National symbols of Scotland

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The national symbols of Scotland are flags, icons or cultural expressions that are emblematic, representative or otherwise characteristic of Scotland or Scottish culture. As a rule, these national symbols are cultural icons that have emerged from Scottish folklore and tradition, meaning few have any official status. However, most if not all maintain recognition at a national or international level, and some, such as the Royal Arms of Scotland, have been codified in heraldry, and are established, official and recognised symbols of Scotland.


Flag of Scotland.svgThe national flag of Scotland, the Saltire or St. Andrew's Cross, dates (at least in legend) from the 9th century, and is thus the oldest national flag still in use. The Saltire now also forms part of the design of the Union Flag.
Banner of the King of Scots.svgThe Royal Standard of Scotland, a banner showing the Royal Arms of Scotland, is also frequently to be seen, particularly at sporting events involving a Scottish team. Often called the Lion Rampant (after its chief heraldic device), it is technically the property of the monarch and its use by anybody else is illegal, although this is almost universally ignored, and never enforced.


Main article: Scottish heraldry
Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland.svgThe Royal Arms of Scotland[1] is a coat of arms symbolising Scotland and the Scottish monarchs. The blazon, or technical description, is "Or, a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure within a double tressure flory counter-flory of the second", meaning a red lion with blue tongue and claws on a yellow field and surrounded by a red double royal tressure flory counter-flory device

Although officially subsumed into the heraldry of the British Royal Family in 1707, the historic Royal Arms featuring the lion rampant continues to represent Scotland on several coins of the pound sterling, forms the basis of several emblems of Scottish national sports teams (such as the Scotland national football team),and endures as one of the most recognisable national symbols of Scotland

Scottish Thistle (Heraldry).svgThe thistle, the floral emblem of Scotland, also features in Scottish & British heraldry through symbols, logos, coat of arms and on British currency.
Crest of the Kingdom of Scotland.svgThe Honours of Scotland, the Scottish Crown Jewels, are displayed in the Crown Room of Edinburgh Castle, from where they are removed only for State Occasions. They appear on the royal crest, as well as on the badges of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service and upon Royal Mail premises, vehicles and pillar/wall boxes in Scotland.



Main article: Culture of Scotland
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race.JPGBurns' Night is an annual celebration of Scotland's national poet Robert Burns.
Declaration of arbroath.jpgDeclaration of Arbroath (1320) Scotland Declaration of Independence. Tartan Day, a recent innovation from Canada, is a celebration of all things Scottish on the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath.
Stone of scone replica 170609.jpgStone of Scone, Block of red sandstone used for the coronation of Scottish kings. Usually seen as a symbol of unity and Scottish independence.
St Neot Cornwall 018.JPGSt Andrew's Day, the 30 November, is the national day with the St. Andrew's Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007, designating the day to be an official bank holiday.[4]
Three tartans.jpgTartan is a specific woven textile pattern that often signifies a particular Scottish clan, as featured on a kilt.

Flora and fauna[edit]

HamptonCourtUnicorn.jpgThe unicorn is the national animal of Scotland. The Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland, used prior to 1603 by the Kings of Scotland was supported by two unicorns and the current royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom is supported by a unicorn for Scotland along with a lion for England. The unicorn is frequently found as an ornament on mercat crosses.
Eselsdistel.JPGThe thistle, the floral emblem of Scotland.
CallunaVulgaris.jpgHeather is also considered to be a symbol of Scotland. Wearing a sprig of heather is believed to bring good luck.
Pinus sylvestris Glenmuick.jpgThe Scots Pine is the national tree of Scotland.

Food and drink[edit]

Main article: Scottish cuisine
Scotland Haggis.jpgHaggis is one of Scotland's most recognisable and traditional foods associated annually with Burns' night.
Irn Bru is Scotland's most popular home-grown soft drink.
Shortbreadrounds.jpgShortbread (bottom left) Shortbread is a classic Scottish dessert that consists of flour, sugar, and butter.
Whiskyhogmanay2010.jpgWhisky is the quintessential drink of Scotland.


St. Andrew statue, Church Street, St. Andrews.jpgSaint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland.
Robert the Bruce.jpgRobert the Bruce, a national hero and King of Scotland after the Scottish Wars of Independence.
Burns 2.jpgRobert Burns is recognised as Scotland's national poet.
William Wallace Statue , Aberdeen2.jpgWilliam Wallace, a leader in the Scottish Wars of Independence who became a national hero.

See also[edit]