Welsh Dragon Celtic Knot Cufflinks

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Welsh Dragon Celtic Knot Cufflinks

The Dragon has almost always been a symbol of the Britons, mostly known today in Wales, but also in other Brythonic parts of Britain, such as the West Country. The Dragon Rampant can be found as a heraldic supporter for many of the towns and families of Wales, as well as the flag of Somerset.

The proud and ancient battle standard of the Welsh is The Red Dragon (Y Ddraig Goch) and consists of a red dragon, passant (standing with one foot raised), on a green and white background. As with any ancient symbol, the appearance of the dragon has been adapted and changed over the years, and hence several different variations exist.

The current flag was officially adopted in 1959, and is based on an old royal badge used by British kings and queens since Tudor times. The red dragon itself has been associated with Wales for centuries, and as such, the flag is claimed to be the oldest national flag still in use. But why a dragon? The answer to that particular question is lost in history and myth.

One legend recalls Romano-British soldiers carrying the red dragon (Draco) to Rome on their banners in the fourth-century, but it could be even older than that.

It is considered that the Welsh kings of Aberffraw first adopted the dragon in the early fifth century in order to symbolize their power and authority after the Romans withdrew from Britain. Later, around the seventh century, it became known as the Red Dragon of Cadwaladr, king of Gwynedd from 655 to 682.

Celtic Knots

The Celtic Knot is an ancient symbol that is emblematic of eternity and unity. Irish monks used Celtic Knots to symbolize the soul’s continuity. Designing and creating these intricate geometric patterns was a delight for these holy men who had sacrificed worldly pleasure. Elaborate Celtic knot designs let monks express themselves while glorying in the designs of Heaven.

Spirals, step patterns, and key patterns are dominant motifs in Celtic art before the Christian influence on the Celts, which began around 450. These designs found their way into early Christian manuscripts and artwork with the addition of depictions from life, such as animals, plants and even humans. In the beginning, the patterns were intricate interwoven cords, called plaits (braid), which can also be found in other areas of Europe, such as Italy, in the 6th century. A fragment of a Gospel Book, now in the Durham Cathedral library and created in northern Britain in the 7th century, contains the earliest example of true knotted designs in the Celtic manner.

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