Royal coat of arms of Scotland

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Image:Kingdom of Scotland Royal Arms.png
The Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland, as used before 1603

The Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland was the official coat of arms of the monarchs of Scotland, and were used as the official coat of arms of the Kingdom of Scotland until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. Afterwards, the arms became an integral part of the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.


[edit] Features

Image:Royal Arms of Scotland.png
The shield of the Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland

The shield depicts a red lion rampant on a yellow field, surrounded by a double tressure fleury-counter-fleury.

The crest is a red lion sitting on a crown, holding a sword and a sceptre. Above the lion is the motto 'In Defens', which in turn is taken from the war cry 'In My Defens God Me Defend'. (The spelling of 'Defens' being the Scots spelling of 'Defence').

The supporters are two crowned unicorns, the dexter supporter holds a banner of the arms; the sinister supporter holds the national flag of Scotland.

The coat features both the motto Nemo me impune lacessit (No-one wounds (touches) me with impunity) and insignia of The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle around the shield.

[edit] History

[edit] Kingdom of Scotland

A form of these arms was first used by King William I in the 12th century. A register in the College of Arms in London describes the arms of the Kyng of Scottz as being Or, a lion rampant within a double tressure flory counter-flory Gules. (The lion is usually also depicted armed and langued azure.) The supporters were unicorns (chained as heraldic unicorns normally are, since they were considered dangerous beasts) and the crest was a crowned lion gules sejant affronte, holding a sceptre and a sword. The motto was Nemo me impune lacessit (Latin: "No one provokes me with impunity") and the war-cry was "In My Defens God Me Defend", abbreviated to read "In Defens".

[edit] Union of the Crowns

On the death of Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1603, James VI, King of Scots inherited the English throne, becoming King James I of England and VI of Scotland. The Royal Coat of Arms of England were quartered with those of Scotland, and a quarter for the Kingdom of Ireland was also added, as the English monarch was also King of Ireland.

In each of the still independent kingdoms he used a slightly different version of the same arms, and this distinction was maintained after the Acts of Union 1707 and continues to this day. In the Royal Coat of Arms for Scotland, the Scottish quarter and unicorn supporter are given priority in place; the Scottish crest and mottos are also used.

[edit] Current use

Image:Scottish royal coat of arms.png
The current Royal Arms of Scotland

The Scottish version of the Royal Coat of Arms shows the lion of Scotland in the first and fourth quarters, with those of England being in the second. The harp of Ireland is in the third quarter.

The mottos read 'In Defens', from the original 'In My Defens God Me Defend' (Using the Scots spelling of Defence) and 'No one touches me with impunity', from the Scots 'Wha Daur Meddle Wi' Me', translated into the Latin Nemo me impune lacessit. This expression refers to the floral emblem of Scotland, the Thistle, which has sharp spikes at the tips of its leaves. This is also used as the motto of the highest order of chivalry in Scotland, The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle and is also used as the motto for the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

From the times of the Stuart kings, the Scottish quarterings have been used for official purposes in Scotland (for example, on official buildings and official publications).

The Royal Standard of Scotland, also known as the Lion Rampant, is a banner of the arms. It is officially flown from Balmoral Castle and the Holyrood Palace when the Queen is not in residence. It is also used unofficially as an alternative flag of Scotland, and is commonly seen on the terraces during football and rugby matches involving the Scottish national team.

The Scottish Football Association uses a crest based on that of the Royal Arms.

[edit] Use in other arms

The Royal Coat of Arms of Canada feature the Scottish arms in the second quarter of the shield, and use the unicorn as the sinister supporter.

Both the flag and coat of arms of Nova Scotia feature the Scottish arms.

The standard of the Duke of Rothesay features an inescutcheon, with the arms of the heir apparent to the King of Scotland (the Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland with a three point label).

[edit] References


[edit] See also

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