Aspects of Wessex Culture



The flag of Wessex is a gold wyvern on a red field. It is first recorded as having been flown at the battle of Burford in 752 AD, in which the West Saxons, under King Cuthred, defeated King Æthelbald of Mercia. The modern version of the flag was designed by William Crampton in 1974. Thanks largely to the Society's efforts, it now appears in the UK flag registry, and has been flown outside the Department for Communities and Local Government's offices in London (see picture opposite), as well as many locations within Wessex itself.




There is no official anthem for Wessex, but the Society has adopted two unofficial ones. The first was an original composition known as The Very Nëame of Wessex, with words by dialect poet Devina Symes and music by Hayley Savage. The second was a version of The Red Flag with a new set of lyrics by Society member Jim Gunter. Many people have suggested that Jerusalem has a strong claim, due to its being inspired by the

The Wessex flag flying over Eland House, headquarters of the Department for Communities and Local Government

legends of Jesus's visit to Glastonbury, though it is also a popular choice for the national anthem of England as a whole.


Patron Saint


The Society has campaigned to get St Ealdhelm (more commonly known by the Mercian form of his name, Aldhelm) recognized as the patron saint of Wessex. The idea has started to take root within the Orthodox Churches in the region, though the Roman Catholic Church only assigns patron saints to individual dioceses rather than regions. The position of St Ealdhelm in the Church of England remains ambiguous, but a government press release tying in with the flying of the flag over Eland House (see above) refers to him as "patron saint of Wessex". Since there is no separation of church and state in the British constitution, it could be argued that recognition by one implies recognition by the other. The Society usually holds an event to commemorate the saint's feast day on May 25th.



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