The Welsh Dragon (Welsh: Y Ddraig Goch, meaning the red dragon, pronounced [ə ˈðraiɡ ˈɡoːχ]) is a heraldic symbol that appears on the national flag of Wales. The oldest recorded use of the dragon to symbolise Wales is in the Historia Brittonum, written around AD 829, but it is popularly supposed to have been the battle standard of King Arthur and other ancient Celtic leaders. Its association with these leaders, along with other evidence from archaeology, literature, and documentary history, led many to suppose that it evolved from an earlier Romano-British national symbol. During the reigns of the Tudor monarchs, the red dragon was used as a supporter in the English Crown’s coat of arms. The red dragon is often seen as symbolising all things Welsh, and is used by many public and private institutions. These include the Welsh Government, Visit Wales, and numerous local authorities including Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea, and sports bodies, including the Sport Wales National Centre, the Football Association of Wales, Wrexham A.F.C., Newport Gwent Dragons, and London Welsh RFC, while the “dragon’s tongue” (Tafod y Ddraig) is the symbol of the Welsh Language Society. The Welsh Dragon is also one of The Queen’s Beasts.
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