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Digital Subscriptions > iScot Magazine > June 2018 > Scots Wha Hae… Bonnie Symbols!

Scots Wha Hae… Bonnie Symbols!

OUR NATIONAL symbols are important. They are expressions or manifestations of our culture, folklore, history and traditions and help to promote a sense of belonging and togetherness. These symbols allow us to connect with our past and support us into our future. They represent our heritage and our aspirations. And, being o independent mind, we Scots hae some belters!

While other countries may favour eagles or lions to symbolise their strength and power, Scotland has as its national animal… the unicorn. This legendary creature is said to have been chosen to represent the Scots’ desire to ight for their sovereignty and remain unconquered. An 1816 book on heraldry notes that the unicorn “is remarkable for his strength, but more for his great and haughty mind, who would rather die than be brought to subjection”. Since James I, King of Scots, adopted the fabled beast as a royal symbol in the 15th century, we’ve used the image of the unicorn on coins, mercat crosses, and coats of arms. Other claimed attributes of the unicorn are purity, innocence and power, and when all of this is wrapped up with a mystical ability to promote healing… weel, thon unicorn’s really no bad at aw! In present-day Scotland we can celebrate all things unicorn each year on April 9th, officially designated as Scotland’s National Unicorn Day.

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