The Guardian newspaper has been criticised for claiming that Wales “is officially part of England”.
The newspaper ran a ‘travel picture quiz‘ on its site which included the question ‘Why isn’t Wales represented on the Union Jack?’
Despite offering three alternatives the correct answer according to the Guardian was: “Because officially it is part of England”.
The first version of the Union Jack was designed after 1603, when James VI of Scotland inherited the English and Irish thrones, thereby uniting the crowns of England, Scotland and Ireland. Wales wasn’t considered a separate entity to England at the time.
The Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 and 1542 had formally incorporated Wales into the kingdom of England, and ended the existence of the principality of Wales.
However, acts of Parliament did for centuries recognise Wales’ individual national identity, one of the most notable being the Sunday Closing (Wales) Act 1881.
The Welsh Language Act of 1967 repealed the Wales and Berwick Act of 1746 that declared the legal term of England to include Wales. Since then, the term for laws applied south of Scotland was changed from “the laws of England” to “the laws of England and Wales”.
Since 1999 Wales has had its own Assembly – now Parliament – and Government, and was officially recognised as a country in December 2011 by the influential International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).
The Guardian’s quiz blooper attracted an angry response on social media, with Lewis ab Alyn asking: “What the hell is this Guardian? Wales isn’t ‘officially a part of England’ – sort yourselves out! Afiach.
“It doesn’t take much for a massive news outlet to fact check such an obvious thing.”
The European Celt added: “I admire the Guardian for its straight forward and factual journalism. But recently they have allowed way too much Welsh-bashing. Getting rather fed up tbh.”