15/05/2008

Click the Flag

I am not sure if it is strictly a blog or a web page. However, newly elected Councillor Owen Llywelyn (Plaid Cymru, Dyffryn Aeron) has a new "with feeds" presence on the internet.

The page has caused some controversy on the Welsh Language discussion board Maes-e

Cllr Llywelyn has a bilingual site. To read his pearls of wisdom in Welsh one clicks a Red Dragon Flag, to read them in English click the Union Jack.

To me this gives the message that only Welsh speakers are truly Welsh and that non Welsh speaking Welsh people are Brits.

I'm sure that this message is unintentional, perhaps I'm being petty. I would like to know what others feel, especially non Welsh speaking nationalists / supporters of Plaid.

10 comments:

  1. It's normal practice across the internet to click onto certain flags in order to change the language.

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  2. Using the Jack and the Welsh flag is common practice. The reason the Jack is used is because they think putting an English flag for English would offend English speakers in the rest of UK.

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  3. When my bank's cash machine offers a language option it also uses the Ddraig/union flag system. If it were to use an English flag, imagine the guilt of a patriotic welsh, but non-welsh speaking individual having to actively shun the welsh dragon in favour of the england symbol - this covers a large proportion of the population, particularly the central valleys areas. The union flag is less guilt wracking as most could tolerate being called british, but never english.

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  4. taught welsh at school15/05/2008, 13:11

    'To me this gives the message that only Welsh speakers are truly Welsh and that non Welsh speaking Welsh people are Brits.'

    because its a commonly held view that's rarely challenged and its sad to see Cultural Elitism is still as rife in Wales as it ever, with people still beating Valleys folk around the head over 'failing to learn their own language'

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  5. It's the standard used by many websites in Wales and all banking organisations. I'm sure he means no offence but your angle of viewing it is an interesting one.
    Maybe it's time to come up with something new?

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  6. because its a commonly held view that's rarely challenged and its sad to see Cultural Elitism is still as rife in Wales as it ever, with people still beating Valleys folk around the head over 'failing to learn their own language'


    Wow, talk about having a chip on your shoulder.

    As someone said, banks use the same system (Nationwide do it I'm sure) - these banks are hardly bastions of Welsh nationalists are they!

    Their train fo thought is quite obvious. First they think to put Welsh flag on Welsh language and English flag on English language. then they think that it might be offensive to people to put an English flag there, as many non-english people in uk speak english as first language, so they switch to an UK flag.

    To see it as the welsh speaking elite beating the good old folk of the valleys is seriously paranoid.

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  7. with people still beating Valleys folk around the head over 'failing to learn their own language

    These violent attacks on Valleys locals by hardened gangs of linguists never seem to make the news.

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  8. Just a few points:
    1 - the site is built with Joomla which uses flags as default - so it wasn't my decicion to put the flags there, but it was mine to remove them! No big political point was being made either way.
    2 - In response to your comment about whether it's a blog or a website - I take it it's a blog if you take wikipedia's definition: "A blog (an abridgment of the term web log) is a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video"
    3 - and, for my sins - been there 4 years already so not really newly elected!

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  9. Thanks for the explanations and corrections Cllr Llywelyn.

    The intention of the post wasn't to criticize you, merely to publicise your blog to the half dozen people who read my blog. If my comments have caused offence I apologise unreservedly.

    My reason for being uncertain about your bit of the internet being a blog or not is because your site seems to offer more than the usual pearls of wisdom that I associate with blogs. I wasn't trying to detract from its value by expressing my uncertainty, I was just showing my ignorance. I appreciate your explanation.

    As to the general points that its normal practice, its common usage its Joomla's default; I thought that the point of Welsh Nationalism is, in part, to point out how generic answers don't always apply to Wales and that Welsh issues need to be addressed differently.

    I was a Welsh patriot before I spoke Welsh - a long time ago when tensions were different. But in the late 70's early 80's I would have died before clicking on the Brit flag, and if I clicked on the Dragon I wouldn't understand what was written!

    Times may have changed. Perhaps non Welsh speaking Wales is different now?

    My Wales may belong to the Welsh version of Life on Mars - but Old Farts always hark back to the good old days - and this blog is an Old Fart's place in the global village.

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  10. They should have an American flag for English speakers .... indeed I think they should change the name of the language to American. That would reflect the reality of where the heartbeat of the language is found nowadays

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