Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Enter the Dragon and one MP's call to update the Union Flag

In a Commons debate, Wrexham's Labour MP Ian Lucas said Wales' Red Dragon should be added to the Union Jack's red, white and blue pattern.

He said the Union Jack currently only represented the other three UK nations. But Stewart Jackson, Conservative MP for Peterborough, said the plan was "eccentric" and would be unpopular. "I do not believe it would add to the unity of the country," he said.

However as the BBC has reported, Culture Minister Margaret Hodge conceded that Mr Lucas had raised a valid point for debate.

She said the government is "keen" to make the Union Jack "a positive symbol of Britishness reflecting the diversity of our country today and encouraging people to take pride in our flag".

And the minister acknowledged that a number of people across Britain were unhappy about flying the Union Jack as they felt it does not "truly represent the United Kingdom." However, she said redesigning the flag had not been part of a consultation currently being carried out.

Wales had no explicit recognition in the Union Flag because Wales, having been annexed by Edward I of England in 1282 and following the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542, was legally part of the Kingdom of England and was therefore represented by the flag of England. (The present-day Flag of Wales and St David's Cross emerged, or re-emerged, in the 20th century: the former based on the historical emblem of Wales, the Red Dragon, and the latter based on the arms of the Diocese of Saint David's.) I have always thought this to be the reason of its omission, in addition to Wales never having been a kingdom, however, the Kingdom of Ireland, which had existed as a personal union with England since 1541, was likewise unrepresented in the original versions of the Union Flag.

What are the chances of us starting to see variations of a possible design in the press? I'm wondering whether or not only the dragon will be used, and possibly placed in the centre. What part will be green, if any? Will a mythical creature appear too odd, and the use of blue and green too painful on the eye?

It's not as if it'll be the first time the Union Flag has been updated, and there are more variations than the possibilities of different coalition governments at Cardiff Bay.

One final question before I get back to work: Why do I get the impression that certain people are merely attempting to sound more Welsh by raising the issue?

Update: David Cornock has posted a photo of Ian Lucas MP and his version of the flag on his blog. I can't see his version ever being taken seriously as the dragon dominates the flag.


Anonymous 27 November 2007 at 09:18  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rhys Wynne 27 November 2007 at 13:04  

Poor chap, probably doesn't know what do do with himself in post-devolution Westminster.

It would be daft to change it anyway, as they'd only have to remove the dragon again if/when Wales becomes independent ;-)

dave 27 November 2007 at 13:09  

The red dragon IS on the union flag - right in the centre. A red dragon against a red background - hidden and unseen, just like Wales in the "union".

Personally I'm glad we're out of it. Let's keep it that way. It's a small part in distancing us from the "union".

Miss Wagstaff 27 November 2007 at 13:47  

RW - That was below the belt for any Unionist out there.

Dave - "The red dragon IS on the union flag - right in the centre. A red dragon against a red background - hidden and unseen, just like Wales in the "union"."

I only wish I had thought of that witty remark.

Anonymous 27 November 2007 at 15:26  

The Daily Post gets a letter along these lines every year from some crank. The only problem is that this year the crank is my bleeding MP!
Given the problems with affordable housing, loss of playing fields and loss of quality jobs in Wxm over the past year, it's obvious that Lucas has lost the plot.
Or does he think that wrapping himself in the Union Jack will win him back the BNP vote?

Anonymous 27 November 2007 at 16:48  

They're not trying to sound more Welsh. They're just trying to force Wales into their multi-cultural Labourite British straightjacket. We've got a flag, hopefully it will fly alone over the public buildings of a free Wales. The union jack will be of historical interest, although a symbol that is precious to some of us because it flew alone for freedom and democracy when Europe submitted to the totalitarian beast.

Anonymous 3 December 2007 at 12:15  

good piece here on Lukas's cranky idea ... http://www.british-nats-watch.blogspot.com/

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