A Scarce Antique Welsh Red Dragon Flag on Pole c.1910-20


Origin: British
Period: Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1910-1920
Length: 33 inches (Pole)
Flag: 27 x 18.5 inches

The printed flag in soft thin cotton, showing the red dragon of Cadwaladr, King of Gwyneddpassant on a tudor inspired green and white field.

The textile is in good aged, as found, condition with a beautiful genuine fade across the fabric, the greens and reds having a fantastic translucent quality. The cotton does not suffer from any holes or tears. The pole finial is original, and at the other end there is a small amount of loss to the pole.

The Welsh flag was granted official status in 1959, but the red dragon itself has been associated with Wales for centuries, though the origin of the adoption of the dragon symbol is now lost in history and myth. A possible theory is that the Romans brought the emblem to what is now Wales during their occupation of Britain in the form of the Draco standards born by the Roman cavalry, itself inspired by the symbols of the Dacians or Parthians. The green and white stripes of the flag were additions by the House of Tudor, the Welsh dynasty that held the English throne from 1485 to 1603. Green and white are also the colours of the leek, another national emblem of Wales.

One would actually be hard pressed to find a much older Welsh flag.