Vortigern, aKing of Britain in post Roman times, was troubled learning of Saxon factions seeking to undermine his reign.He consulted his court who advised him to find a superior defensible position to build a fortress. There live out his days in secure company.
They searched the length and breadth of the island, eventually deciding on Dinas Ffaraon in North Wales to build the fortress. They assembled the best team of skilled men, the best materials and the best band of soldiers to protect them. Work began, but whatever was built during the day collapsed before the following morning. This happened day after day. Frustrated, Vortigern called on his wise men, who told him to find a boy with no father, sacrifice him and sprinkle his blood over the site. Searching the whole kingdom, they found such a boy in South Wales and brought him before the King.There, when told that he was to be sacrificed for the safe erection of the citadel, he challenged and ridiculed the so called wise men. In the presence of Vortigern, he asked them a series of questions about the foundations of the proposed new fortress that they were unable to answer. The boy then described to the King with the answers to the questions, that below the foundations was a pool, in this pool was two vases, in the vases were tents and in the tents , two serpents. When the King’s men dug down under the foundations all this was found to be true.
Before their very eyes, they saw the serpents fight for superiority until the red serpent had vanquished the white serpent out of the tent and the pool.
The boy asked the Kings wise men to explain this omen but they offered no answer. He then the King to take heed of the prophecy he had witnessed:the pool was was the world, the tent his kingdom, the two serpents are dragons, the red dragon is yours, the white dragon, the Saxons. You have nothing to fear, for our people will rise and drive out the Saxon Race. Meanwhile, do not build your fortress here. So said the young boy.
Vortigern, became aware of the ignorance and deceit of his wise men, spared the boy’s life and the wise men were banished from his Kingdom. The boy became legendary. He was of course, Myrddin Emrys, known as Merlin in English.
And the Red dragon became the emblem of Wales. Dinas Ffaraon is known today as Dinas Emrys.