miércoles, 15 de abril de 2015

The official animal of Scotland – Where myth collides with reality.

In my research of general information about Scotland I found out that their official animal is the unicorn. I know it’s hard to believe at first and it’r certainly not a common choice considering that is one of the main figures on the Royal Coat of Arms of the country. But as every fun fact there is an explication.

The lion and the unicorn are heraldic symbols appearing in the full Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, where the lion represent England and the unicorn represent Scotland. In Celtic mythology the unicorn symbolizes purity, healing power, joy and masculinity meanwhile the lion represent courage, royalty, leadership and honor.

This combination dates from 1603 after the dead of Queen Elizabethh I and according previous arrangements made by the Privy Council, James was proclaimed King of Scotland. He was the son of Mary, Queen of Scot, and great-great-grandson of Henry VII, King of Englad and Lord of Ireland witch gave him the uniquely opportunity to eventually accede to all three thrones. James I combined the unicorn with the lion on the coat of arms but still used a different version of his Royal Arms only in Scotland and this distinction in Royal protocol continued post the Acts of Union of 1707. This was a powerful symbol as it was regarded that the lion and unicorn were mortal enemies.

Scotland is not the only country who has a mythical creature as it official animal, but I notice that we are so used to think ‘rationally’ that we found hard to believe that this facts are real and sometimes we even laugh about them.

What is socially accepted as real and what is not? 

Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom used in Scotland

Rayen Moran. 

5 comentarios:

  1. I think the only thing that we can do as foreign people is to respect, even if it’s not real, it has a meaning and it is part of their idiosyncrasy.
    Also I read something in the CIA World Factbook that there are no strict rules at the time to choose a national animal, it can be any creature, as long identifies the country.
    Wales and China have dragons in their emblems so, whatever! UNICORNS RULES!

    1. Exactly! We seem to caught ourself in our own mind. We think is not possible until something or someone show us that there is another answer. And I agree with you... Unicorns rules!

  2. I'm going to accept that it surprised me, but at the same time, the meaning of the unicorn reminded me Harry Potter, because Voldemort needed unicorn's blood to survive.
    Going back to the official animal of Scotland, I think is great, for me is another proof of how important is tradition and its meaning for this culture. I mean, in Chile we couldn't even imagine to think about Treng Treng or Kai Kai as our official animals. Do we really identify with our own animals?

  3. It is so difficult for us to recognize the importance of indigenous peoples. Look at how we separate ourself from the Mapuches. How much culture are we losing?

    It also reminds me of Harry Potter and fun fact, some people says that J. K. Rowling use to go to a coffee shop in a little town of Scotland to wrote the books and sit by a window that look directly into to an old castle (witch it's supposed to be the inspiration of Howard)...There is indeed something magical about this country.

  4. There are a lot of icons or cultural expressions that are representative of many countries.
    In this context, Scottish culture is rich in superstitions, myths and legends. That is a characteristic of Scottish culture.
    So, choosing a heraldic symbol as the unicorn makes sense!

    Actually, I think that there are many weird and wonderful animals alive in the world yet.

    Do you believe that Unicorns truly did live on Earth?