La bandiera scozzese

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The Welsh flag
The Welsh flag has two equal horizontal stripes, white above green, and a large red dragon passant. The origin of the Welsh Dragon were undoubtedly the Roman “draconi” standards of the cohorts, which were far more numerous than the legions, particularly after the withdrawal of the latter. The dragon symbol used by the Romans appear to have been inspired by the dragon standard carried by their Dacian and Parthian enemies or perhaps by the Chinese dragon and Romans had adopted this device by the third century. As Roman legions withdrew at the end of the fourth century the people who were left behind (the Celts people) forever must most naturally have thought of the Dragon as the symbol of that Roman civilization which they belonged and which they were now defending against the ravages of the barbarian invaders. For their battle standard no emblem was more natural than the familiar Dragon of the Roman cohort. From the very first records of the Welsh language the words “draig”, “dragon” mean warrior and great warriors are reffered to as “pendraig”, “pendragon”. While the warriors, chiefs and princes of Wales were constantly called “dragons”, we don not have any clear evidence to prove that they ever used a dragon, let alone a red dragon, as a military standard at any time before the fifteenth century. It is perfectly have contain no unambiguous reference to the use of a dragon banner by the Welsh resistance fighters until 1485. In fact the red dragon became the symbol of the Welsh nation trough its adoption by the Tudor ancestors of king Henry VII. Edmund and Jasper Tudor had a dragon as crest and supporter to the arms granted them by Henry VI. When Henry Tudor faced king Richard III at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 his battle standards numbered three. One of these carried the arms of St. George of England, one the arms of the house of Beaufort and one was a “Red ffyry dragon peyntid upon white and Grene Saracenet”. This dragon banner represented Henry Tudor’s claim to be a true representative of the ancient kings of Britain and served as his tribute to the Welsh people who had made his victory possible. In the Welsh literary tradition, in the tale “Lludd a Llefelys”, the Red Dragon is associated with the birth of Merlin, in which he prophesized a battle between a red dragon and a blue or white one. The blue one won, symbolizing how an evil Saxon king would be defeated by his Celtic enemies. Through the Middle Ages the colour of the Dragon fluctuates between gold and red. This like so much else, is a legacy from Geoffrey of Monmouth, for while the dragon of the Britons seen by Ambrosius is plainly red (“rubeus draco”), the one displayed by Uther Pendragon is gold (“vexillum, aureus draco”). The princes of Gwynedd, whose family colours were red and gold, had no reason to prefer one colour to the other. In 1807, after the union of the parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland, it was declared that “a red dragon passant standing on a mound should be the King’s badge for Wales. In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II decreed that the royal badge for Wales should be augmented, and to its red dragon there was added the famous motto “Y ddraig goch ddyry cychwyn”. This augmented badge was placed on a white flag and flown aver government buildings on appropriate occasion. But in 1958 the Gorsedd of Bards expressed the wish that in future only the Red Dragon be recognized as the national flag of Wales, instead of this augmented badge. Her Majesty commanded that in future only the actually flag of Wales should be flown on Government Buildings. The augmented badge was to continue in use in accordance with established heraldic procedure.

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