Welsh Flags, Old and New
I've always thought that the Welsh flag, with that red dragon on it, is quite cool. Being part Welsh myself, I have an interest in things having to do with Wales. In fact, my freshman and sophomore years of college, way back when, I used to have a self-drawn poster on the wall in my dorm room, with the Welsh flag on it, and some slogan in Welsh underneath.
Back in those days I latched onto some "teach yourself Welsh" books, and was making pretty good progress on them, until I realized I had no real-life idea how any of the material in the book actually sounded. I was also learning French in some college courses at this time, and I realized that book-explanations of pronunciation really aren't worth much without tapes to listen to and practice.
Now just the other day, I ran across something online about an unofficial new Welsh flag: the flag of St. David, gold cross on a black field. Looked around, but almost every site where I found a reference quoted back the same laconic form of words, leaving me little the wiser. I gathered that this new flag is especially flown in connection with St. David's Day
Of course as with so many things that burst upon the scene all of a sudden, the origins and history of the flag of St. David are murky. Vague talk about it going way back when, sixth century and all that bilge. In reality it seems that, however far back this flag may or may not go, its sudden popularity dates back no further than 1998, when someone came up with the idea of the Welsh flag of St. David as a good counterpoint to the English flag of St. George in football (i.e. soccer) games; and no one was more surprised by the burgeoning popularity of the new flag than its original promoter.
Whatever. The flag of St. David certainly is a handsome flag, one of those items whose design hits just the right spot so that it's an "odds-up favorite" to become a sudden classic. It's a cool flag. So's the red dragon flag, for that matter. Hey, anything Welsh is cool. Cymru am Byth!
(flag images courtesy of Wikipedia)