Anyone who has ever looked at the Union Jack will know that it consists of the three crosses, of the three patron saints, of the three nations that make up the United Kingdom: the reds of Saint Patrick and Saint George, and the blue and white of Saint Andrew. Once, it would have made a lot of sense to keep this the same, as for many years Wales had no real country status and was very much seen as a part of England. This however leads to many problems.
Wales has played a significant part in the storied history of the United Kingdom. Indeed, it was between England and Wales that a foundation of the Union of this Great Isle was first laid. It was laid after a Welsh family ascended to the English throne, when King Henry VIII passed the Laws in Wales Act 1536. This was passed in order to give Welsh representation in the English Parliament. It made the Kingdom of Wales “incorporated and equal to” the Kingdom of England. This Union set the foundations for the great nation that is today known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
This is not to mention the fact that St David, the Welsh patron Saint, guards the entry of Parliament alongside the other patron Saints of the Union.
Prior to the 1960s when Wales did not have its own Cabinet office this would have not been such an issue, other than to those on the fringe of Welsh nationalism. And it further wasn’t really an issue up until the 90’s, despite groups such as Meibion Glyndŵr violently attacking English holidaymakers in Wales.
However, since Wales was granted devolution, there has been a marked increase in support for parties such as Plaid Cymru, who advocate for more of a Welsh presence at Westminster. In 2014 Wales was formally recognised by the International Standards Organisation as a country.
Prior to this, Wales had been seen as a principality rather than a nation. This is an error as a principality merely refers to who is the head of state of a nation. France is a republic, and a country; Saudi Arabia is a Kingdom and a country. England, Scotland and Northern Ireland form a kingdom, and those three with Wales form a country of countries. Yet, Wales is notably left out from the Union Jack, why?
The Union Jack Was formally created following the Royal proclamation of a union between Great Britain and Ireland. Before this, there was a unified Anglo-Scottish flag since 1606. But Wales was never put onto the Union Jack.
Some argue that this is because of our dragon, stating it would look ridiculous to have a dragon like that slapped onto the Union Jack. However, it is clear that if Wales were to be added, they would use Saint David’s Cross.
Interestingly, when Scotland were primed to leave the United Kingdom in 2014, the proposals for redesigning the Union Jack, yet again did not include Wales.
Now, more than ever following the 2016 European Union vote, England and Wales find themselves of a similar opinion, with both nations having voted to leave the EU. This seemingly harkens back to the hundreds of years England and Wales have been in a Union, yet Wales is not represented on the symbol of such a Union.
With the information presented here, do you believe that Wales deserves to be represented on the flag of our great nation?