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The Scottish Royal Coat of Arms Explained

The Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom is made up of symbols from Ireland, England, and Scotland.

In Scotland, there is a separate coat of arms which served as the official coat of arms for the King of Scots from its adoption in the 12th century until the end of the Kingdom of Scotland in 1707 when Scotland became a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

The Scottish Royal Coat of Arms is still used throughout Scotland.

The Scottish coat of arms features the unicorn on the “Dexter“(right-hand) side. The unicorn, being the national animal of Scotland, holds the Scottish flag. The unicorn is chained as according to legend a free unicorn was a dangerous beast. The lion, representing England, is on the “Sinister“(left-hand) side. The Lion holds the English flag which represents the Union of Crowns. This symbolises the accession of James VI, King of Scots to the thrones of England and Ireland. This served as the unification of the three realms under a single monarch.

The shield is composed of three different symbols. In the upper left and lower right is the lion of Scotland – a single red lion. On the top right side is the three golden lions which represent England. Finally, in the lower left is the Golden Harp which represents Ireland.

Atop the shield is the Lion of Scotland with the motto “In Defens.” This is a contracted version of “In My Defens God Me Defend.”

Along the bottom of the Royal Arms is the motto of the Order of the Thistle. The Order is a chivalric order with Scotland. The motto reads “Nemo Me Impune Lacessit” which translates to “No one attacks me with impunity.” Which essentially means that no one can harm me without going unpunished.

The ground the lion and unicorn stand upon is covered in thistles, the national flower of Scotland.

The Scottish Coat of Arms plays a part in the United Kingdom Coat of Arms.

The United Kingdom Coat of Arms is also made up of the Arms of Ireland and England.

Wales is not represented in the Royal Arms as by the time of the Act of Union in 1707 Wales was already integral to England. However, there is a Welsh coat of arms.

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