The Anglo-Saxon migration to Britain began in the 5th century
AD. The most famed of the early migrants were Hengest and
Horsa who arrived with their warriors in three ships. In the
following years many warriors and settlers crossed the sea
and settled lowland Britain from East to West. They came from
the Engle (English), the Seax (Saxons) and the Jutes. From
the Jutes came the people of Kent and the people of the Isle
of Wight and the mainland opposite Wight. From the Saxons
came the East Saxons (Essex) and the South Saxons (Sussex)
and the West Saxons (Wessex). From Angeln came the East Engle
(East Anglia), Middle Engle (English Midlands), Mercians (Mercia),
and all the Northumbrians (North of the Humber), which included
those now known as the Lowland Scots.
The Engles (English) were the dominant group and by the 9th
century the settlers had merged into one English identity.
The English gave their name to the land they lived in (Englalond)
and the language they spoke (Englisc), which has evolved into
modern English. It was those writing in Latin who called the
English Angels and Anglo-Saxons.The settlers were closely
related peoples – so similar in appearance and culture
that they were able to merge into one English identity. Later
they absorbed closely related Danish and other Scandinavian
The White Dragon
Both the English and the Welsh adopted the dragon as their
battle flag. The dragon of the Britons can still be seen
in the Red Dragon of the Welsh flag while for the English
it was the White Dragon that was to prove most enduring.
The Dragon was flown by Harold II, when he destroyed the
Norse army at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 and
it was the banner under which he and his warriors fought
to the death, three weeks later defending their homeland.
In the following centuries the flag of St George was adopted
as the flag of England, which it still is. However, in modern
times, when our country is seeing much change and turmoil,
the White Dragon flag is being revived as the flag of the
English. It is a symbol of our identity, our common history
and of the kinship of all the Anglo-Saxon people.