The History of the Red Dragon Welsh Flag


Whilst the United Kingdom flag, the Union Jack, represents Wales internationally (collectively known as Great Britain with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland), it's the countries own flag which is one of the most internationally recognised and iconic of all of the world's flags. And the reason?

The Red Dragon.

The National Flag of Wales is based on an ancient battle standard whose first recorded use was in the Historia Brittonum, an ancient historical account of the British Isles, written in the 9th century. This book has some serious significance not just because of the origins of the Welsh Red Dragon flag, but due to it being the first written source to portray King Arthur. Did you know that many of the infamous myths and legends of King Arthur were born from the contents of this 1200 year old book?



The flag of Wales is known in Welsh as 'Y Ddraig Goch' whose English translation means literally, 'The Red Dragon.'

The Welsh Flag as we know it today has been formally recognised as the flag of Wales since 1959, but thanks to a combination of historical account (Used in the Battle of Crecy in the 14th century, and King Henry VII used the Red Dragon in the Battle of Bosworth Field in the 15th Century), artwork (artists throughout the ages have linked Wales with dragons) and Arthurian legend, the flag remained in popular Welsh culture from its first use until its formal adoption.

The History of the Red Dragon Welsh Flag

The flag's popularity throughout the world is largely due to how much the Welsh nation have embraced it. The flag is often seen in popular culture thanks to numerous Welsh celebrities that continue to embrace their nationality and the infamous Red Dragon.

The famous Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins wears a dress with a 'subtle' Welsh Red Dragon Flag Design in one of her concerts:

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/5789103/Katherine-Jenkins-Welsh-dragon-dress-looks-like-girls-gowns-from-The-Valleys.html

And Welsh International footballer, Christiano Ronaldo's best mate and Real Madrid Superstar Gareth Bale loves to remind people of where he's from, even when he's playing in Spain:

http://media.themalaymailonline.com/images/sized/uploads/gallery/2014-05/champ_2_25052014-300x250.jpeg

But whilst Wales is certainly the most famous of the modern day dragon flags, it certainly isn't the only flag to feature dragons however. The mythical creature is also featured on the flag for Malta which is predominately red and white, but features the George Cross in the top left hand corner. Within the centre of the George Cross is the infamous image of St. George slaying the dragon.

The History of the Red Dragon Welsh Flag

Whilst the modern day red and yellow Chinese flag has been in use since 1949, the Imperial Flags from 1862 through to 1928 that represented the Qing Dynasty all featured a blue Chinese dragon on a yellow background of varying designs.

The History of the Red Dragon Welsh Flag

The South Asian country of Bhutan also features a typically eastern dragon design:

The History of the Red Dragon Welsh Flag

Dragons also feature on the flag of cities, there's an Argentinian City called Puerto Madryn which has a design very similar to the Red Dragon on the Welsh Flag.

The History of the Red Dragon Welsh Flag

There's also the flag of the Slovenian capital city, Ljubljana, whose symbol is a dragon sat upon the tower of the Ljubljana Castle.

The origin for the presence of this Slovenian dragon is based on Greek Legend and the story of Jason and the Argonauts. The outlying areas of the Slovenian Capital are marshland and it is supposedly here in the Greek Legend that Jason slays the dragon on his return from obtaining the Golden Fleece. This legend has been represented on both the coat of arms and the flag of the city.

The History of the Red Dragon Welsh Flag

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