History of the British Flag
In 1603, the year of Queen Elizabeth I's death, England and Scotland existed as completely separate nations, each with their own monarch and parliament. Elizabeth, being a spinster and therefore childless, expressed a deathbed wish that her cousin, King James VI of Scotland, be named as her successor to the English throne. Thus, the Scottish monarch was projected into the unique position of ruling two nations simultaneously. He ruled Scotland as King James VI and England as King James I.