8/24/10 World Cup Afterthought
Why are there so many national teams from the UK in FIFA? There's an England team and a Scotland team. And I think a Wales team and a Northern Ireland team, too. On the other hand, there's no Bavaria team, Prussia team, and a Sturm and Taxis team, there's only a Germany team. One team for the whole country. What's so special about the UK it has more than one?
After all, doesn't UK mean United Kingdom? If they're so united why the separate teams? No other country splits its soccer effort up that way. Why do they do it? How did this happen? What does the rest of the world think about the UK having multiple teams when everyone else only gets one each?
It's not like the UK was only recently united. Not that long ago Germany had two teams, East and West, but since reunification now have one. Korea has two, but then there are two Koreas. What gives? Is the UK a single country or an empire of several countries? They only have one queen, right? Heck, the Prince of Wales will become the King of England some day.
Makes you wonder. Well, even if it doesn't make you wonder, it makes me wonder.
On a related but non-sports note, this division within the UK explains the Union Jack. It's actually three flags in one. First is Saint George's cross, which is England. Next is Saint Andrew's cross, for Scotland. Finally there's Saint Patrick's cross, representing Ireland, or Northern Ireland since the rest of Ireland became independent.
You might wonder, what happened to Wales, where's the Welsh flag in the Union Jack. That flag, a red dragon on a white over green field, is not incorporated because Wales was considered part of England when the first Union Jack was devised in 1606 which combined only the flags of England and Scotland. Ireland, and the red X, was added in 1801.
Now then, if you're Scottish you might not care for that dominating Saint George's cross. In which case you might prefer the flag have Saint Andrew's cross over it, as below left. That wouldn't sit well with someone from Northern Ireland who might like to see it as at the center left. If Wales finally were included, perhaps they could add a Welsh dragon as at the center right. Though maybe the dragon is a bit much, an alternative might be to add the green field from the bottom of the Welsh flag as at the far right.
Since the UK is so fond of combining flags, why not combine the soccer teams while they're at it? Just a thought.