A WELSH Christian group is calling for the traditional Welsh dragon flag to be replaced by the cross of St David.
The Welsh Christian Party says having a red dragon - an animal it believes symbolises the devil - on the national flag is at odds with Wales' position as a Christian nation.
It is calling for the flag which has officially been in place since 1959, to be replaced with the black and gold cross of St David.
The party's leader, the Rev George Hargreaves, said, "We will not allow this evil symbol of the devil to reign over Wales for another moment.
"Wales is the only country in history to have a red dragon on its national flag.
"This is the very symbol of the devil described in The Book of Revelation 12:3.
"This is nothing less than the sign of Satan, the devil, Lucifer that ancient serpent who deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
"No other nation has had this red dragon as its ruling symbol.
"Wales has been under demonic oppression and under many curses because of this unwise choice.
"This symbol was only introduced in 1959 and is not the historic symbol of Wales.
"The gold cross on theblack background goes back nearly two thousand years.
"This Christian cross of the great patron saint of Wales, St David, is the true spiritual heritage and owner of the soul of Wales."
The party is launching an online petition and is calling for a referendum to allow the Welsh people to decide which flag they would prefer.
But historians and politicians yesterday said the symbol of the dragon had a long tradition in Wales and was a source of pride.
Welsh historian John Davies said, "What's the point of changing it now?
"It's been part of our tradition for more than 1,500 years, while the flag of St David has a much more specific remit.
"There are a large number of flags that are tricolour and so they don't stand out.
"But when you see the Welsh flag you know what it is. It's recognisable in the same way the Union Jack or Stars and Stripes are."
According to Mr Davies, the dragon pre-dates the Christian era, dating back 1,500 years.
Widely used by the Romans, the first reference to dragons in Wales is in the History Brittonum in the eighth century.
During the Tudor era the symbol was used by Henry Tudor at the battle of Bosworth to represent his Welsh ancestry.
According to Mr Davies, Wales may have adopted the symbol in an attempt to draw an association between the Welsh royal houses and the might of the Roman empire.
Plaid Cymru AM Janet Ryder said although the St David flag is becoming increasingly popular, the Welsh flag is internationally recognisable.
She said, "I think the Welsh flag is a symbol that a lot of people are proud of and I think it would take an awful lot to change that."
Gregory Barker, acting head of the school of theology and religious studies at Trinity College, Carmarthen, agreed the dragon had been associated with Satan in Christianity, but said it had also been used as a symbol of divinity.
He said, "Many Christian countries have flags without a specific religious symbol on them.
"What's most important is that the flag is something the citizens of that country can endorse."
Bishop David Yeoman said few Christians in Wales would associate the dragon with the devil.
He said, "The dragon is a very ancient symbol in Wales. I don't think Christians see it as demonic. They see it as a symbol of the past."