Wales /ˈweɪlz/ is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west.
It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km² (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,200 km (746 mi) of coastline, including its offshore islands; the largest, Anglesey, is also the largest island in the Irish Sea. Generally mountainous, its highest mountains are in the north and central areas, especially in Snowdonia, which contains Snowdon, its highest peak.
The name Wales comes from the Cymraeg word Gwalia, meaning in English "Homeland". It later became Latinized as Walia, then by the Normans to something like Wal~es....then Wales.
Technically, Wales is a principality. This means that it is ruled by a prince. Traditionally the Prince of Wales is the eldest son of the English monarch.
Wales has not been politically independent since 1282, when it was conquered by King Edward I of England.
Until 1999, Wales was ruled directly from London; that year saw the first elections to the National Assembly of Wales, which has limited domestic powers and cannot make law.
Wales does not issue its own currency and is not in control of any armed forces. These are the powers of the national government of the UK.
The national game of Wales is Rugby
The National Flag of Wales
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 symbolise 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.
Why doesn't the Welsh dragon appear on the Union Flag?
The Welsh dragon does not appear on the flag because when the first Union Flag was created in 1606, Wales was already united with England from the 13th century. This meant that Wales a Principality instead of a Kingdom and as such could not be included.
In 1536, under Henry VIII, the Act of Union joined England and Wales officially.
The national flower of Wales is the daffodil, which is traditionally worn on St. David’s Day. The vegetable called leek is also considered to be a traditional emblem of Wales.
There are many explanations of how the leek came to be adopted as the national emblem of Wales. One is that St David advised the Welsh, on the eve of battle with the Saxons, to wear leeks in their caps to distinguish friend from enemy. As Shakespeare records in Henry V, the Welsh archers wore leeks at the battle of Agincourt in 1415.
The Welsh National Anthem is Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of my Fathers). It was written by Evan James in 1856.