Union flag 'should include Welsh dragon'

Welsh call for more representation
Welsh call for more representation

The union flag should be emblazoned with the Welsh dragon, a Labour MP has said.

Culture minister Margaret Hodge said the design of the flag "will be considered," as Welsh MPs argue heraldry should give more prominence to Wales' place in the union.

In a Commons debate on flying the union flag above public buildings, several Welsh MPs complained their constituents do not feel represented by the current design.

The union flag was designed in 1606 to combine the crosses of England and Scotland and later amended in 1801 to incorporate the cross of St Patrick.

Labour MP Ian Lucas told the Commons: "The three crosses making up today's union flag are the crosses of the patron saints of the three countries represented on the flag."

Rather than incorporate the "not ideal" yellow and black cross of St David, Mr Lucas said the flag should feature the Welsh dragon, the recognised symbol of Wales.

He continued: "Just as the union flag has changed in the past to reflect the new constitutional settlement when Ireland came into the United Kingdom at the start of the 19th century, I believe that the union flag should change now to reflect the four nations of the United Kingdom - England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales."

Conservative MP Stewart Jackson said it was a well meaning but eccentric proposal.

Ms Hodge explained the Welsh dragon had not been included in the union flag because Wales and England were already united by 1606.

She said: "I can assure all MPs that the issue of the design of the union flag will be considered."

There are no official plans to redesign the union flag and Ms Hodge conceded any proposals would prove problematic.

She said: "As the current flag is formed by merging three heraldic crosses representing the three kingdoms of the UK, the original design was a challenge.

"Thinking of a design that would meet everyone's aspiration would be an even greater challenge."

Gordon Brown has called for a debate on Britishness as a precursor to a written constitution. He won positive headlines early in his premiership after calling for public buildings to fly the union flag.


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