Monday, 28 March 2011

The flags of Wales

The current welsh flag that we use and wear with pride was first used by Henry VII, the Welsh King of England and founder of the Tudor dynasty.

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 Field in 1485 after which it was carried in state to St Paul's Cathedral. The red dragon was then included in the Tudor royal arms to signify their Welsh descent. It was officially recognized as the Welsh national flag in 1959.

Flag of Gwynedd Gwynedd petty kingdom of several Welsh successor states which emerged in 5th-century post-Roman Britain in the Early Middle Ages, and later evolved into a principality during the High Middle Ages.

It was based on the former Brythonic tribal lands of the Ordovices, Gangani, and the Deceangli which were collectively known as Venedotia in late Romano-British documents. Between the 5th and 13th centuries Gwynedd grew to include Ynys Môn and all of north Wales between the River Dyfi in the south and River Dee (Welsh Dyfrdwy) in the northeast. The Irish sea (Môr Iwerddon) washes the coast of Gwynedd to the west and north and lands formerly part of the Kingdom of Powys border Gwynedd in the south-east.

Gwynedd's strength lay in part due to the region's mountainous geography which made it difficult for foreign invaders to campaign in the country and impose their will effectively. Popular tradition attributed to Nennius, a 10th-century Welsh chronicler, traced Gwynedd's foundation to Cunedda. According to Nennius, Cunedda migrated with his sons and followers from Brythonic Lothian, in southern Scotland, in the 5th century.

The main court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd was originally at Deganwy Castle, where Maelgwn Gwynedd (died 547) had his stronghold. The senior line of descendants of Rhodri the Great would make Aberffraw on Ynys Mon as their principal seat until 1170. In the thirteenth century, Llywelyn Fawr, his son Dafydd ap Llywelyn and grandson Llywelyn ap Gruffudd had Abergwyngregyn on the north coast as their home.

Flag of Llywelyn Ein Llyw Olaf

Llywelyn ap Gruffydd or Llywelyn Ein Llyw Olaf ('Llywelyn, Our Last Leader') (c. 1223 – 11 December 1282), sometimes rendered as Llywelyn II, was the last prince of an independent Wales before its conquest by Edward I of England.

Flag of Owain Glyndŵr

Owain Glyndŵr or Owain Glyn Dŵr, anglicised by William Shakespeare as Owen Glendower (c. 1354 or 1359 – c. 1416), was a Welsh ruler and the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales. He instigated an ultimately unsuccessful but long-running revolt against English rule of Wales

Source: Wikipedia - Flag of Wales


kp said...

The world is in chaos and all you can do is talk flags.


Epimetheuswrites said...

Wales was never fully united as a 'Kingdom'. The invasion of the Plantagenet King Edward the 1st of England united it as a 'principality'.

Historically what we now call Wales was roughly on the same footing as the old Saxon kingdoms of Mercia, Wessex, Sussex, Essex and Northumbria, at least until most of them were overrun by the Danes and the Vikings (as was Anglesey) and the Danelaw was instigated in the East of Albion, through treaty with the Saxon Alfred the Great, eventually coming to its zenith under the rule of Canute the Great; and finally losing its domination over the greater extent of the British Isles with the advent of the Normans, who included Southern Wales and the Border Marches in their dominions.

So 'Wales' as a political and cultural entity is at heart an Norman-English edifice, culturally held together by a language, (the differences between the northern and southern dialects reflecting to some degree the historical differences between the squabbling Welsh Princes, whose disunity presaged the Edwardian Plantagenet dominance of the late 1200's, itself disrupted by the brief romanticised rebellion of Owain Glyndwr around 1400).

The triumph of the Welsh was predominantly in retaining this linguistic individuality in contrast to the Danes, Vikings and Norse kingdoms which were eventually linguistically subsumed into the Anglo-Saxon-French form nowadays called English. (Although the dialect of the Land of the Prince Bishop’s still retains its distinctiveness, as any non-native of Durham and the Tyne-Tees region who has attempted to understand ‘Geordie’ will acknowledge).

However, what goes around comes around; With an English overlord having been parachuted into Anglesey in a failed attempt to unify the squabbling indigenous local barons, whose petty power ploys would once again subject the Isle to a centralised authoritarian rule, thereby crushing the aspirations of local freemen of a fairer participative democracy, where their self-determination would rest within their own hands and minds.

Epimetheus said...

Correction: Where the above says (para 3) 'a political and cultural entity' it should read 'political and economic entity'.

A somewhat broad brushed and selective potted history - plenty of room for correction and revision by commentators.