A TOWN business owner says he is gobsmacked to have been accused of insulting the Welsh by hanging union jack bunting outside his premises.

Steven Vale, who runs Caroline's Viennese Patisserie in Central Arcade, Wrexham town centre, said he was stunned to have been told by a passer-by that his bunting was offensive, and did not represent Wales.

Mr Vale, a veteran who served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, said he put the bunting up to brighten up his part of the arcade and to mark a series of events being celebrated in Great Britain this summer.

He said: "To mark a year when we have a Royal Wedding, 100 years of the RAF, Trooping of the Colour, the World Cup, I decided to put up Union Flag bunting to cheer up our shop in Central Arcade.

"This morning a lady came into my shop complaining about the bunting stating it was insulting to the Welsh because they are not represented on the union jack because they were invaded by the English.

"Her comments were bordering on being racist to the English in my opinion. I was a bit taken aback.

"I could have put up Welsh dragon bunting but then this would not truly honour the events mentioned which are for the UK to celebrate."

He added: "I was born in Bangor, North Wales, my father Blaenau Ffestiniog, his father and generations before him were born on The Great Orme in Llandudno.

"I served 14 years in The Royal Welsh Fusiliers so I rather suspect I have some Welsh Blood in me.

"My intent was never to offend anyone indeed quite the opposite, as I understand it the history of the Union Flag is as follows: - in 1707, the flag of Great Britain was created and this combined the flags of the Kingdom of England - implying England and Wales - and the Kingdom of Scotland.

"In 1800, when the Acts of Union united the Kingdoms of Ireland and Great Britain, Ireland’s St Patrick’s white saltire was added to the flag of Great Britain to create the union flag.

"Wales didn’t have its own flag but is implicitly included in the English part of the flag, because the two nations were already one entity before the concept of national flags arose.

"In a relatively recent attempt to revive a sense of Welsh nationalism, Wales created the following fairly well known flag, but perhaps surprisingly it was only adopted as such as recently as 1959.

"I'm keeping the bunting up. It looks nice, brightens the place up, and it is insulting to say Wales is not represented in that flag."

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