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English National Symbol – The Red Lyon

Közzétéve ekkor: 2019. július 9. 07:01


National symbols are defined as the symbols or icons of a national community (such as England), used to represent that community in a way that unites its people. This unity is based on a common pride, which is incited by different representations; i.e. visual (e.g. the national flower), verbal (e.g. the national anthem) and iconic (e.g. the flag). These symbols are then used in national events and celebrations, inspiring patriotism as they include every member of that particular community, regardless of colour or creed.

National Animal – The Lion

Because the lion is symbolic of bravery, it was frequently used to depict the courageous warriors of medieval England. Today, it remains the national animal of the country and is used extensively in sports. team names, logos, icons, and so on.

How and when did the lion became a symbol for England?

It’s actually the flag of Scotland and as we became the United Kingdom it was incorporated into the English culture. The earliest recorded use of the Lion rampant as a royal emblem. This emblem occupied the shield of the royal coat of arms of the ancient Kingdom of Scotland which, together with a royal banner displaying the same, was used by the King of Scots until the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when James VI acceded to the thrones of the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Ireland.

Since 1603, the Lion rampant of Scotland has been incorporated into both the royal arms and royal banners of successive Scottish then British monarchs in order to symbolise Scotland; as can be seen today in the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom. A simple lion rampant is most likely. The arms on the second Great Seal of King Richard the Lionheart, used by his successors until 1340: Gules, three lions passant guardant in pale or (Three golden lions on a red field, representing the ruler of the Kingdom of England, Duchy of Normandy and the Duchy of Aquitaine).

You may be more than familiar with the above logo, especially if you live in England and are a keen football supporter. If not, you might have heard the song written about it, which is a rare accolade, for a logo at least.

The ‘Lion’ has been a symbol of ‘England’ since the 11th century during the rule of the Normans, and was featured on early versions of the English Coat of Arms. During this period only one lion was illustrated on a red background (which symbolised a red battlefield – even the Normans were art critics at heart). A hundred years later a certain King Richard I, known as Richard the Lionheart, ruled the throne and during his reign added a further two golden lions to the crest. The reason for this is unclear as far as I was able to discover. Fast forward 8 centuries to 1872, at the time of the first ever competitive international football match, an emblem to represent national pride was needed and so the English Football Association made the decision to use the three lions as a symbol of ‘Englishness’.

As the Three Lions are officially a royal emblem, the FA has to seek permission of the Royal Family when they need to use it, meaning that the logo is not the sole propriety of the organisation that it represents. You will notice that the England crest also features 10 red roses. The red rose is a symbol of the Lancaster-York peace treaty in the 16th Century, but the reason for their number is also unclean.


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