ABC member Gwyndaf Parri is a resident of Caernarfonshire but a native of neighbouring Anglesey. In 2012 he was the local man heading the campaign which successfully secured a flag for Caernarfonshire that bore the emblem of three golden eagles against a green background, with which the county had been associated for hundreds if not thousands of years. He then turned his attention to his home county where he still has family and planned his campaign to establish a flag for Anglesey. In consultation with those of us in the ABC and the Flag Institute keen on such matters, he established his chosen design, the arms of Hwfa Ap Cynddelw.
The Arms of Hwfa Ap Cynddelw
The earliest reference to the arms of this locally important historic figure appears to be in the work of the fifteenth century bard Lewys Glyn Cothi, who wrote extensively on heraldic subjects. An evidently depiction of the arms appear as a decorative features in the masonry of the mediaeval Llangadwaladr Church on the island.
The arms were used informally by Anglesey County Council before they received an official grant of arms.They can be seen on the old Anglesey police court in Valley, encircled by the words “Môn Mam Cymru” (Anglesey Mother of Wales), “Cynghor Sirol Môn” (Anglesey County Council), and the date, 1904.
The original Hwfa arms were then incorporated into the official coat of arms awarded to the local council. Between 1857 and 1950 the arms were used by Anglesey Constabulary and they were also used by the local fire brigade. Today the Hwfa arms can be found on the ceiling of the Shankland Reading Room at Bangor University, amidst a number of emblems representing the counties of Wales.
Local recognition and association with the Hwfa arms is also demonstrated by their appearance on the sign of the Bold Arms Hotel, in Beaumaris and commercial availability as a representative badge of the island.
The Anglesey Flag Campaign Begins
In 2012 ABC commissioned the production of an Anglesey flag seen here at the island’s highest point and this was subsequently used by the local traditional folk and dance troupe Dawnswyr Bro Cefni, while on tour in Germany.
The Anglesey Flag is Registered
Gwyndaf’s campaign was based on a Facebook page and a Twitter account, both of which attracted followers in their hundreds and on the basis of this evident local support base and the extensive demonstration of the emblem’s local recognition the Flag Institute was happy to register the design in early 2014. The precise design of the flag was duly finalised by the Flag Institute and production of the new flag began shortly afterwards.
Arrangements were made with Gwyndaf for the purchase of fifty of the new flags by the ABC. Making use of his parents’ furniture store on the island, Gwyndaf arranged for interested parties to receive a flag on a first-come-first-served basis by turning up at the shop and claiming one. In return for a free flag, each recipient was asked to commit to providing an image of their newly acquired flag raised or displayed.
As an island the identity of the county is strong and the locals appear very proud of their home. Numerous photos of the recently registered flag, depicted below, have now appeared. ABC’s investment of these fifty flags seems to have been highly successful and we hope that this popular take up will inspire other Welsh counties, such as Flintshire and Merioneth to follow suit and adopt flags soon.
The Anglesey Flag Flies