Happy National Unicorn Day!

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Happy National Unicorn Day!🦄✨💖


Unicorn, the national animal of Scotland, was a symbol of purity and innocence, as well as masculinity and power in Celtic mythology. Besides, it was believed to be the natural enemy of the lion - a symbol of the English royals. So looking back to history, it's no wonder it was chosen to be the national animal.

Unicorn, tours of Scotland

The unicorn is also associated with the tales of dominance and chivalry, which may be part of the reason why it was chosen as Scotland’s national animal. The first time, the unicorn is known to be used on the Scottish royal coat of arms was by William I in the 12th century.

In the 15th century, when King James III was in power, unicorn gold coins were an actual currency, and according to the British Museum, it became the coin favoured by Scottish kings when making gifts to foreigners.

Unicorn coin

 

When Scotland and England unified under the reign of James VI of Scotland in 1603, the Scottish Royal Arms had two unicorns supporting a shield. When James VI became James I of England and Ireland, he replaced the unicorn on the left of the shield with the national animal of England, the lion, to show that the countries were indeed united.

Try this test to find out what kind of unicorn you are.

Since unicorns are notoriously shy, it's almost impossible to spot them. But Historic Environment Scotland and VisitScotland have put together wee fancy guides where to find Scotland's national animal.

🦄✨💖

national unicorn day, unicorn, scotland, tours of scotland

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