Eurospeak Language School

Symbols of the UK (Part 2)


Land of kilt and Highlanders, Scotland is a land of contrasts, which uses symbols that we all know.


The Scottish Thistle is the oldest recorded ‘National Flower’ and is probably one of the most well-known, and easily recognized symbols of Scotland. This flower perfectly represents the history of Scotland. Indeed, it has beautiful flower heads, viciously sharp thorns, a stubborn and tenacious grip on the land and the defiant ability to flourish despite efforts to remove it.



With Scotland being famed for its love of myths and legends, it is no surprise that a fabled creature such as the unicorn is Scotland’s national animal. Symbol of purity and innocence, the unicorn was first used on the Scottish royal coat of arms by William I in the 12th century. This proud beast represents the ideal of the Scots which is to be untameable.



Lion Rampant of Scotland

Symbol of the kings of Scotland, it occupied the shield of the royal coat of arms of the ancient Kingdom of Scotland. Together with a royal banner displaying the same, it was used by the King of Scots from the 12thcentury until the Union of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland.



It’s a long piece of fabric (tartan) tied around the waist then fastened in place with a thick, leather belt. Originally, the rest of the cloth was thrown over the shoulder and tucked into the belt at the back, but not anymore. Each tartan is closely identified with a particular Scottish Clan. During the Jacobite wars in the 18th century, the kilt became a symbol of opposition to English domination and was therefore prohibited. It reappeared in the 19th century in Wales and Cornwall where it began to be worn during celebrations. 


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