Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The Lion Rampant
Scotland, actually has two flags. No, it's not like the American flag and the Confederate flag; these are equals and flown side by side, not used for another opinion! The Saltire is the flag of the normal people and is flown more commonly, but their second flag, the Lion Rampant, is the flag of the Kings of Scots.
It originated in the 1100s when King William, nicknamed "The Lion" was either gifted or sold lions as pets and he was so taken with them, he decided to change the royal badge of Scotland from the boar, which it had been before, to the lion.
The flag has a gold or yellow background with a red lion rearing on it's back legs in the center. In heraldry, the lion in this position is known as the "Rampant" thus, where the flag got its name. Here a link to a picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Standard_of_Scotland
A bit of interesting history about the flag can start with telling about a man named Alexander Scrymgeour who was a close friend of William Wallace, one of Scotland's greatest heroes. In 1297 when Wallace went to fight the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, he had to leave off a siege of Dundee Castle, so he left Scrymgeour in charge. Alexander was successful in capturing the castle and Wallace bestowed on him the title of Hereditary Standard-Bearer. To this day the Scrymgeour family are still the Hereditary Standard-Bearers of Scotland. It just shows how many things never really change even after seven hundred years!