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Monmouthshire (Wales)

Welsh County

Last modified: 2020-11-14 by rob raeside
Keywords: monmouthshire | wales |
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[Flag of Monmouthshire, Wales] image provided by the Monmouthshire Association, 1 October 2011

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Introduction: Monmouthshire

Monmouthshire is named for the ancient Welsh county of Sir Fynwy (or Mynwy) and is located in the southeast corner of Wales. Today it has very different boundaries from the ancient county of the same name. We use the term "Ancient" instead of "Traditional" or "historic" for Welsh counties as the Welsh seem to favour it. Monmouthshire was one of the thirteen ancient counties of Wales. It was first created following the Act of Union of 1536 and divided into six sub-regions in 1542 called the "Hundreds." They are Abergavenny, Caldicot, Raglan, Skenfrith, Usk and Wentloog.
It has always been a maritime county on the Bristol Channel, bounded to the north by Breconshire, to the east by Herefordshire and Gloucestershire (in England), to the west by Glamorgan and to the south by the Bristol Channel. After 1889 it was administered by an elected county council as the county of Monmouthshire, under the Local Government Act of 1888. However, in 1974 under a new Local Government Act of 1972, the ancient county of Monmouthshire was completely abolished and most of its area formed into the new county of Gwent, with smaller parts going to the new counties of Mid Glamorgan and South Glamorgan. The county of Gwent only lasted for 12 years (1974-1996) before it was abolished and divided into newly created county boroughs of Blaenau Gwent, Islwyn, Newport, Torfaen and Gwent.
Modern eastern Monmouthshire is mainly agricultural, but the western half is heavily industrialized with rich coal deposits. The valley of the Rhymney River is heavily industrialized. Newport is the largest city in the southwestern half of the county on the coastal belt, but Monmouth is the county town (county seat) of Monmouthshire and is located in the extreme north-east of the county on the border with neighboring Herefordshire. The county's borders are mostly defined by rivers. The Severn Estuary is the county's southern border, the Wye River forms the eastern border between Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire, the Rhymney River denotes the western border with Glamorgan, the Monnow River forms the northeastern border with Herefordshire, and the Brecon River makes the northern border with Brecknockshire. The island of Denny in the Bristol Channel also belongs to Monmouthshire.
Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

Description of the Monmouthshire Flag

The Monmouthshire Association (UK) has received confirmation of registration of the Monmouthshire flag, received this evening from Graham Bartram of the Flag Institute, following a resolution to support it passed yesterday by the local council.
I might humbly add that this design was my own and you'll see my rationale for it on the website of the Monmouthshire Association.
Jason Saber, 30 September 2011

Monmouthshire County Council
County Council Flag

[Monmouthshire County Council Flag, Wales] image by Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

The flag used by the Monmouthshire County Council was your basic coat of arms on a white bedsheet design popular by governmental organizations.
Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

County Council Logos

[Monmouthshire County Council logo, Wales]     [Monmouthshire County Council logo, Wales]     [Monmouthshire County Council logo, Wales]
images located by Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

The County Council logos are a modern design and used on Monmouthshire County Council letterheads, documents, and websites.
Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

Monmouthshire County Shields

[Shield of King Inyr of Gwent, Wales] King Inyr's Shield     [Monmouthshire County Council Shield, Wales] Monmouthshire County Council Shield
images located by Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

It is thought this first shield pattern was that of the sixth century King Inyr of the Kingdom of Gwent with its arrangement of three fleur-de-lis and the colors blue and black. The Kingdom of Gwent was to became Monmouthshire, and the second shield was adopted by the modern Monmouthshire County Councils based on this ancient design. More importantly these shields became the traditional basis of the County Arms and flags.
Source: British County Flags.
Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

Monmouthshire Coat of Arms (1948-1974, 1996- )
From 1974-1996 Gwent County Council

[Monmouthshire Coat of Arms, Wales] image by Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

"The arms were officially granted on January 28, 1948, transferred to Gwent County on April 16, 1975 and again on 18 October 1996 to the newly constituted Monmouthshire County Council. The gold fleur-de-lis upon blue and black are the Arms of the ancient Kingdom of Gwent. The castles are the arms of the ancient princes of Gwent and also refer to the many castles situated in the county. The Somerset coat of arms shown on the castle forming the crest refers to the connections of the Somerset family with the county. The castle itself refers to Raglan Castle associated with Henry Somerset. The three towers that rise from it are for the three castles of Grosmont, Llantilo and Skenfrith. The motto Utrique Fidelis (Faithful to Both) shows the county as faithful to both England and Wales, and the lion of England and the dragon of Wales, each holding its country's national emblem, illustrate this double allegiance. For many centuries there was some doubt as to which country Monmouthshire lay in."

