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Posted on 08/20/2013

The Arms of Scotland comprise a yellow (gold) shield with a red lion rampant surrounded by (in heraldic language) “A double tressure flory-counterflory gules” Two thin lines studded with red fleur de lys. Many myths surround the origins of the Arms of Scotland, the tressure was supposed to have been a reference to an alliance between the Emperor Charlemange and Achius, King of Scotland in the 8th. century, the story being that as the Scots had defended the “French lilies” therefore the lilies would surround, and defend, the Scottish lion.

A more likely origin for the Arms of Scotland is that the lion derived from the arms of the old Earls of Northumberland and Huntington, from whom some of the early Scottish kings were descended. There is a record of the Arms of Scotland, blazoned as “Or, a lion gules within a bordure flurette gules” which dates to 1272. In 1471 the Scottish Parliament, for some unexplained reason, attempted to remove the tressure, and fleur de lys, by an act of law. It was, however, never implemented.

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