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Red Dragon of Wales

by Lumyong Pichanee
(Thailand)

Y Ddraig Goch

Y Ddraig Goch

Y Ddraig Goch Caernarfon Castle, where the royalty investiture of the Prince of Wales was held Cardiff, the capital and largest city in Wales Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd, Wales

"Y Ddraig Goch" or Red Dragon is the flag of Wales and was the first thing that came out from Google search results. Their flag is so unique (and not present in the Union Jack), so I was quite curious and began to search about it.

On the flag are the red dragon of Cadwaladr, king of Gwynedd, and the green-white color of Tudor, a royal house of Welsh origin. This flag was granted as the official Welsh nation flag in 1959.

The red dragon has been associated with Wales for a long time and unfortunately has very little historical information about its origin. There was a theory which said that this sign came from the Romans during the years when they governed Britain. In that time, "draco" or dragon was the symbol of the Roman cavalry (Roman horse mounted army).

The oldest representation of the red dragon in Wales was in Historia Brittonum, which later became a well-known myth, "Wizard Merlin." It described that there was a fight between two dragons underground, which prevented King Vortigern from building a stronghold. One of the two dragons was white, which represented the Saxons (or Germanic tribes), and the other red, which was the Celts. This story was believed to represent the conflict between British Celts and the Saxons.

The dragon wasn't explicitly used as a symbol for Wales in the early ages. The most significant link between the red dragon and Wales was in 1485 when Henry Tudor (Henry VII) flew this flag during his fight against England.

I have to confess that at first I thought this was a kind of tale about a dragon, so the story was quite different (laugh).

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