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The Origins of the Welsh Dragon

by Wayne Foley, Feb 2019

Dragons have been documenting in myth, legend and folklore for centuries. With the amount of different cultures across the globe that have written records and documents pertaining to the supposedly mythical beast, many find it hard to argue that they are in fact a work of fiction. Dragons have played an integral role in ancient and even more contemporary history and the Welsh Dragon is no exception. 

The current Welsh flag has been claimed to be the oldest national flag in existence, due to the dragons prevalence in Welsh culture. The Welsh kings of Aberffraw is said to have first adopted the dragon in the 5th century in order to represent the might of the Welsh after their withdrawal from Roman Occupation. 

Geoffrey of Monmouth in his ‘Historia Regum Britannia’ wrote about the prophecy of Myrddin, relating to a battle between a red and white dragon, to signify the struggle between the Welsh and the English.

The oldest recorded use of the dragon to symbolise and represent Wales, however, was by the historian Nennius in the ‘Historia Brittonum’.

Today the dragon is still an imperative part of the Welsh culture and identity and it is difficult to imagine a Wales without it.