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Last modified: 2011-04-02 by zoltán horváth
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image by Mikael Bodlore-Penlaez, 29 August 2008
A report of a previous flag is given by Divy
Kervella (1998) in "Emblèmes et symboles
des Bretons et des Celtes".
According to the author, there is no Interceltic flag recognized by
all. The most known was created by Robert
Berthelier, from Brittany, in the 50's. It is made of a green field
charged with two
yellow interlaced triskells, the first of them symbolizing the Gaelic
countries (Scotland, Man, Ireland) and the second of them symbolizing
the Brittonic countries (Wales, Cornwall, Brittany). Each of the six
nations is therefore symbolized by a branch of the triskells. The
triskells are inscribed in a yellow Celtic circle, which has been used
by the Celts as a rallying sign since the beginning of the century.
Green symbolizes both fredoom and the sea which links the Celtic
Green and yellow have been used as the Celtic colours since the birth of the Celtic movements. For instance, the movement Bleimor used a green flag including a yellow circle.
Purple is also often used, as the colour of heather, the emblem plant of the Celts. (See for instance the second flag of Bleun Brug movement, litt. flower of heather, with a purple field). The heather was used as symbol by two Breton movements with opposed ideology: Bleun Brug (Catholic and nationalist) and Brug (libertarian). On 23 August 1901, during its first meeting held in Dublin, the Celtic Congress unanimously adopted the heather as the Celtic flower.
"The Song of the Celts" by The Wolftones, says:
"The flower of the free
The heather the heather
The Bretons and Scots and Irish together
The Manx and the Welsh and Cornish forever
Six nations are we, all Celtic and free."
Ivan Sache, 11 February 2002
Divi Kervella & Mikael Bodlore-Penlaez, "Guide des drapeaux bretons et celtes", Yoran Embanner, 2008, p. 167, flag nr. 533.
Divi Kervella, "Emblèmes et symboles des Bretons et des Celtes", Coop Breizh, 2005, p. 62.
Divi Kervella, 29 August 2008
image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 10 February 2002
The flag is a collage of the flags of the six Celtic nations (clockwise from upper left): Brittany, Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and Ireland. I don't know the exact name of the emblem at the centre, but there is, at the British Museum, a very ancient bronze enameled shield by La Tène culture, from early 1st century BC, which has three circles in vertical disposition, the middle one bigger than the others, which has similar wavy patterns forming intricate designs, though not the one seen at the flag. So, the symbol has to be very ancient too.
Blas Delgado Ortiz, 10 February 2002
Linguistically, the Celtic culture (barely) survived only in
the peripheral areas of the British
Isles and in the French Brittany. These are the areas to this day more
Celtic in nature. But throughout the
northwestern Iberia (Spanish Galicia and Asturias and the Portuguese
Trás os Montes),
Celtic roots survived intensely in traditions and folklore. This area
is a sort of second
league in the ranking of "Celticness", despite having a Latin language (four of them, actually: Galician, Portuguese, Asturo-Leonese and Castillan). The flag above would be a flag of the first league, those areas with not only Celtic culture, but also Celtic language.
Jorge Candeias, 11 February 2002
The symbol in the center is a Triskell (in Breton Gaelic). It's a very old solar symbol. The meaning is the cycles of the universe : the years, the seasons, Life and Death etc.... It's a very positive and powerful symbol in our traditions.
Xavier Moritz, 13 January 2005
The emblem at the centre of the Collage Celtic Flag is called
the triskele. The insigne of the Isle
of Man, three human legs radiating from a central point, is
another form of the same motif. The spiral triskele shown on the flag
is a very ancient Celtic design, and one of the most frequently found
symbols at ancient sites inhabited by Celtic people. I have seen the
abstract spiral triskele, such as the design at the centre of the flag,
described as a sun symbol and a symbol of fertility and/or pregnancy.
Though it predates Christianity in the Celtic countries, some
Christians prefer to think of it as symbolising the Trinity. Like the
triquetra or 'Trinity knot', a related ancient Celtic symbol, the
triskele is sometimes considered to represent the triplicities of mind,
body, and soul, the three domains of Earth -- earth, sea, and sky -- or
the pagan Triple Goddess in her triad manifestations of maiden, mother,
Cyndi Balfour-Traill, 29 April 2005
image by Uilleam Stiùbhart, 22 May 2002
The use of Pan-Celtic flags is during meetings, such as Celtic festivals, for inter-Celtic groups, such as the Celtic congress, or perhaps for people of all or many of the six Celtic nations descent. The one I have designed is based on Celtic symbols. It has on the border in each corner Celtic knotwork. This, obviously, represents Celtic culture. In the center is a large Celtic cross. This represents the separate Christianities of the Six nations: Anglicanism (Ireland, Scotland, Wales), Catholicism (Ireland, Brittany), Methodism (Cornwall, Wales), and Presbyterianism (Scotland), and also Celtic Christianity. The six six-pointed stars represent the six Celtic nations. The knot in the center represents Christianity (the Trinity).
The colors have several meanings. White means purity and
justice. The dark blue of the knotwork
border and the cross represents the sea which separates all of the
nations. The red star
represents the Isle of Man, the dark green, Ireland, the blue,
Scotland, the white,
Cornwall, the light green, Wales, and the black, Brittany. The six
pointed stars each represent the six Celtic nations.
Uilleam Stiùbhart, 22 May 2002
"This set of stamps celebrates the links between the Isle of Man and other Celtic nations: Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Ireland, Asturias and Galicia. Each stamp features the native language of our fellow Celts. The Europa theme for 2008 is letter writing."The eight stamps are available in a sheet showing the following flags (the names are given as shown on the stamps, with the English equivalent placed between brackets):
http://www.agencebretagnepresse.com - Agence Bretagne Presse, "Le drapeau breton sur un timbre poste", 28 April 2008
http://www.gov.im - Isle of Man Post Office website
http://www.cornwall24.co.uk Cornwall24 Discussion Board, 21 April 2008
Ivan Sache, 1 May 2008
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