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"A word of warning about the St David's Cross" Topic

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Warspite102 Feb 2021 7:00 a.m. PST

A little while back I was looking through commercially available sheets of medieval flags and I came across one company offering the St David's Cross, a yellow cross on a black background, as a supposed 'medieval' flag.

A bit of sucking of teeth on my part, and a quick trip to Wikipedia, revealed that while this flag is very much a thing and exists in modern Wales, it is clearly NOT medieval.

Suggestions on Wiki are that it dates back no further than the 19th century. Any popularity it has now is partly political/commercial and partly from a few evangelical Welsh who regard all dragons as evil (which was news to me!) and therefore inappropriate for the Welsh national flag which carries the traditional red dragon of Cadwaladar.

Some time ago I was stuck for an alternative Welsh flag and I first came across the Cross of St David… and immediately dismissed it.
St David was a patron saint of Wales back to the year dot and would clearly influence any medieval Welsh banner or flag. I did a little research about him and discovered that some of St David's supposed miracles involved doves so I created an expedient and entirely spurious 'Welsh' banner of a dove with outstretched wings on a white and green background. White and green are traditional colours for troops from Cheshire and Wales and dates back to at least 1300.

So… a word to the wise… avoid the Cross of St David if you are doing Welsh units. It is 19th century at best.


Green Tiger02 Feb 2021 8:05 a.m. PST

Well my Alma Mater (St. David's UC) had it as part of their crest from 1822 but I would very much doubt it has great antiquity.

Warspite102 Feb 2021 8:08 a.m. PST

@Green Tiger:
I agree.
However others may not know, hence a timely warning.


Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2021 9:23 a.m. PST

Hey, I need it to join my St. Andrew's, St. Patrick's and St. George's flags when i honor the UK Saints! But it won't be used by Dark Age Welsh horde for gaming.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Feb 2021 9:43 a.m. PST

The red saltire now associated with St Patrick hasn't much evidence of use in that context before the late 16C/early 17C. What we now think of as St Andrew's wasn't the only saltire used in Scotland during the later medieval period though the link between the saint & the saltire is probably older.

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2021 10:01 a.m. PST

Always worth checking out these things everyone knows, as I found out when I started painting my Saga Irish with lots of green. It's one thing to paint the bottoms of their bases green, which says "Ireland" to me, and keeps me from mixing up my Dark Age figures (aka "hairy guys with pointy things"), quite another to assume that it has always been that way.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2021 2:54 p.m. PST

Next you'll tell me my Notre Dame logo flags aren't right for my 1798 Irish, my knights can't have Indiana or Purdue logos and my Amazon queen shouldn't have a Vassar logo on her shield.

Warspite103 Feb 2021 7:20 a.m. PST

I am not saying 'don't as I freely admit to producing speculative banners of my own.
What I am saying is 'be aware'.

If you are a perfectionist, avoid the St David's flag, if you are happier with style over substance then Peter Pig actually produces a sheet of fake banners in the style of Wars of the Roses but not actually representing individuals.
and look at XX005 Wars of the Roses generic at the top of the page.

John the OFM03 Feb 2021 8:28 a.m. PST

I painted my Orc Blood Bowl team in Ohio State colors. Was that a-historical?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2021 10:36 a.m. PST

Depends on how you feel about OSU, John. There are people who would say you were 100% accurate.

dapeters03 Feb 2021 10:38 a.m. PST

No, the Fanboys will tell you that it never appeared in the books or fluff. In short, no documentation. However someone on this list might say something like, "It does mean it didn't happen."

jefritrout08 Feb 2021 9:48 a.m. PST


My Orc blood bowl team is sporting colors from The Ohio State University. The team name was the Tosu Blak-eyez. The Humans who kept losing to the Blak-eyez were painted in White and blue.

SHaT198419 Nov 2021 12:05 p.m. PST

Now that I have some history, and never knew I had a 'biblical' name because we weren't raised that way… I quite fancy a banner of my own…
as a random 'unit' of MAA bods out for a flash…

Quite similar and plain to that of Cornwall, where a few of my lot came from; and the others Danish so I'm sure I can mix up something…

cheers davew≠

Arcane Steve23 Nov 2021 5:30 a.m. PST

I missed this thread the first time around. As always, great information from Warspite. If you want to be historically accurate, it pays to do your research.
Some of us are happy to accept that playing a game means that you can improvise a bit. I'm not saying that the Hotspurs had this flag at the time of the WOTR's but it amuses me and I enjoy the joke, as do my gaming buddies, particularity when they chase Harry from the field!


SHaT198424 Nov 2021 9:03 p.m. PST

If you want to be historically accurate, it pays to do your research.

Which I'd also generally endorse, however, I'm over 40 years up to my neck in Napoleonic research and for me, this 'foible' of an army/ force I'm creating for DBMM is solely for fun.

So there will be anocronisms enough to infuriate the purists I guess, but I take your point.

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