Would Iron Man need a passport to cross the Severn Bridge? It seems he would, after eagle-eyed filmgoers spotted evidence on an independent Wales in Marvel Studios' latest blockbuster Black Panther.

During a pivotal scene at the United Nations in which Black Panther himself T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) addresses delegates, he can be seen alongside the Welsh flag, implying that in the Marvel universe Wales has broken off from the United Kingdom.

In the real world, Wales is of course part of the United Kingdom and represented at the UN by the Union Jack flag.

Evidence was presented by Twitter user Rhys Davies, who shared a screenshot from the mid-credits scene with the Welsh flag clearly seen on the right beside those of Japan and the Netherlands.

The Union Jack, cross of St George and St Andrew's Cross can not be seen in the scene.

Welshman Leigh Jones told the BBC of his pride seeing the flag: "It seemed too good to be true, but when I saw the screenshot I was incredibly happy and proud because of the context.

"When the Welsh language and independence movements began gaining momentum in the 1960s, they saw themselves as part of a global struggle for civil rights at the time, which was being led by black Americans.

"Whether this is acknowledgment of that fellowship, or somebody working on SFX trying to suck up to the general manager of Lucasfilm (a Welsh person), doesn't really matter. It's just brilliant to have recognition of Wales as a separate nation on a global scale when we even struggle to get that recognition within the UK."

Black Panther has been hailed by critics as one of Marvel's best movies to date thanks to its colourful visuals, engaging plot, stunning costume design design, the performances of its predominantly black cast and its authentic depiction of pan-African culture.

The film also tackles political issues most blockbusters would steer well clear of, including race, poverty, immigration, colonialism and heritage.

It's been clear for a while that Black Panther would be a hit, but it's currently on track to surpass even the most generous expectations with an opening weekend that could near $200 million.

This would make it the most successful film ever to be released in February and one of the most successful opening weekends for a Marvel film to date, with Iron Man 3 and Avengers: Age of Ultron two of the films it could outpace.