The Thistle

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The Thistle

This article can be used while learning the topic “Great Britain” in forms 6-8
1. Introduction.
2. The Thistle Legend
3. The Thistle as a Symbol
The national flower of Scotland is the thistle, a prickly-leaved purple flower which was first used in the 15th century as a symbol of defence.
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The thistle is perhaps the most identifiable symbol of all things Scottish and nowadays, it can be seen promoting the 'Scottishness' of a wide variety of products, services and organisation

The Thistle Legend

There is a legend which relates how a sleeping party of Scots warriors were almost set upon by an invading band of Vikings . They were only saved when one of the attackers trod on a wild thistle with his bare feet. His cries raised the alarm and the roused Scots duly defeated the Danes. From that time the plant became known as the Guardian Thistle and was adopted as the symbol of Scotland.

The Thistle as a Symbol

The first use of the thistle as a royal symbol of Scotland was on silver coins issued by James III in 1470
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The thistle has been an important Scottish symbol for more than 500. It is said that the Order of the Thistle, the highest honour in Scotland, was founded in 1540 by King James V.Its members wear a collar chain whose links are made of golden thistles. The Knights and Ladies of the Thistle also wear a breast star which bears the thistle emblem and a motto which is regularly associated with it, Nemo Me Impune Lacessit - 'no-one provokes me with impunity
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The Scottish thistle is used in a whole host of different ways in the symbolization on Scotland. There are various pieces of jewelry made into the shape of thistles, dried thistles, or ornamental flowers are used for button holes at traditional Scottish weddings. The thistle is an emblem and part of Scottish culture as much as the kilt, haggis, Scotch whiskey, and the bagpipes are today, and have been for centuries.

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