Visitors and residents to Caerphilly town may have noticed a difference to Caerphilly Castle recently – the black and white flag of Brittany flying.
The Gwenn-ha-du – which means white and black – was raised on Friday by the Caerphilly and District Twinning Association ahead of a visit by our friends from Britanny.
Around 50 people from Lannion and Ploubezre spent four days in the town as part of the annual exchanges with the twinning association.
It is the first time the Breton flag has flown above Caerphilly Castle and members of the association marked the occasion with a rendition of the Breton anthem, which has the same tune as the Welsh national anthem.
John Reardon, chair of the Caerphilly and District Twinning Association, said: “It is a momentous occasion and I know our friends from from Brittany will be over the moon when they see the flag.
“I’d like to thank councillor Colin Mann – this wouldn’t have happened without him.”
Councillor Colin Mann, a member of the twinning association, said: “We are delighted that Cadw has agreed that the Breton flag can be flown from the castle to mark the visit by our friends from Brittany and I would like to thank officials in Cadw for their cooperation.
“This is the 21st year of the exchanges between our two regions. Links are very strong and just last week a junior football team from Llanbradach returned from playing matches in Brittany, the senior team winning the trophy on penalties.”
Only a set number of flags are allowed to fly from the castle’s masts, as Tony Payne, head custodian at Caerphilly Castle, explained.
He said: “It’s very unusual for other flags to be flown on the monument. Usually it is the Welsh flag, the Union flag, the flag of the European Union and the Owain Glyndwr flag on Owain Glyndwr Day on September 16.
“More recently we’ve had the Olympic flag and the Prince of Wales Standard when Prince Charles visited.
“It’s a great way to show the links between the two towns.”