The Mimosa in the 1860's. Wikimedia Commons
In an important new book, published by Y Lolfa, author Sion T. Jobbins calls for the 28th May to be commemorated annually in Wales as 'Flag Day'. He explains the reasoning behind this suggestion in the following succinct paragraph:
"There is no designated Flag Day for the Red Dragon. The author would propose 28 May, which was the day the flag was hoisted on board the Mimosa ship on its voyage to Patagonia in 1865. This was the first known and dated occasion when the flag was flown by Welsh people as a symbol of Welsh national identity."
The book is a treasure trove of information about the Ddraig Goch from the earliest times to the present day. For instance did you know that:
- The Ddraig Goch flag in its present form was only officially adopted as the flag of Wales in 1959?
- The Red Dragon was originally the banner of the Roman legionary cohorts. Their name for it was the draco coccinus. Both terms entered the Welsh vocabulary as loan words (somewhat adapted) from the Latin?
There is much more detail about the Flag's 2000 year history and at slightly less than 100 pages this book is the most informative and entertaining on its subject matter that you are likely to find. Of course the departure of the Mimosa from Liverpool Dock in 1865 is in itself an historic occasion worth celebrating. The voyage led to the founding of Wales first and only colony in the America's. For more on the voyage of the Mimosa see the links below. To purchase the book go here:- The Red Dragon - The Story of the Welsh Flag
And remember to commemorate Flag Day on May 28th!
From the Wikipedia :- "The idea of a Welsh colony in South America was put forward by Professor Michael D. Jones, a Welsh nationalist non-conformist preacher based in Bala who had called for a new "little Wales beyond Wales". He spent some years in the United States, where he observed that Welsh immigrants assimilated very quickly compared with other peoples and often lost much of their Welsh identity. He proposed setting up a Welsh-speaking colony away from the influence of English. He recruited settlers and provided financing. Australia, New Zealand and even Palestine were considered, but Patagonia was chosen for its isolation and the Argentines' apparently generous offer of 100 square miles (260 km²) of land along the Chubut River in exchange for settling the still-unconquered land of Patagonia for Argentina."
The Mimosa :- "The Mimosa was a clipper ship best known for carrying the first Welsh emigrants to South America in 1865.
Mimosa sailed from Liverpool, England on May 28, 1865 to Patagonia, South America with a group of about 153 passengers with Captain George Pepperell and a crew of 18. Thomas Greene, an Irishman from Kildare, had been appointed as ship's surgeon. They landed on July 28, 1865 and named their landing site Porth Madryn. They were met by Edwyn Cynrig Roberts and Lewis Jones who had already arrived in Patagonia in June 1865 to prepare for the arrival of the main body of settlers.
Their aim was to establish a Welsh colony which would preserve the Welsh language and culture. The proposed site for the colony was in the Chubut River valley. On September 15, 1865 the first town in the Chubut colony was named Rawson, and the settlers went on to build the settlements at Gaiman and Trelew.