Last modified: 2016-03-15 by rick wyatt
Keywords: rio grande | ohio | gallia county |
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image by André Coutanche, 19 December 2007
Rio Grande is a village in Gallia County, Ohio, United States. The population was 915 at the 2000 census. Although the town is named after the river in the southern United States, its name is pronounced "Rye-O Grand" rather than the
traditional Spanish pronunciation so that it rhymes with "Ohio." Rio Grande is home to the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College.
The village of Rio Grande, Ohio recently decided to adopt a new flag which incorporates the Red Dragon, the symbol on the Welsh flag. The Madog Center for Welsh Studies helped fund the program to purchase 40 flags to fly on light poles along with the Ohio and American flags. The Madog Center was happy to assist with this project as it supports our mission of fostering interest and understanding of Welsh history and contemporary Welsh culture. With the rich Welsh heritage in the area around Rio Grande and southeastern Ohio, village mayor Matt Easter thought the Welsh symbol would be perfect for the village.
Text and photo of the flag here: madog.rio.edu/English/madog_center_for_welsh_studies.htm. The flag is also shown on Waymarking website www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM2KQV
Valentin Poposki, 19 December 2007
The village of Rio Grande (915 inhabitants in 2000; 310 ha) is located in Gallia County, south-eastern Ohio. It is the home of the University of Rio Grande and the birth place of the Bob Evans Restaurants. Bob Evans founded in 1953 a truck stop diner near his farm. He retired in 2000 and died in Rio Grande in 2007. In the meantime, his company had grown as a national business owning 600 restaurants in 23 American states. More details are available on the Bob Evans official website ( www.bobevans.com ).
On 10 August 2007, Robin Turner reported in "Western Mail" the adoption of the Welsh flag by the village of Rio Grande, Ohio, as its official emblem:
"A village in Ohio has adopted the Welsh flag as its official emblem to commemorate its rich historical links with this country. Rio Grande was founded in 1874 with a large proportion of its early community being Welsh. In fact, Gallia County, in southern Ohio - where Rio Grande stands - is known in the region as "little Cardiganshire" due to the influx of Welsh farmers, miners and tradesmen who started to begin new lives there from the 1800s onwards. Earlier this summer, the village's Beautification Committee decided it should at last have its own flag, after years of flying the American flag and various state and carnival banners from public buildings. Mayor Matt Easter suggested adopting the Welsh Dragon, particularly as one of Rio Grande's most famous sons of Welsh ancestry, restaurant chain owner Bob Evans, died in June. [...] He came from a family of farmers from Llanon, near Aberystwyth. The idea was taken up and the nearby Madog Centre for Welsh Studies at Rio Grande University agreed to help by sponsoring a number of the flags, which now fly from poles and public buildings in the village.
The village, which has a population of 915, was apparently named Rio Grande because the river in the south of the USA "was in the news at the time".
The first Welsh people to settle in the counties of Gallia - named after earlier French settlers - and neighbouring Jackson, arrived in 1818. But during the 1830s and 1840s a great wave of Welsh people, more than 3,000 immigrants, arrived from the parishes of Pennant, Tregaron, Llangeitho, Trefilan, Llangwyryfon and Llanddeiniol in what was then Cardiganshire, as well as from other parts of Wales. The first Welsh settlers were lead by John Jones of Tirbach, owner of the Ship Inn, Pennant, in the parish of Cilcennin. In Ohio, these families are referred to as the "1818 Welsh", and they influenced other families from Wales to settle in Jackson and Gallia counties, both by writing home, and through the stories about the economic state of the area carried home by other Welsh people who visited them.
Ivan Sache, 17 February 2008
The flag as shown in the first message above sent by Valentin Poposki isn't 'Y Ddraig Goch'), but the usual municipal U.S. design with writing on it. The 'Western Mail' has misunderstood, or simplified, and reported it as
"THE Welsh flag", rather than a flag based on the Welsh flag.
André Coutanche, 17 February 2008