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National Emblem of Scotland

thistle

This ancient emblem of Scots pugnacity, is represented on various species of royal bearings, coins, and coats of armour, so that there is some difficulty in determining which is the genuine original thistle. The origin of the
badge itself is thus handed down by tradition:

When the Danes invaded Scotland, it was deemed unwarlike to attack an enemy in the darkness of the night, instead of a pitched battle by day; but on one occasion the invaders resolved to avail themselves of this
stratagem; and in order to prevent their tramp from being heard, they marched barefooted. They had thus neared the Scottish force unobserved, when a Dane unluckily stepped with a naked foot upon a superb prickly thistle, and instinctively uttered a cry of pain, which discovered the assault to the Scots, who ran to their arms, and de-
feated the foe with a terrible slanghter. The thistle was immediately adopted as the insignia of Scotland.



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