The history of wyverns is, of course, mingled with that of dragons. Although all dragons adapt to their surroundings, the wyvern is so unique it might be considered a separate species. Not as large as dragons, wyverns were nonetheless known for ferocity and malignance. A flag with a golden wyvern was carried in a battle between the Saxons and the Mercians in early medieval times, perhaps beginning a long tradition of the mythical creature appearing in English heraldry.
The Saxons of Burford woke early that day, in the spring of 752. A Mercian army had made camp across the river the night before and those who wouldn’t join the battle knew time was short to escape into the forest. As the sun rose, a large flag was seen across the river. It was the golden wyvern, symbol of this Mercian army. With powerful wings and two strong legs, the symbol struck fear in all who saw it. Horns sounded, and the battle soon began. As luck would have it, the Saxons, despite facing the golden wyvern, were victorious that day. For 1000 years following, the villagers celebrated the anniversary of their victory over the forces of the wyvern by making a dragon and marching it through the streets.
Wyverns are occasionally but regularly sighted in Wales, UK and Norway. They are still used in the seals and banners of cities.