Promoting an interest in the history of Owain Glyndwr, the Welsh Son of Prophecy, his life, times and society and his great Welsh War of Independence;also promoting causes today in Glyndwr's spirit and promoting the flying of the Glyndwr flag on Sept 16 Glyndwr Day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Call for an official Coat of Arms by the Welsh Assembly.

I was approached by Radio Cymru’s ‘Taro Post’ programme last week with a request to participate in a discussion regards the Welsh Assembly’s decision to commission an official Coat of Arms. I did participate and the following is a brief resume of Embassy Glyndwr’s contribution to the debate on the need for the Welsh Assembly to have its own Coat of Arms.

Where does Embassy Glyndwr stand on this?

On the whole, we support the idea but think that the Assembly should be in consultation with the people of Wales as to what images they would like to see on this Coat of Arms rather than with London based heraldic advisors. After all, we have our own ‘Wales Herald Extraordinaire’ in Dr M.P.Siddons and do we really need the permission of the English Crown to have our own seal/Coat of arms? From the earliest of times the heraldry of Cymru was the responsibility of ‘Herald Bards’ and I believe the last of these was Rhys Cain (See Wikapedia on the web)

Thanks to Embassy Glyndwr and Bob Rice of Castle Crafts, Cardiff, The Welsh Assembly does fly Prince Owain Glyndwr’s flag on Sept 16th – Owain Glyndwr Day and as the Assembly is aspiring to be a ‘real’ Senedd one day it would be appropriate and logical to see a gigantic replica of Price Owain’s Seal of State located behind the Presiding Officer’s Chair in the Debating Chamber. Such symbolism is of paramount importance if we are to demonstrate to the world that we, as a nation, are now confident enough to express our ideal to rule ourselves as a people. It was for this right that Owain Glyndwr and the people of Wales of his period fought and sacrificed dearly for, without these sacrifices we would not have a nation and so ‘The Four Lion’s Rampant’ flag and Owain’s Seal of State certainly deserve their place in this aspiring Senedd - wouldn’t you agree?

In fact, any form of symbolism that’s going to bring us a step nearer to fulfilling Owain Glyndwr’s ideal for an Independent Wales is important, be they flags, Seals of Statehood’, statues or, our own official Coat of Arms - and we can learn so much from the experiences of other small nations on this matter. For example, Lithuania has chosen to display their medieval hero ‘Vytalis’ on horseback and waving a sword on their Coat of Arms and the same image also appears on their bank notes. ‘Vytalis’ is certainly a good example for comparing with Glyndwr but, the Lithuanians are 100% nationalist. Will we ever see Owain Glyndwr given the same recognition on our official Coat of Arms and, if we ever get it, our own currency? I doubt it, it seems that the ‘powers that be’ would rather hide our national heroes in those dark corners of history and embrace usurpers. Sadly however, it’s not just the ‘Powers that be’ that treat our heroes in this manner, I suggest you refer to our earlier posting on the ‘’Big issue’’ of how ‘Cleddyf y Genedl’ is displayed in the back stairwell passage at MOMA in Machynlleth.

So yes, ideally, we at Embassy Glyndwr would favour images associated with Owain Glyndwr
When it comes to choosing a design for an official seal following Lithuania’s example and they are not on their own, there are other good examples such as Catalonia - and Estonia who have chosen 3 Lions representing the historical events of three national uprisings. But, as far as the Welsh Assembly is concerned, we cannot see this ‘’Sham Senedd’’ going down the same road really? so perhaps Latvia and the Basque country may be better examples for the Welsh Assembly to follow as they have based their Coat of Arms on ‘’Historic Regions’’ which, in respect to Wales, would have to include our ancient Gwledydd/Principlaities of Gwynedd, Deheubarth, Powys, Morgannwg and Gwent.

All of these aforementioned examples are also decorated with images of other national symbols, particularly Oak Leaves. We would suggest Ivy as being more suitable for Cymru and not Lloyd Georges ‘’Investiture Daffodil’’ nor the ‘’Tudor Leek’’. We would also favour the addition of a White Eagle but cannot see that being adopted but why not the Red Kite? Of course with the Labour, Liberal and Tory party representatives and the English monarchy having the final say, we will not hold our breath in the hope that any of our ideas will be acceptable. But, nevertheless, see below our suggestion as to a potential great Coat of Arms for the Assembly, This is an old stock image that we have in our icons folder. I am not the best of artists but have quickly and roughly adapted to suit the theme of this posting.
Use of a bit of imagination is needed to imagine suggested alterations to image as follows:

· Dragons: Red on Left and Gold on Right.
· Ivy Leaves with also Oak leaves added, Green.
· Coron Glyndwr to be added: Gold.

So what do you think? Can you come up with an idea? Of course if the Welsh Assembly does not take up our suggestion for a ‘Coat of Arms/Crest/Seal’, we will adopt it as our own for ‘Cenedl Glyndwr’ – ‘Cenedl Cymru Rydd’.

For further information see:

· The Development of Welsh Heraldry by Dr M.P. Siddons. Vols I, II & III. 1993.

· Rhys Cain (Wikapedia) The last Herald Bard.

· Flags of the World (FOTW).

· Web sites of three Baltic Countries plus Euskadi, Catalonia, Ireland & Brittany.

Until next posting?

Hwyl Fawr!