|"In Defense of Scotland'sNational Rights and Honour",|
Scottish Coronation Medal 1902.
The current discussion on a vote for Scottish Independence from Westminster reminded me of an earlier example of barely concealed Scottish National Pride and Independence. In my possession is an aluminium coronation medal minted in 1902 when King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra ascended the throne. On one side reads "In Defense of Scotland's National Rights and Honour, 1902"
|"King Edward First - Not Seventh - of Britain|
and the British Empire - Queen Alexandra",
Scottish Coronation Medal, 1902.
But look carefully on the reverse and you will see that the inscription reads "King Edward First - Not Seventh - of Britain and the British Empire - Queen Alexandra". This was always a source of bemusement to my Scottish relatives who acquired it. But nonetheless their fierce loyalty to Scotland, despite their emigration to New Zealand in 1912, remained for the rest of their lives.
This Edwardian Scottish postcard aptly but also somewhat romantically illustrates the sense of national pride felt by those of Scottish descent :
"Hurrah for Scotland bonnie,
The land where hearts are leal [loyal],
Whose wandering sons can ne'er forget
The pride of race they feel."
The "Honours of Scotland" [the Scottish Crown Jewels] possibly represent the penultimate of Scottish Nationhood. Last used for the coronation of King Charles II at Scone in 1651 they would never again be used due to the 1707 Act of Union between Scotland and England. From this point onwards the post-Commonwealth English Regalia has always been used.
The silver-gilt sceptre is believed to have been a gift from Pope Alexander VI to James IV of Scotland in 1494. The Sword of State was presented by Pope Julius II to James IV in 1507. The Crown of Scotland was made in its present form for King James V of Scotland in 1540, being refashioned from a damaged and lighter crown by the Edinburgh goldsmith, John Mosman. King James wore it to his consort's coronation in the same year at the Abbey Church of Holyrood.
The Honours of Scotland narrowly escaped Oliver Cromwell, his avowed intention being their destruction, just as he had wilfully disposed of the historic English regalia. The Honours were carefully smuggled away and hidden for the duration of the "Commonwealth", being recovered upon the restoration of King Charles II in 1660. They were however never again used for an actual coronation, being locked away in a chest in Edinburgh Castle and forgotten until their much publicised rediscovery by Sir Walter Scott in 1818. They still reside in Edinburgh Castle. As to their possible future use one will obviously have to wait and see.
The Saltire, being the National flag of Scottish, remains the most visible representation of Scotland, being the correct flag for all individuals and corporate bodies to fly in order to demonstrate both their loyalty and Scottish nationality. It is also flown from many Scottish Government buildings. Its use dates from the late 14th century.
The Royal Standard of Scotland [or Lion Rampant of Scotland] flag dates from 1222, its correct use being restricted by an 1672 Act of the Parliament of Scotland to only those who officially represent the Sovereign.
This flag appears to have also come to represent Scottish National Pride and been used in defiance of the 1672 Act. A linen Lion Rampant flag was in the possession of my Scottish born Grandfather who, much to the embarrassment of my Mother, flew it on a pole outside their house in Invercargill New Zealand on VE Day in May 1945 to celebrate the end of the War in Europe.
It remains to be seen which way Scotland will go in regards to a future referendum, either to stay in the Union or to follow the path of independence. The leader of the Scottish National party (SNP) has however openly declared that an independent Scotland would retain HM Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State.
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- Unless otherwise stated all other items are from my own personal collections