Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Black Panther.
Black Panther reveals that Wales is an independent country in the Marvel Cinematic Universe during its mid-credits scene.
It's surely no surprise to learn that the politics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are very different to those of the real world. A flurry of alien invasions, not to mention the devastation of Sokovia, have no doubt transformed the geopolitical situation. But it seems Black Panther reveals one of the most unusual twists yet; Wales is an independent nation in the MCU, something that hasn't happened in the real-world for centuries.
King T'Challa makes a United Nations speech in Black Panther's mid-credits scene, and eagle-eyed viewers have spotted that Welsh flag can be seen fluttering in the background. It's next to the flags of the Netherlands, the United States, and other countries, thus indicating that it is, indeed, an independent nation. Take a look:
In the real world, of course, Wales is part of the United Kingdom; it is represented by the Union Jack. Black Panther seems to imagine Wales as an independent country, and even grants it a privileged seat at the UN. England, amusingly enough, is entirely absent. This is possibly a humorous nod to Lynwen Brennan, General Manager of Industrial Light and Magic, who hails from Pembrokeshire in Wales; ILM performed the special effects for Black Panther. NME reached out to the Welsh Government, and a spokesman gave an appropriately entertaining response:
"From flags to filming locations to record breaking dramas & feature films, Wales continues to punch above it’s weight – a real life Marvel."
Although Brexit has increased public support for Welsh Independence, polls still show less than 10 percent support. Evidently, in the MCU, history has been very different. It's possible that separatist movements have somehow been encouraged by global events, which have included alien invasions. London, itself, was the site of a major alien attack, when Malekith and his Dark Elves arrived in Greenwhich. Hydra cells were also active in the UK, likely adding another destabilizing factor.
There's also some speculation that this may be a very subtle reference to one of Marvel's most obscure characters, Y Ddraig Goch. Created by Paul Cornell and Manuel Garcia, this character was actually the Welsh Dragon given physical form. Over the course of the centuries, Y Ddraig Goch had forgotten his identity. In fact, he'd even become a local crime lord. Shang-Chi and Pete Wisdom reminded Y Ddraig Goch of his true identity, but things didn't exactly go well. The character is very much imagined as the embodiment of an independent Wales, and would no doubt lend powerful support to the independence movement in the MCU. Whatever the case may be, this detail in Black Panther is certainly the most surprising twist in the MCU's global tale.
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