It is probably true to say that there is no Welshman or Welsh woman who would not recognise the National flag of Wales, the Welsh Dragon or Y Draig Goch. The flag of Wales images are known the world over and have consistently been judged as one of the most iconic and striking flags. Many national flags are merely an arrangement of colours - the Wales National flag image is one of a confident, fiery Welsh dragon – Y Ddraig Goch or the Welsh dragon flag!
The Welsh dragon flags show the Dragon as a red dragon passant (a passant being an animal shown as walking with the right front foot and its tail raised) on a green and white background. Its not only iconic but many believe that it is one of the oldest flags in the world that is still in use.
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The dragon has been associated with Wales for many centuries, but its origins and why it is on the flag are unclear. The oldest recorded use of the dragon to signify Wales, goes way back to the Historia Brittonum, written by the historian Nennius around 820.
Amongst the earliest mentions of the word "draig" in the Welsh language date back to the sixth century. It is thought, however, that the word "draig" meant a "leader" and in particular a "strong leader" at that time rather than the current day meaning of "dragon". The word "draig" would be used by poets. They used "draig" for someone who would free the Welsh people from English oppression, and so the word seems to suggest fierce warrior or a symbol of the strength of the Welsh people.
Even before that, in the fifth century, the Welsh Kings of Aberffraw are said to have used the dragon to symbolise their might after the Romans withdrew from Britain.
In the 12th century, Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote in Historia Regum Britanniae that the dragon has connections to the legends of Arthur (who was Welsh). The name of Uther Pendragon, who was Arthur’s father, means Dragon Head. Geoffrey also mentions the prophecy of Myrddin (or Merlin) which predicts an enduring struggle between a red dragon and a white dragon, i.e., the fight between the Welsh and the English.
After the Prince of Wales, Owain Glyndwr, used the dragon in the year 1400 as a symbol of revolt against the English, the dragon was brought to England by the House of Tudor, direct descendants of the Welsh Royal Family who held the English throne from 1485 to 1603.
The flag incorporates the red dragon of Cadwaladr, King of Gwynedd, along with the Tudor colours of green and white. It was used by Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, after which it was carried in state to St Paul's Cathedral.
Although Wales is part of the United Kingdom, to many it is strange that no part of the Welsh flag is represented in the Union Jack flag at all! An Act of parliament back in 1535 is the law which joined Wales to England, and at that time the St George’s Cross of England (the red cross on a white background) was adopted for the 'Kingdom of England' which, following the 1535 Act then included Wales. The first Union Flag was created in 1606, and it included parts of Scotland’s (the Saltire or Saint Andrew's Cross, a white X-cross on a blue background), and England's flags. In 1801 the current Union Flag (commonly called the Union Jack) was created, incorporating a further element to represent Ireland (the Saltire of St Patrick: a red X-cross on a white background). So, for historical and legal reasons going back to 1535, Wales has no separate representation in the Union Flag.
For all Welsh men and women, this is disappointing and even more so as to almost anybody, the Welsh flag is far superior to the Union Jack! Amazingly, it was not until 1959 that the Queen Elizabeth declared that ‘only the Red Dragon on a green and white flag should be flown on government buildings in Wales’. Here is a list of many other Welsh Flags, many of which are still flown in public today.
Here are some of the older or even old Welsh flags...
|Welsh Flag - Current from 1953||Welsh Flag - From 1807 to 1953|
|St David's Current||St David's with Red Dragon|
|Owain Glyndwr||Powys Mathrafal||Deheubarth|
|Llywelyn ap Gruffudd||Powys Fadog||Gwynedd|
Today it is common to see the flag of Owain Glyndwr flying all across Wales. The nationalist movement in Wales has always held Owain Glyndwr in high regard, but he is now a figure of mass culture in Wales, with statues and monuments alongside pub and street names commemorating him. Owain Glyndwr's Day, 16th September, commemorates the last native Welsh person to hold the title Prince of Wales.
The flag of Y Wladfa, the Welsh settlement in Patagonia, Argentina, since the late 19th century is the Argentinian flag with a Welsh Dragon in the white area in the middle.
Our company, FelinFach Natural Textiles is located in the heart of the Preseli area of Pembrokeshire near to Boncath. We design Welsh blankets and the iconic Welsh Tapestry blankets which are traditionally woven at Welsh mills. We also design and make natural hand dyed yarn, cotton, silk and wool scarves and other handmade products. We also offer Sheepskin Rugs, Gift Cards and tools and books for crafters and knitters - Cocoknits, Laine, Amirisu and Making to name a few!. We are a proud supporter of the Campaign for Wool and Global Welsh.
Last update 21st November 2020
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Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Christmas and New Year celebrations in Wales, including, Plygain (Christmas Carols between 3am and 6am), Noson Gyflaith (Toffee making evening), Mari Lwyd (A Grey Mare), Wassail (Hot mulled cider), Calennig (Trick or Treat, Welsh style) and New Year’s celebrations in Cwm Gwaun on 13th January each year!
Born on 27th October 1914 Dylan was a Welsh poet and writer whose works include the poems, Do not go gentle into that good night, And death shall have no dominion, and Under Milk Wood. Thomas left school to be a junior newspaper reporter and in 1932 he concentrated on his poetry full-time. He became popular in his lifetime and remained so after his death at 39 in New York City.