I’d like to ask on the sentence from The Noble Bachelor by Conan Doyle.

.. will not prevent our children from being some day citizens of the same world-wide country under a flag which shall be a quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes.

I’d like to know what kind of flag the speaker (Holmes) is referring to? Can you picture it? I pictured one with quarter-sized Stars and Stripes being on the upper left side of the Union Jack background, as the same way Australian or New Zealand’s flag has the Union Jack design on theirs. With this design, Holmes is implying the UK will be colonized by the US in the near future? Or is it the other way around? Quarter-sized Union Jack being on the Stars and Stripes? Or is this sentence simply refering the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes share their pattern in one flag? No master-servant implication at all? I don’t know. Could someone tell me what kind of flag will be completed by this description please? Thanks.


Quartering is from heraldry and it means in this context I always imagined the stars in the top L quarter and stripes I the bottom R with the union flag in quarters making up the remaining parts top R and bottom L.

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    Aug 22 at 13:00

Quartering is when a flag or lozenge or shield or what most think of as a "coat of arms" is made up of several elements, split into four.

With two sources, as Union Jack and Stars and Stripes, one will be repeated top left and bottom right, the other top right and bottom left… very different from the way Australian or New Zealand flags include the Union Jack, even though their jacks are the right size.

If anything, with that design Holmes was implying the UK and US would share the rest of the world equally.

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