The Royal Standard of Scotland
World Lion Day
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"The morning that the world began
The Lion growled a growl at Man.
And I suspect the Lion might
(If he’d been closer) have tried a bite."
~John Ciardi (1916-1986)
In the world of heraldry, a "beast" can have an the following attitudes: rampant (rearing up), passant (striding), sejant (sitting), couchant (lying down), courant (running), dormant (sleeping), salient (leaping), statant (standing), pascuant (grazing), or coward (carrying its tail between its legs)! Many attitudes apply only to predatory beasts, particularly the lion, while some are specially reserved for mythical beasts such as segreant (the equivalent of rampant) for the griffin, but sometimes for the dragon! 🦁
Rampant Lion - After 10AM
World Lion Day, August 10th, is a day designated to raise awareness about lions and their conservation.
Most lions now live in eastern and southern Africa, and their numbers there are rapidly decreasing, with an estimated 30–50% decline per 20 years in the late half of the twentieth century.
Highly distinctive, the male lion is easily recognised by its mane, and its face is one of the most widely recognised animal symbols in human culture. Depictions have existed from the Upper Paleolithic period, with carvings and paintings from the Lascaux and Chauvet Caves in France dated to 17,000 years ago.
Lions have been kept in menageries since the time of the Roman Empire, and have been a key species sought for exhibition in zoos over the world since the late eighteenth century.
In terms of heraldry, a "lion rampant" is depicted in profile standing erect with forepaws raised. The position of the hind legs varies according to local custom: the lion may stand on both hind legs, braced wide apart, or on only one, with the other also raised to strike.
The earliest recorded use of the Lion rampant as a royal emblem in Scotland was by Alexander II in 1222; with the additional embellishment of a double border set with lilies occurring during the reign of Alexander III (1249–1286).
Since 1603, with the accession of James VI, 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.
The Royal Banner of Scotland is used officially at the Scottish royal residences of the Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh, and Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, when the Sovereign is not in residence.
For more about the "Lion Whisperer, " Kevin Richardson, and his Wildlife Sanctuary, click the famous photo from the 1960s of a male lion being bitten by his cub. Lions pretend to be hurt by the bites of their young to encourage their strengths.