In about 450 AD. came the landing in Celtic Britain of the Saxons, Angles and the Jutes who are traditionally regarded as the founders of England.
History records that the White Dragon was their emblem.
As they advanced from East to West, various accounts of the times record many battles between armies carrying the Celtic British Red Dragon Banner (now the Welsh Dragon) and the White Dragon Flag of the Saxons, Angles and Jutes (the English Dragon).
In a world with few certainties, the White Dragon Flag of the English people underlines our kinship with the past. It tells us from where we came and who we are. It imparts a sense of permanence and continuity – it is defining.
Unlike St George’s Cross, The White Dragon has no dubious religious connections or background unrelated to fact.
Merlin and The White Dragon
We find the following among the Arthurian legends:
Merlin, the magician, was asked by King Vortigern, how to render stable a tower of his castle which thrice had tumbled down. Merlin explained that the trouble lay in the fact that the tower had been built over the den of two immense dragons, whose combats shook the foundations above them. “The king ordered his workmen to dig and when they had done so they discovered two enormous serpents, the one white as milk, the other red as fire. The multitude looked on with amazement till the serpents, slowly rising from their den, and expanding their enormous folds, began the combat. Everyone fled in terror except Merlin, who stood by, clapping his hands and cheering on the conflict. The red dragon was slain, and the white one, gliding through a cleft in the rock, disappeared. This incident is reputed to have taken place on an isolated rocky eminence in Caernarvonshire, where remains of extensive prehistoric stone-works are still to be seen!
Courtesy of John Green, www.whitedragonflagofengland.com
It is only fair to state that some legends conflict the above – a favourite is that both Dragons got thirsty in the heat of battle and got drunk on Mead. They were then buried beneath Oxford in Middle England and will only be recalled when there is a threat of invasion to our islands!