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Washington monument inscriptions: Welsh and Latin

Washington monument The Washington monument in the eponymous capital of the United States is crowned with a metal cap. Among other inscriptions, the cap displays the words LAUS DEO, which in Latin means “Praise be to God”, or more literally “Praise to God”. The inscription most likely reveals some sort of Masonic connection.

More interestingly, Wikipedia informs us of the following:

Halfway up the steps of the monument is an inscription in Welsh: Fy iaith, fy ngwlad, fy nghenedl Cymru — Cymru am byth (My language, my land, my nation of Wales — Wales for ever). The reason for this inscription or its author is unknown.

Washington Monument (Wikipedia article)

At the very least we know that this is not some sort of Elfish language 🙂 But seriously, “the reason for this inscription or its author is unknown”? You may may wait for Dan Brown’s new novel to find out what this inscription is all about. I am sure the truth will be most entertaining, as Dan Brown explores the dark secrets of Masonic symbolism in the nation’s capital. But if you don’t feel like waiting, here is what I uncovered:

“In 1834 a dinner was held by the Welsh residents of New York, presided over by E. W. Davis, and aided by T. Ingram Tones and the late Daniel L. Jones. The success of the dinner suggested the idea oi organizing a Welsh national society, and a draft of the constitution nnd by-laws for such a society was made. Out of this initiative grew the present St. David Society, which has helped hundreds of distressed Welshmen who have stranded on their arrival In the United States. Daniel L. Jones was president in 1863. Among its presidents have been Gen. Thomas L. James. Hon. Noah Davis, Ellis H. Roberts, the present United States Treasurer, and a score of other prominent Americans. It was through Mr. Jones that the government permitted a stone to be placed in the Washington monument to represent the little principality. This stone was imported from a quarry near Swansea. It bears the following inscription: Fy iaith. Fy Ngwlad, Ky Nghenedl. Wales. Cymru am Byth! Mr. Daniel L. Jones was a faithful, consistent and patriotic Welshman.”

The Cambrian, a monthly magazine, Vol. XVIII, 1898.

Of course, it is still very suspicious that Welshmen be ever allowed to express their patriotic (and hence non-American) sentiments on this great obelisk. So, we shall see what Mr. Brown will be able to dig up.

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