The Welsh county of Ceredigion, known for centuries in English as Cardiganshire, has long been associated with a gold lion reguardant (looking backwards) on a black field. This design was attributed as the arms of the ancient Welsh ruler Gwaithfoed and his kingdom of Ceredigion, from which the modern county derives and was incorporated into the arms
used by the local council in the top left canton.
The erstwhile administration of Dyfed also included the Gwaithfoed arms to signify the inclusion of Ceredigion as part of its territorial remit
Interestingly several heraldic sources indicate an original version of the Gwaithfoed arms with these colours reversed
Such switching of the colours of field and charge in attributed arms is not uncommon in early Welsh heraldry and this is the form used by the locally important Pryse family, descendants of Gwaithfoed but by the twentieth century, the council’s use of the gold lion on black indicates that this had become the established form and the locally familiar design. This preferred pattern is now used locally, as seen at the Castle Hotel, Aberaeron, in the county in the Summer of 2014
Gwaithfoed’s reverse facing lion is also used, in varying colours, as a club badge by Aberystwyth Rugby Club, based n the county
A modern form of the Ceredigion lion is further used as its badge by the Aberystwyth based Penglais Comprehensive School
and a red version of the reguardant lion
is the badge of the county’s North Ceredigion scout branch.
Also attesting to the basic recognition of the reguardant lion as the county symbol, is the general availability of sundry items proclaiming the county of Ceredigion, which depict the design,
The status of this traditional county emblem is indisputable and its registration by the Flag Institute as the county flag of Ceredigion would be easily effected were some substantial county body to request it but all efforts to invite any interested party (about thirty!) to submit such a request have fallen on deaf ears and been ignored. However, registration would simply acknowledge the de facto status of this design, as the county flag. In 2011 the flag of Buckinghamshire was registered by the Flag Institute on the basis of its evident and indisputable traditional status, without receipt of any registration request, believing that the circumstances of the long standing traditional emblem were so obvious as to make a request unnecessary. Moreover, unlike the ultimately registered Buckinghamshire flag at the time, this design is already flown, as seen above and is commercially available. The precedent having been set and with the same circumstances applying in this instance, this site recognises the gold reguardant lion on black field or Gwaithfoed as the county flag of Ceredigion.