The section of the map below is from a nautical chart by the Portuguese cartographer Pedro Reinel (c.1462 – c.1542). On it, Scotland is shown with a red St. Andrew's Cross on a white background.

Pedro Reinel

Upon checking various sites (including Wiki, National flag of Scotland and Two Flags of Scotland I found no reference to this ever having been used.

Further googling led me to the Cross of Burgundy, shown below,

Cross of Burgundy

and this reference to Scottish soldiers:

Pedro de Ayala, writing in the 1490s, claims it was first adopted by a previous Duke of Burgundy to honour his Scottish soldiers....However, earlier chronicle accounts and archaeological finds of heraldic badges from Paris indicate... its origins are more likely to relate to the fact that St. Andrew was the patron saint of the dukes of Burgundy.

I have found references to a white cross on various backgrounds (red, sky blue, sage green) but nothing (other than Reinel's map and the apparently mistaken reference to Scottish soldiers above) relating to a red cross on a white background.

I'm wondering if this red on white representation is based on any evidence of actual use in Scotland, or if it is an error made by Pedro Reinel. Did he perhaps get it mixed up with the flag of St. George?

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    Perhaps it was a misunderstanding based on the 1502 Treaty of Perpetual Peace between James IV of Scotland & Henry VII of England? – sempaiscuba Nov 30 '17 at 10:07
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    You might as well ask about the flags shown on mainland Europe. One looks like the King of France's banner simplified to a single fleu-di-lis, the striped flag or shield could refer to Burgundy, but what are the other ones supposed to be? – MAGolding Dec 3 '17 at 0:28
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    @MAGolding. A useful comment. The one which is half off the bottom of the map may be Gascony, and the one just above it is probably Brittany. Both, though, seem to be variants on more common versions - a point of relevance to the main question, I think. – Lars Bosteen Dec 3 '17 at 5:51
  • Perhaps worth also comparing with depictions of national emblems on this (roughly contemporary) 1563 map by Lázaro Luis? – sempaiscuba Mar 23 at 12:34
  • Lars Bosteen, could you provide the references to a white (St Andrew) cross with various background, that you told before? I'm especially interested in finding references about a white St Andrew cross with a red background. – Gascony Sep 27 at 15:13

This article lists a white cross on red field as one of the oldest flags of Europe. The original version was the Danish flag, but there was a Scottish version with a "Saltire" or "X"-shaped cross. I could not find any use of a red cross on a white field.

Such a flag was used at the Battle of Flodden against England in 1513 by the soldiers of King James IV. Its merit was that wearing such flags (instead of the traditional white on blue) made Scottish soldiers easier to identify in battle. But the same king had begun hostilities against England (on and off) as early as 1496, so it is quite plausible that Pedro Reinel was referring to this flag in 1504.

The Scottish flag on Beimel's map is distinguished from the English by the use of the saltire shape, and its red shape appears to be "shorthand," because all the crosses on the map are rendered in red.The white in the background appears to be a map color, as opposed to a flag color.

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