Official Blazon:

  • Arms: Per pale Azure and Sable three Fleurs-de-Lis Or on a Chief of the last two Towers triple towered Gules.
  • Crest: On a Wreath of Colours a Tower triple towered Gules charged with an Escutcheon of the Arms of Somerset that is to say quarterly first and fourth Azure three Fleurs-de-Lis Or second and third Gules three Lions passant guardant in pale Or all within a Border gobony Argent and Azure.
  • Supporters: On the dexter side a Lion guardant Or grasping with the interior paw a Rose Gules barbed seeded stalked and leaved proper and gorged with a Coronet composed of four Fleurs-de-Lis set upon a Rim also Gules and on the sinister side a Dragon of the last grasping with the interior claw a Leek also proper and gorged with a like Coronet Gold.
  • Motto: Utrique Fidelis - Faithful to both.
Source: Heraldry of the World: Monmouthshire.
Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

Monmouthshire Constabulary

[Monmouthshire Constabulary Flag, Wales] Constabulary Flag    [Monmouthshire Constabulary Flag, Wales] Constabulary Badge
images by Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

Monmouthshire Constabulary was established for the hundred years between 1857-1967 for the county of Monmouthshire. In 1967 it was merged with Newport Borough Police to form Gwent Police which only lasted 12 years. It was actually the largest police force in England in 1965 just before the Local Government Act of 1972 seems to have shuffled up all the ancient counties. I'm not sure if it even exists today, similarly to the county itself.
Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service
Gwasanaeth Tân ac Achub De Cymru

[Monmouthshire County Council, Wales] SWFRS Flag    [Monmouthshire County Council, Wales] SWFRS Emblem
images by Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

The South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) is the fire and rescue service providing fire protection for Monmouthshire and nine more Welsh areas (Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen and Vale of Glamorgan). It was created by the Local Government (Wales) Act of 1994 when they merged the fire and rescue services of the short lived Mid Glamorgan, South Glamorgan and Gwent.
Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

Diocese of Monmouth

[Diocese of Monmouth, Wales]     [Diocese of Monmouthshire, Wales]     [Church in Wales Flag] Church in Wales Flag
images located by Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020 -

The design of the Arms of King Inyr of Gwent formed the basis of the arms now used by the Diocese of Monmouth of the Church in Wales. The flag is that of the Church in Wales sold commercially. There are several variants.
Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

Monmouthshire Regiments

Over the years there have been both volunteer and regular "Monmouthshire" regiments as part of both the British Army and the Territorial Army. Originating in units of rifle volunteers formed in Monmouthshire in 1859, the first Monmouthshire regiment served in the Second Anglo-Boer War and both World War I and World War II before losing its separate identity in 1967. Because of military reorganizations they have been moved and reassigned over the years.
Other examples would be:
- The 1st Monmouthshire Artillery Volunteer Corps was a unit of Britain's Volunteer Force raised in 1860 from Monmouthshire in the Welsh borders.
- The Territorial Force was organized into 14 infantry divisions, and the 1st-3rd Battalions of the Monmouthshire Regiment, along with the 1st Battalion, Herefordshire Regiment, formed the Welsh Border Brigade, part of the Welsh Division.
- The 43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army. It was raised as Thomas Fowke's Regiment of Foot in 1741 with its headquarters at Winchester. The regiment was numbered 54th Foot until 1748 when it became the 43rd Foot. In 1881 it amalgamated with the 52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry), to form the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Oxfordshire Light Infantry which in 1908 became the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

The Royal Monmouthshire Engineers

[Royal Welsh Engineers] image located by Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) is the senior Reserve Regiment of the British Army with unbroken service to the crown since 1539.
Please note this is a commercial flag and not regimental colors.
Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

Monmouthshire County Rugby Football Club

[Monmouthshire County Rugby Football Club]     [Monmouthshire County Rugby Football Club] image located by Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020

The Monmouthshire County RFC is a Welsh club that plays rugby at the county level. The team was made up of amateur players from sports clubs in the Monmouthshire region and historically played matches against other county teams from Wales and England. They still have tournaments for amateur men, women and youth clubs in the county.
Their fans seem happy with using mainly the Monmouthshire flag for their team, but the team shields are related to the Monmouthshire arms.
Source of first shield: British County Flags, the second shield their Facebook page.
Pete Loeser, 5 November 2020