According to some historians the use of the red flag as a symbol of revolution and working class revolt dates from the 1831 Merthyr Rising. Armed workers and the unemployed seized the town, after sacking the debtors' court, and held it for a number of days against troops sent to put down the spreading revolt and associated strike action.
Trade unionists in Wales continue to commemorate the revolt and remember the unjust execution of Dic Penderyn. On 12 August there is a memorial walk organised by the NUT teaching union and supported by the PCS union and others. Participants will be encouraged to carry red flags in memory of the raising of the red flag of revolution in 1831.
This event will be joined by Wales' first minister, Carwyn Jones. The Labour Party, which he leads in Wales, is happy to celebrate revolutionary acts at a distance of 180 years but the current Labour Party spits on trade unionists fighting to defend their terms and conditions. Labour leader Ed Milliband refused to back public sector workers striking to defend pensions.
Welsh Labour often claims to be different from its big brothers and sisters in Westminster. But the Welsh Labour government is presiding over cuts that threaten the Labour Party's greatest achievement, the NHS.
The Labour Party has abandoned the symbol of the red flag along with support for workers in struggle. Socialists celebrate working class fighters of the past by supporting struggles today and fighting for a fairer society, a socialist society.