Wednesday, 20 June 2007

The Symbols of the Nation

Symbols of the Nation

Some would not consider national symbols to be of much importance.

They are, however, an outward display of a nation’s identity and pride in nationhood. That is why we see the red dragon flag of Wales flying proudly in the towns and villages of Wales. It is why we see car stickers with Welsh motifs along the roads of Wales. Symbols denote that Wales is not the western province of England which Islwyn Ffowc Elis feared it would become. It is a nation among nations well on the way to full independence, the kind of independence that Ireland has achieved.

So let the flag fly in every place to proclaim our nationhood, and let the flags of Glyndwr and Llywelyn fly too, in the places where they performed their feats in their vain attempts to free Wales from the English yoke. Let monuments be constructed and placed at the battle sites, and let these places be shrines to freedom. Let Dydd Gwyl Ddewi Sant be celebrated as a national holiday, and let us make it a day of festivity and rejoicing. Let special stamps be printed for the occasion, and a coin be minted when independence is finally proclaimed.

Let us plant leeks in our gardens and daffodils in our parks. It is good news to hear that a national traditional folk theatre will open in Dolgellau, and that a Welsh national newspaper named “Y Byd” will be on the streets next March. These are minor events along the road to world recognition but they are significant. The foundation stones of the nation are already in place. We only await the consensus of the people, and the establishment of the nation-state with full self-governing powers in a Welsh Parliament. For other nations, Ireland, Italy, Hungary and others the nation-state was once a dream, and now it is a reality. This is history in the making.

By working together, whatever our leanings and political persuasions, we can help to bring about change, to create a better Wales and a brighter future, and make a real difference to the social and economic conditions in the communities throughout the country. Let us not use the thinking of the past and the politics of the last century, with its divisions and its bureaucratic and centrist governance, but seek a new approach and a real connection and partnership between the people and those who represent them. Let us unite and work in concert and in harmony to create a better Wales, forever to be named “Cymru”, so that the Land of our Fathers will be the Land of our Children.

Alan in Dyfed

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