The new Union flag?

The winning suggestion for a new Union flag design

When, in late November, Welsh MP Ian Lucas suggested that the Union flag should be redesigned to include Wales, the Daily Telegraph invited its website users to send in their own ideas for what such a flag could look like, then held a poll to choose the favourite. The results were announced today, and the winning design is pictured above.

But what does this have to do with sci-fi, you're asking? See, here's the thing: the flaming skull emblem in the centre, which for some reason the Daily Telegraph has identified as a dragon in sunglasses, is actually a logo from a recent anime series, Gurren-Lagann. The designer, an anonymous Norwegian, has said that "It represents shouting 'UNION!' and joining together; kicking reason to the curb and doing the impossible; fighting the power, and piercing the heavens," adding that the impression the flag might give to non-Brits is "That the UK is awesome." The design took a massive 55% of the votes cast, with the second and third place choices only pulling in 7% and 6% respectively. It wasn't the only design with a Japanese twist, either - popular Japanese imageboard Futaba Channel promoted the Telegraph's campaign, resulting in several entries from Japanese readers.

Gurren-Lagann, which is set in a distant future where humans have been forced into underground societies by Beastmen in giant robots, aired between April and September in Japan and quickly became a fan favourite. Its first DVD instalment is due for a US release in February, with ADV UK planning a British DVD release in late 2008.

Check out the Telegraph's news story to see more of the suggested designs sent in.