The Legend of the Thistle

~The National Emblem of Scotland, Noxious weed, and the Stuff of Legends~ 

This purple flower, known as the Scottish thistle or cotton thistle or even Scott’s thistle, can grow as tall as eight feet.  It has been Scotland’s national symbol for centuries and has even graced the face of silver coins and the Skene Dhu, too!

Legend has it that the thistle saved the Scottish army from an attack by the Norse army back in 1263 at the Battle of Largs.  The Scots chose a highland thistle-covered field as a resting ground.  In the cover of night, unaware of the prickly path they that lay before them, the Norsemen shed their boots in a surprise attack.  However, the barefoot army was no match for the Scottish thistle and the cries of the Norsemen alerted the sleeping Scots.  Thus, Scotland was saved! 

In remembrance, Scottish ware often shows a thistle and the words, "Nemo me impune lacessit","No one harms me without punishment", or sometimes translated in Scots dialect as "Wha daurs meddle wi me", "No-one provokes me with impunity".                  



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