Why Isn’t Wales Represented On The Union Jack? The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
The national flag of the United Kingdom reflects this country of countries situation.
England is represented by Saint George’s Cross, which is combined with Saint Andrew’s Saltire representing Scotland, and then Saint Patrick’s Saltire was added to represent Ireland, and finally, Saint David’s cross would represent Wales,except for the fact that Saint David’s cross isn’t included.
So why despite the United Kingdom losing control of the majority of Ireland, Ireland is represented and Wales is not?
In 1216 the kingdom of England controlled the south of Wales under the Marcher Lords; the North, however, was independently ruled by Welsh Princes.
These Princes came together at the Council of Aberdyfi and agreed that Llywelyn the Great was the paramount ruler in Wales.
The other Princes agreed to pay him homage and effectively became vassals of Llywelyn.
In doing so their realms were absorbed into what we now call the Principality of Wales.
Llywelyn never used the title of Prince of Wales, although he had already been calling himself the ‘Prince of the whole of North Wales for several years. He was careful not to antagonize the King of England and later the King recognized the Principality of Wales at the Treaty of Worcester.
As part of this treaty, the Prince now owed fealty to the English King.
However the Principality was largely independent, that is until Edward the first completed his conquest of Wales in 1284 when the principality was “annexed and united” to the English crown.
At this point Wales did not become part of the Kingdom of England: it was the king’s personal fief.
According to legend, Edward promised the Welsh that he would name “a prince born in Wales, who did not speak a word of English” and then promptly produced a baby that happened to be his Son and Heir.
This story is likely to be nothing more than legend as it can only be traced to the 16th century, but since 1301 the title of Prince of Wales has usually been given to the heir-apparent of England (and subsequently to the heir-apparent of Great Britain and of the United Kingdom).
Initially, The Principality still had its own laws and served as a practice domain for the future King.
But, the Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 and 1542 formally incorporated Wales into the Kingdom of England and ended the existence of the Principality of Wales.
It’s probably best not to bring this up with your Welsh friends but that, in a way makes them English!
however, the title continued to be bestowed on the heir apparent.
Explaining why today we still have a Prince of Wales, despite not having a Principality?
So by the time, the Acts of Union were enacted in and 1706 and 1707 uniting the Kingdoms of England and Scotland together as the treaty put it “into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain” – Wales had been part of the Kingdom of England for over 150 years.
The two kingdoms’ flags were brought together but Wales as part of England would be represented only through England’s Saint George’s Cross.
One final point, a principality, by definition, is ruled over by a prince or princess, so even if Wales was to become an independent
nation, it would not become a principality, its head of state would either remain the English Monarch, making it a Kingdom, or an elected head of state would be established making it a republic.
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