Very British! ~ Memorable Images 14
The lion and the unicorn

I photographed this in August 2001 on the wall of a building in the Naval Dockyard at Portsmouth - no nasty EU flags there!

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Dieu Et Mon Droit
The lion and the unicorn
were fighting for the crown.
The lion beat the unicorn
all around the town.
Some gave them white bread,
some gave them brown.
Some gave them plum-cake
and kicked them out of town.

The history of the Unicorn

King James VI of Scotland succeeded Elizabeth I when she died childless in 1603, effectively uniting Scotland and England beneath one rule. The Scottish Royal Arms had up to that point used two unicorns as shield supporters. The English Arms had used a variety of supporters, but most frequently had included a lion. In a tactful gesture then, he placed a lion upon the left of the new Arms, and a unicorn upon the right. This was a potent bit of symbolism, for both the lion and the unicorn had long been thought to be deadly enemies: both regarded as king of the beasts, the unicorn rules through harmony while the lion rules through might, It came to symbolise a reconciliation between the Scottish unicorn and the English lion that the two should share the rule. The effectiveness of the sentiment, unfortunately, is placed in some doubt by the famous nursery rhyme.
Coat of Arms Scottish Version of Coat of Arms
In the official coat of arms the shield shows the various royal emblems of different parts of the United Kingdom: the three lions of England in the first and fourth quarters, the lion of Scotland in the second and the harp of Ireland in the third. It is surrounded by a garter bearing the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense (Evil to him who evil thinks), which symbolises the Order of the Garter, an ancient order of knighthood of which the Queen is Sovereign. The shield is supported by the English lion and Scottish unicorn and is surmounted by the Royal crown. Below it appears the motto of the Sovereign, Dieu et mon droit (God and my right). The plant badges of the United Kingdom - rose, thistle and shamrock - are often displayed beneath the shield The Scottish version of the Royal Coat of Arms shows the lion of Scotland in the first and fourth quarters, with that of England being in the second. The harp of Ireland is in the third quarter. The mottoes read In defence and No one will attack me with impunity
Crown Copyright
Coat_of_Arms of England

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