The unusual and rather striking flag of Meirionydd (Merioneth/Merionethshire) was registered on January 2nd 2015 as a traditional design. It is an adaptation of the seal used by the former Merionethshire County Council
This in turn derived from the description of a banner borne by the men of Meirionnydd at the Battle of Agincourt, in the 17th century poem of the same name by Michael Drayton. Here he wrote of “three goats dancing ‘gainst a rising sun”; the shield was blue, the sun golden and the goats white. Speculation regarding this unusual arrangement suggests a connection with Cader Idris, where goats browsed and behind which the sun rose.
The flag was devised as a result of research conducted by the Association of British Counties in consultation with the Flag Institute. The council seal appeared in “The book of Public Arms by A. C. Fox-Davies’, 1894
and on an illustrated plate
The design also appears on an early twentieth century piece of pottery, probably intended as a souvenir for visitors to the county
The same device is found today on the ceiling of the Shanklin Reading Room at Bangor University, representing the county
and has been adapted as a badge by both Clwb Rygbi Hen Ramadegwyr Dolgellau (Dolgellau Rugby Club)
and the local running club, Clwb Rhedeg Meirionnydd (Meirionnydd Running Club) which features one of Drayton’s “dancing goats”, in salient stance.
The running club was keen to see the proposed flag registered. Being aware of the deployment of similar long standing county emblems as flags, in the neighbouring shires of Ynys Môn /Anglesey and Caernarfonshire, the club contacted the Flag Institute to express its approval of the proposed design and formally request its registration.
In light of the extensive evidence of the design’s usage in the county and following the formal request from a county organisation, it was duly registered as the county flag. It maintains a theme associated with Meirionnydd potentially for six centuries and is highly distinctive; no other British flag is similar, the arrangement is uniquely Meirionnydd.
Soon after its registration, the flag made an appearance at Glastonbury
and could be seen flying or displayed around the county. It is seen here with the mayors of Dolgellau (Delwyn Evans) left and Tywyn (Ron McKoo), right
and other civic dignitaries.
It was embraced by local businesses
and flew over Saint Cadfan Church, Tywyn;
in the picturesque town of Port Meirion;
outside various homes;
and was much used by the Meirionydd Running Club, in Dolgellau
and at the county’s highest point, Aran Fawddwy