The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the UK) oc-cupies most of the territory of the British Isles. It consists of four main parts which are: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are: London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
The UK is an island state: it consists of some 5500 islands, large and small. The two main islands are Great Britain (in which are England, Wales and Scotland) and Ireland (in which are Northern Ireland and independent Irish Republic). They are separated by the Irish Sea.
The UK is one of the World's smaller countries (it is twice smaller than France or Spain). Its area is about 244,100 square kilometers.
The UK is situated off the west coast of Europe between the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea and it is separated from the European continent by the English Channel (or LaManche).
The flag of the United Kingdom is the Union Jack. It is made up of three crosses. The upright red cross is the cross of St. George, the patron saint of England. The white diagonal cross is the cross of St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. The red diagonal cross is the cross of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.