible for scoring indefinitely, resulting in disqualification.
9. Basque Country

The flag of the Basque Country, known as the "Ikurriņa" or "Lauburu", is a distinctive and culturally significant flag representing the Basque people and their unique heritage. It consists of a green saltire with a white cross superimposed on a red background.

The Ikurriņa was created by Sabino Arana, a prominent Basque nationalist, in the late 19th century. It is regarded a symbol of Basque identity and cultural pride. The flag is often used in conjunction with the Basque language, Euskara, to express the unique cultural and regional heritage of the Basque people. The flag has been used in various political contexts related to Basque nationalism and regional autonomy. It is officially recognised as the flag of the Basque Autonomous Community in Spain and is commonly seen in the Basque Country.
10. Burundi

The Burundian flag features a distinctive design with a white saltire on a red and green background. In the centre of the saltire, there is a white disc with three red stars.

The flag's red colour represents the struggle for independence and the sacrifices made by the Burundian people. The white saltire stands for peace and the red stars on the white disc symbolise the important elements of the country's motto: "Ubumwe, Ibikorwa, Iterambere" (Unity, Work, Progress).

The flag of Burundi was officially adopted on 28 March 1967, when the country gained independence from Belgium.
Source: Author wellenbrecher

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