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Flower of Scotland
'No-one provokes me with impunity'

The Flower of Scotland - or Scottish thistle - has long been recognised as the much loved national emblem of Scotland. According to legend, this "guardian thistle" has played its part in the defence of the ancient realm of Scotland against a night attack by the Danes, one of whom let out a yell of pain when he stepped on a prickly thistle, thus alerting the Scottish defenders. In the motto "No-one provokes me with impunity" (Latin: "Nemo me impune lacessit"), "me" was therefore originally the thistle itself, but by extension now refers to the Scottish crown and the Scottish regiments which have adopted it.

The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry associated with Scotland. While its original date of foundation is unknown, James VII (also King of England as James II) instituted the modern Order in 1687. The Order consists of the Sovereign and sixteen Knights and Ladies, as well as certain "extra" knights (members of the British Royal Family and foreign monarchs). The Sovereign alone grants membership of the Order; he or she is not advised by the Government, as occurs with most other Orders. The sixteen members are required to be Scottish-born, though not the "extra" knights and ladies.

The Order's primary emblem is the thistle, the national flower of Scotland. The motto is "Nemo me impune lacessit" (Latin for "No-one provokes me with impunity"); the same motto also appears on the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom for use in Scotland and on some pound coins. The patron saint of the Order is St Andrew.

Most British orders of chivalry cover the entire kingdom, but the three most exalted ones each pertain to one constituent country only. The Order of the Thistle, which pertains to Scotland, is the second-most senior in precedence. Its equivalent in England, The Most Noble Order of the Garter, is the oldest documented order of chivalry in the United Kingdom, dating to the middle fourteenth century. In 1783 an Irish equivalent, The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, was founded; since the independence of the greater part of Ireland the Order has fallen dormant (its last surviving knight died in 1974).

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At we offer a wide range of quality Scottish gift Items, souvenirs, apparel and housewares, all printed with a beautiful rendition of Scotland's most loved national emblem, the Scottish thistle - otherwise known as the 'Flower of Scotland'!

Our Flower of Scotland gift store stocks over 70 products*, and all items are fully guaranteed! Our great prices, low shipping costs and excellent customer support make us an excellent choice for Flower of Scotland merchandise!



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