Thursday, January 14, 2016

Storm in a teacake, continued ...

I wrote a piece earlier in the week called Storm in a teacake comparing the childish behaviour of some Scottish nationalists who are protesting about Tunnock's Teacakes with that of SNP members of parliament who were making an equally childish fuss about the introduction of a limited form of "English Votes for English Laws" (EVEL) which is no threat whatsoever to the people of Scotland.

Thanks to Nick Cohen for drawing my attention to an exceptionally amusing piece by Jamie Ross on Buzzfeed which is called

Scottish Nationalists staged a bizarre protest against 'traitorous' Tunnock's teacakes.

Do read it here if you have a moment. It reads like one of the spoof articles on the Daily Mash or News Thump sites but is entirely true.


Jim said...

I still find it an odd one, I thought the beast of Scotland was a Unicorn, and the beast of England was a Lion.

Its why at the MOSI - Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester there is a mechanical statue display where the Lion of England and the Unicorn of Scotland have a fight each hour.

Chris Whiteside said...

It is very confusing.

There are lions in both the English and Scottish coats of arms - three gold lions for England (adopted by Richard the Lion-Heart and representing England, Normandy and Aquitaine, and a single red lion rampant (e.g. rearing on it's hind legs) for Scotland.

You can still see both these symbols on quarters of the shield in the present coats of arms of the Monarch and of the UK government. As used for the UK coat of arms the three lions of England are on the first and fourth quadrants and the single red lion rampant of Scotland is on the second quadrant.

The Scottish lion has always remained a patriotic symbol - and on a short family holiday in Scotland in early 2015 I noticed that it was prominently displayed in many parts of the country, often next to "Yes" flags and that was about six months after the referendum.

The Stuart kings of Scotland also adopted the Unicorn.

You are absolutely correct that in the Royal family and UK arms the lion to the left represents England and the Unicorn to the right represents Scotland. There is also a gold lion wearing a crown in the centre on top.

In the arms of Scotland everything is reversed: the single red lion of Scotland is on the first and fourth quadrants of the shield, the three lions of England on the second quadrant, the lion and unicorn at left and right have changed places (with the unicorn on the left holding a saltire flag and the lion on the right a cross of St George) and the lion on the top is in red, standing up and holding a sign with the words "In Defens"

Quite surprising that the SNP government has not moved to change such a unionist coat of arms but they have probably had more important things to do. However, it has been my impression since early last year that nationalist Scots have informally adopted the red lion rampant as the logo of Scotland.

Chris Whiteside said...

Done a little more research.

The adoption of the Unicorn as the Scottish national animal is older than the Stuarts, it goes back to the 12th century and William the first of Scotland.

The Red lion rampant on a yellow background has been part of the Royal Standard of Scotland and the arms of the monarchs of Scotland for a similar length of time.

A Committee at Holyrood did put forward the idea of making the Golden Eagle the national bird of Scotland or a symbol of the country a decade or so ago following a campaign by the RSPB. It didn't get anywhere - one MSP attacked the idea because the Nazis had used an eagle symbol, most of them though didn't want to waste parliamentary time on it without more evidence of wider support.

Jim said...

Thanks for that, its always good to broaden ones knowledge of such things. Though I find it even stranger that a decision to remove a lion from a Tunnocks Teacake wrapping is somehow unpatriotic.

Chris Whiteside said...

You and me both! You might want to read the Buzzfeed item if you have not already, it is vey funny.