Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Scots Corner - The Thistle
Whatever it looks like and however people feel about it, this lovely purple creation has been Scotland's emblem for close to 700 years. It can grow to 8 feet tall and because of all the sharp prickly leaves is left well alone by everything with any sense :)
How did the thistle become a national emblem? As with most things because of a battle (Largs 1263) in which one of the opposition, trying to creep up on the Scots during the night stood on a thistle and let out a mighty yelp. Well if they will sneak around in their bare feet it's no wonder.
Mary Queen of Scots was an outstanding needlewoman and often used the thistle in her embroidery. Legend has is that after her death at Fortheringhay Castle in 1587 thistles sprung into bloom every summer.
The symbol of the thistle shows up in many ways, clothing, jewelry, money, drinking vessels, broadswords, tapestries, monuments, poetry, paintings, porcelain etc.
The highest honor in Scotland is to receive the Order of the Thistle which was founded in 1540 by King James V.
And now good people I'm off to watch more of the Olympic curling. Japan ladies are currently leading the USA ladies. And the arena is erupting - Canada just beat Switzerland.