MSPs urged to back campaign for new Scottish national emblem

MSPs have been urged to back a campaign for a new national emblem for Scotland to "unite" the country after the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Scott Macnab
Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 12:30 pm
The thistle is one of Scotland's current emblems

The new symbol would "complement" the unicorn and the thistle, but should provide a new "emblem for our modern age", according to a petition lodged by Catherine Cooper at the Scottish Parliament.

She states that it should seek to encompass the values of "wisdom, justice and compassion" which are engraved on the Scottish Parliament mace, while representing the "present and future" Scottish society."

"Whilst the primary symbol of the unicorn - that of purity and power - is still relevant today, there is no doubt that it is a symbol of a bygone age," Ms Cooper states in a petition to MSPs.

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"A situation far different from today where the crow plays a much smaller role in society and stories of mythical beasts, witches and faeries are treated with scepticism and a distinct lack of respect."

She adds: "We need a new emblem for our modern age."

The campaign has been initiated at the current time because Scottish society is at a "turning point" as a result of the Covid pandemic, the submission states.

"During the tragic first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, we learnt the valuable lessons about the importance of community, but also about how fragile the bonds between neighbours can be,” the petition states.

"Consequently it is vital that we kickstart a campaign to unite us.”

Ms Cooper adds: "This is an ideal tie for us to come together and discuss, a nation, the sort of society we want to live in going forward and, in doing so, identify solutions to our current issues.

"A debate about our new national emblem would allow us to do this."

The thistle and the unicorn are the two most widely recognised emblems of Scotland and were introduced in the 13th and 15th century respectively, according to the petition, by the reigning monarchs at the time Alexander III and James I. They are both associated with protection during battle.

The petition is open and will come before MSPs later in the year to decide who they proceed with it.

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