Emblematically Speaking - FC Oswestry Town

Tue 3rd October 2017 | FC Oswestry Town
By Stewart Taylor

FC Oswestry Town FC

Those who know me either personally or vicariously – great word that – through last year’s Tuesday afternoon website featured articles, will know of my particular interest in pubs and real ale.

The emblem we are looking at this week allows me to indulge that interest, but first, a bit more on some other parts of this club emblem.

The shape is of interest, in that the traditional shield design is somewhat bowed and is represented in a way that suggests a three dimensional shape.

FC Oswestry Town is one of the more recent additions to the Hallmark Security League having been formed in 2013 and joining our League for the 2016/17 season.

The club emblem was designed by the club committee on the formation of the club and was designed to represent not only the new club but also to give due consideration of the original town club.

The original town club, Oswestry Town FC, folded in 1988 but was later reformed and played in the League of Wales from 2000 to 2003 before merging with Llansantffraid.

The inset shield of the emblem shows a red dragon to represent this Welsh element.

The history and origin of the Welsh Red Dragon (Y Ddraig Goch in the Welsh language) as a major symbol of Wales is disputed.

It is suggested that an early written reference is contained in the 12th century prose stories of British literature, which are said to derive from stories of a somewhat mythical or mystical nature passed down though word of mouth over previous centuries.

From this comes the attribution of the symbol of a Red Dragon to Cadwallader, who was King of Gwynedd in the 7th century

The red dragon was flown by Henry Tudor as he marched through Wales on his way to the Battle of Bosworth Field – the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses. Following the battle, the flag was carried in state to be blessed at St Paul’s Cathedral.

These days, the red dragon symbolises “all things Welsh” and is depicted here in the traditional pose, described in heraldic terms as passant – standing with one foot raised.

The red cross on the inset shield represents England as Oswestry is located in England, albeit pretty close to the Welsh border, and that the club play in the English football system.

The correct descriptor for this symbol is St George’s Cross derived, as it was, from St. George, a warrior saint associated, primarily, with the Third Crusade (1189 – 1192). The heraldic description is argent, a cross gules which simply means a red centred cross on a white background.

Except for the writing on the emblem which needs no explanation, the device we have yet to talk about is the black lion and, not surprisingly, this is where the earlier reference to pubs and real ale comes in.

The inclusion of a Black Lion on the emblem makes direct reference to the forerunner club to FC Oswestry Town which was the Oswestry Lions. The name came directly from the Black Lion pub in the town which was home to the team.

The Black Lion pub is in the centre of Oswestry, some 2.5 miles from the Park Hall Stadium.

The pub runs a Real Ale Club which puts on the occasional real ale promotion, but the relevant part for our story is that the pub has recently been a rare outlet for the local family owned Stonehouse Brewery beer called 'Up The Town', a limited edition beer brewed in support of the local football team, FC Oswestry Town.

(Our thanks to Andy Burnett of FC Oswestry Town for his help in writing this article)

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