The Scottish are known for their appreciation of misconceptions and legends: magic, witches, water monsters, fairy folks, and ghosts. The great unicorn is perhaps their dearest, mainly because it is the country’s national animal.
Despite contemporary depictions of an animal with rainbow-colored hair and a glistening horn, Scotland associates the legendary animal with courage and dominance. They are represented with a white horse, individual body, one horn developing from the top of its temple, and a silver sequence that parcels around its extremely effective particular body.
So let us take a little travel through history and find out how the unicorn became the National Animal of Scotland.
We have a few articles on the history of unicorns on our site, so this one will be specific towards how and why Scotland chose this animal as its Natinal Animal. Specifically the traits that Scotland felt best represented the country.
According to custom, the lion and the unicorn dislike each other – a custom going back to the standard Babylonians in 3,500 B.C. As well as the hippo, “It was always said that the unicorn would always beat the hippo, that it had this tremendous durability to it, even despite its reduced size, it couldn’t be defeated by something as huge and extremely effective as a hippo or elephant.
The unicorn in Scotland is also represented by having a chain around its neck, this because it is believed to be the most powerful animal. Some believe this symbolizes Scottish Kings who some says are the only ones strong enough to tame the wild unicorn.
The unicorn is explained as being a long-lasting, courageous, graceful and extremely effective animal. Its bravery faces all the most even the most enthusiastic poachers to the pursuit and its speed makes them always fail. Because the unicorn represents such masculinity, specifically the single horn, it is believed that only a virgin can tame and a capture a unicorn.
Paintings like the one titled “Virgin and Unicorn” by Annibale Carracci depict this story by showing a wild unicorn laying on the lap of a virgin. The story behind this painting came from the Romans who believed unicorns were lovers of purity and innocence and placed a unicorn at the feet of a virgin, the unicorn laid down and rested its head in the virgins lap.
Legend has it that because of this, in England this would become a test to see if one was a virgin or not. If the woman was a virgin the unicorn would lay its head in her lap, if she was not the unicorn would kill her by stabbing her with its horn.
Unicorns were revered for their powers of innocence, purity, boldness, pride, healing powers, joy, intelligence, virility and nurturing.
An example of these beliefs in powers would be the water cleaning tale. A reptile would come up to the irrigating gap and poison it, but then the unicorn would come along and dip its horn into the irrigating gap to cleanse it for all the other animals. When you merge this with all the other experiences about its success, its power, and its vitality – you can discover why they desired it.
Some also believe that drinking a unicorns blood will reduce aging helping live a long life or even immortality. It is also considered bad lick to kill one and good luck if you can befriend one.
Scotland, as mentioned earlier, has a long reputation for famous misconceptions and legends, the unicorn has become a national symbol that suits well with Scotland. From the rule of King Robert III in the 1300s, the unicorn was formally used as the closure of the Scottish government. Robert III has looked to the power and purity the unicorn to motivate the rebuilding of his nation, and the unicorn has easily become an elegant symbol.
In the 12th century the unicorn made its first appearance on the Scotish Royal Coat of Arms of William I. Three centuries later the unicorn appeared on gold coins under the power of King James III.
According to legend Britain and Scotland used the symbols of lions and unicorns to represent their fighting in the war. Scotland chose the unicorn because it was said to be a natural enemy of the lion, the symbol of England. Unicorns fought with their harmony and spirit while lions used their strength. In 1603 under King James IV Scotland and England had unified and at the same time the Scotish Royal Arms had two unicorns supporting the shield so he replaced one of the unicorns with a lion to represent the unification.