Life around the world

Saturday, 29 June, 2013 - 13:02

The Flower of Scotland

by JohnM

Every country has a national anthem, a song which expresses national identity, recalls history and praises the people. A great form of patriotism, indeed. For example, the British national anthem is "God Save the Queen", sung whenever Queen Elizabeth II makes a public appearance. But in recent times, Scotland has adopted "Flower of Scotland" as its unofficial anthem. Regularly played at national rugby and football matches, "Flower of Scotland" evokes the country's very significant victory against England at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, led by Robert the Bruce. 

The song itself is named after Scotland's national emblem. Not surprisingly, each country in the UK is represented by various symbols. But did you know that England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland all have its own floral emblem? Well, England's emblem is the rose, while Wales has the daffodil and Ireland has the shamrock. But Scotland's national emblem is called the thistle.

Originally seen as a symbol of defence in the 15th century, the thistle, this prickly-leaved purple flower, is and will always be known as the symbol of Scotland. The flower of Scotland, my country.

“Flower of Scotland” (You can listen to it here:

1. O Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
Your like again
That fought and died for
Your wee bit hill and glen.
And stood against him,
Proud Edward's army,
And sent him homeward
To think again.

2. The hills are bare now,
And autumn leaves
Lie thick and still
O'er land that is lost now,
Which those so dearly held
That stood against him,
Proud Edward's army
And sent him homeward
To think again.

3. Those days are past now
And in the past
They must remain
But we can still rise now
And be the nation again!
That stood against him
Proud Edward's army
And sent him homeward
To think again.


Has your country got a national anthem or a special song? Tell us about it here.

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