Wales defeated Hungary in a straight shootout for a spot at Euro 2020 next summer, their second major tournament appearance since 1954, but it was a flag that captured headlines - and hearts - around the world on Tuesday night.


The hero in the ​2-0 win which secured Wales' waltz to the finals this week was Gareth Bale; often one of the best players in the world, occasionally fit. 


In the middle, Aaron Ramsey was brilliant, taking the game by the scruff of the next just like he did in two FA Cups finals in north London. In the middle, spearheading the attack, was Kieffer Moore – who Wikipedia claims is actually a professional footballer rather than a bulldozer which achieved sentience.

Through it all, the Welsh crowd sing 'Wales. Golf. Madrid.' Gareth Bale's order of priorities, according to Pedraj Mijatovic, Wales' fans and – whisper it – Bale's activities. So when Bale was pictured dancing directly in front of a flag outlining those priorities, people on both sides of the English Channel lost their minds a little bit. 


Bale's antagonism with his club side has been long established, while the image of Bale alongside the words have sparked a backlash from the Madrid media. There are also reports that the stunt has not gone down to smoothly with the bosses at Real Madrid, ​who considered it 'in bad taste'.


However, the owner of the now-infamous flag, a man also by the name of Gareth, who goes by ​@BuzzBoncath on Twitter and first took the flag to the Azerbaijan match on the weekend, told 90min that nobody ever meant to tweak Los Blancos' nose. 


"It’s not about Zidane," he told 90min, the morning after the Hungary match. "The flag's a bit of fun! Mijatovic’s words were written because that what Real fans wanted to hear. You see the reports of his car being vandalised, and it’s all fed the media and the desire to keep the soap opera going.

"Bale is an all-time great for Wales. Right up there in our pantheon. Madrid buy and sell as they please, it’s consumer football, disposable football, and Bale's strength of personality is hard for their fans to grasp when everything in their world is subservient to this colossus of a club. It’s made him the player he is. 


"He’s scored vital, trophy-winning goals for them, I can’t understand why he’s not more respected. He’s loved in Wales. He’ll be remembered here for as long as we play football. Madrid will move on, chew up & spit out talent like they do, but we’ll remember him long after they’ve forgotten about him, like they have Laurie Cunningham. We’ll build a statue of him one day. 


"The flag is a symbol for the support he has from all Welsh fans. We’ll stand by him, because your club is your employer, but your country is your home."


The flag was, perhaps unsurprisingly, made by a Welsh company – '​Mr Flag' – who have a proud history of speaking truth to power, especially on 5'x3' print. 


Speaking to 90min on Wednesday morning, vexillographer (it's a word!) Charles Ashburner said: "This was a conversation that was happening on Twitter, we had a look, did a quick design and went from there. There was a lot of talk after the first match, and the person who bought it was at the match last night.

"We're big fans of the team anyway, we were all watching it so it was very exciting."


Social media loves a flag, and Ashburner admitted: "It's all about Twitter, we have a few that blow up a bit. Every flag that we make, even it it's boring, offends someone. Bale didn't say this, someone said it about him! We're all for it."


As for the decision-makers at the Bernabeu? "I'm sure we can work with Zidane if he wants a response on a flag, we can do that for him!"


For more from ​Chris Deeley, follow him on Twitter at ​@ThatChris1209!