Symbols of the United Kingdom

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1. Flower symbols of the different parts of Great Britain.
2. The connection with a history.
3. Flower symbols nowadays.
The well-known flower symbols of different parts of Great Britain are: the rose for England, the daffodil for Wales, the shamrock for Ireland and the thistle for Scotland. The rose has been adopted as England’s emblem since the time of the Wars of the Roses – civil wars ( 1455 -1485 ) between the royal house of Lancaster ( whose emblem was a red rose ) and the royal house of York ( whose emblem was a white rose ).The war ended with the defeat of King Richard III by the future Henry VII on 22 August 1485, and the two roses were united into the Tudor rose ( a red rose with a white centre ) by Henry VII when he married Elizabeth of York. The shamrock, a three – leaved plant similar to clover which is said to have been used by St. Patrick to illustrate the doctrine of Holy Trinity. The thistle is the national emblem of Scotland. This is how, according to the curious legend that homely plant came to be chosen as a badge, in reference to any other. In very ancient times the Norsemen once landed somewhere on the east coast of Scotland, with the intention of plundering and settling in the country. The Scots assembled with there arms and took there stations behind the river Tay, the largest in Scotland at the only practicable ford. As they arrived late in the day, wearly and tired after a long march, they pitched their camp and rested, not expecting the enemy before the next day. The Norsemen, however, were near; noticing that no guards or sentinels protected the camp, they crossed the Tay, intending to take Scots by surprise and slaughter them in their sleep. To this end, they took off their shoes so as to make the least noise possible. But one of the Norsemen stepped on a thistle. The sudden and sharp pain he felt caused him to shriek. The alarm was given in the Scots’ camp. The Norsemen were put to flight, and as an acknowledgement for the timely and unexpected help from the thistle, the Scots took it as their national emblem. A prickly-leaved purple flower was first used in 15th century as a symbol of defense. The three flowers – rose, thistle and shamrock – often displayed beneath the shield on the Royal Coat of Arms.
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The national flower of Wales is traditionally worn on St. David’s Day. However, the humble leek is also considered to be a traditional emblem of Wales, because its colors, white over green, echo the ancient Welsh standard. The national flower of England is used, for instance, in the emblems of the English Golf Union and England national rugby union team. The national flower of Wales is worn on St David's Day each 1 March. (In Welsh, the daffodil is known as "Peter's Leek", cenhinen Bedr.) On St.Patrick’s Day all Irishmen and their friends – (it has become a highly political holiday) wear shamrock in their button holes or on their hats.


1.Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English by A. S. Hornby, Moscow, Russian Language Publishers, 1982.
2.Ліндер Е. Р.. Маслова Л. К..Циба Р.І. “Чи знаєте ви?”, Київ, Радянська школа, 1986.
3.Англійська мова та література. - 2009.- № 19-21.
4. Інернет.

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