The Lion Rampant

In addition to the national flag of Scotland, known as the Flag of St. Andrew (or the Saltire), a second flag of Scotland exists. It flies over Balmoral Castle and Holyrood Palace, but only when the monarch is not in residence: The Royal Standard of Scotland is also known as the Lion Rampant.

On a gold field and framed by a red double tressure flory counter-flory, the red lion rampant with its blue tongue and claws is aggressively confrontational on its hind legs, one of them also appearing to rise with forelegs extended, ready to strike.

Lion Rampant
According to a register in the College of Arms in London, King William I of Scotland, the Kyng of Scotz (1165-1214), first introduced the fearsome figure to his battle standard and coat of arms. Interestingly, he and some of his descendants may possibly have been accompanied by a real lion while in residence at the castles Stirling and Edinburgh, for indeed, both have buildings within the castle walls that are called “the Lion’s Den”.

As well as adopting the Lion Rampant as the royal coat of arms, it was incorporated into the Great Seal of Scotland and used on all official documents. As the personal banner of the Crown, its use is restricted under a 1672 act of Parliament, The Lyon King of Arms Act. It may be used lawfully only by the monarch, by the Royal Regiment, on state occasions, and by a handful of the monarch’s official representatives.

Lion Rampant Flying
Since then, however, a Royal Warrant has been issued allowing it to be used, under certain circumstances, as a token of loyalty to the Crown. When official Scots teams are playing, hand-held banners fill the stands at soccer matches. It may also be hung from private homes and businesses. But there are limits. Even today, unlawfully using the Royal Coat of Arms can result in heavy fines: in 1978, linen merchant Denis Pamphilon was fined £100 daily until he stopped using the standard on decorative bedspreads.

The Royal Coat of Arms, as it was designed, is associated with the latin motto “Nemo me impune lacessit,” which means “no one attacks me with impunity.” In Scots, it reads, “Wha daur meddle wi’ me?” The Lion Rampant is an ancient and enduring symbol of bravery, valor, strength, and loyalty, and a banner as meaningful to Scots today as it was in the twelfth century.

–Carol Frome

History of the Flag of Scotland

The official flag of Scotland, also called the Saltire, is believed to be one of the oldest national flags in the world, dating back to the 12th century. It is composed of a white cross on a vivid blue field. The word “saltire”, is in fact, a reference to an “X” shaped Christian cross, in this case, specifically to the one on which St. Andrew is said to have been crucified by the Romans.

Flag of Scotland

St. Andrew is believed by Christians to be one of the original apostles and the brother of Simon Peter. He is also the patron saint of Scotland. Hence the flag of Scotland is also referred to as the Cross of St. Andrew.

Saint Andrew
Saint Andrew

St. Andrew is connected to Scotland through legends surrounding the travels of bits and pieces of his remains, also known as “relics”. Two different stories forge a link between St. Andrew and Scotland. One says that the relics were carried to Scotland by Acca, the Bishop of Hexham, in the year 733.

In the other, more colorful story, about 300 years after his crucifixion, St. Andrew’s remains were moved to Constantinople by Constantine the Great. Sometime later, a monk, known as St. Rule (or St. Regulus) dreamed that he should remove the remains and take them to the ends of the earth for safekeeping. He did so by pillaging the body, taking a kneecap, a tooth, an arm bone, a tooth and some fingers. It is believed that he shipwrecked and came ashore on the east coast of Scotland, and so it is that the relics became associated with Scotland.

In another story, the Saltire was conceived in the year 832 when battling Scots at Athelstaneford saw what they believed to be a favorable sign—clouds collected in the X-shape of the cross that St. Andrew had been crucified on, against the blue sky. They won the battle, and flew the flag of St. Andrew forever afterward.

The Union Jack, the flag of Great Britain, is comprised of symbols from the flag of England, the flag of Ireland, and the flag of Scotland: the Saltire.

–Carol Frome

SEEKING: Bloggers for Flag Blog

Do you have an interest in flags? Do you enjoy writing?

Seeking Bloggers

You are in luck! We are seeking talented bloggers to write for the Flag Blog, a partner site of the United States Flag Store (!

All writers, if selected, will be generously compensated for their time and efforts – and what’s better than getting paid to write about something you love anyways?

If you are interested, email us today with the following information:

  • Name and e-mail address.
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • Do you have experience blogging?

The Gadsden Flag: Symbol of Freedom

Today American taxpayers in more than 300 locations in all 50 states will hold rallies – dubbed “tea parties” – to protest higher taxes and out-of-control government spending. And the banner uniting all of these concerned Americans? Well, the Gadsden Flag of course!

The Gadsden Flag has traditionally been seen as a symbol of American patriotism.  The traditional imagery associated with the Gadsden Flag was first seen in the year 1775.  The Second Continental Congress had just authorized the first Gadsden Flagever mission for the new American Navy, and among the first marines to enlist during this time were men from Philadephia.  These marines are best known for carrying their symbolic yellow drums depicting a coiled rattlesnake with 13 rattles, with “Don’t Tread On Me” being their now famous motto.

It is commonly believed that the flag itself had been inspired by these symbolic drum-carrying Marines from Philadelphia, with Continental Colonel Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina as its creator.  At the second Continental Congress, Gadsden submitted his flag to then commander in chief of the Navy Esek Hopkins, and the rest was history!

The Gadsden Flag is still flown in Charleston, South Carolina – the city where Chrisopher Gadsden first presented the flag.  It was flown in the wake of the September 11th attacks, most notably by US Customs officials and harbor patrol boats in US ports.  The Gadsden Flag is also commonly flown by many Boy Scouts troops, and has even been featured in a few movies and television shows, most notably in the 2000 film The PatriotBut now, the Gadsden Flag is prepared to take on its new role — as the banner of the Tax Day Tea Party rallies popping up all over America.

According to The Wall Street Journal,

“The protests began with bloggers in Seattle, Wash., who organized a demonstration on Feb. 16. As word of this spread, rallies in Denver and Mesa, Ariz., were quickly organized for the next day. Then came CNBC talker Rick Santelli’s Feb. 19 “rant heard round the world” in which he called for a “Chicago tea party” on July Fourth. The tea-party moniker stuck, but angry taxpayers weren’t willing to wait until July. Soon, tea-party protests were appearing in one city after another, drawing at first hundreds, and then thousands, to marches in cities from Orlando to Kansas City to Cincinnati.”

Tax Day Tea Party

There are currently between 300 and 500 protests planned to occur in various cities around the world today, and there is sure to be a tea party near you.  For more information or for tea party locations, be sure to check out

If you’re planning on attending one of the many Tax Day Tea Parties across the country, or if you already have, feel free to drop off a comment and let us know how it went!

The Valley Forge Flag Company

The Valley Forge Flag Company was founded in 1882, and remains a family-owned business to this day. Steeped in history, the company began as a burlap sac business, and then moved on to World War I surplus, including American flags. With increasing demand the company opened a small sewing factory in Spring City, PA in 1932. The opening of this factory was the beginning of Valley Forge Flag brand.

Infamous Flag at Iwo Jima
Infamous flag at Iwo Jima

Valley Forge Flag’s mission is to manufacture 100% American-made U.S. flags. As a founding member of the Flag Manufacturers Association of America, Valley Forge educates the public and flag retailers about the significance of manufacturing American flags in the U.S. The association also helps enforce the labeling requirements for imported products. Any flag marked with the FMAA seal is guaranteed to be made in the U.S. with only American-made materials.

In 2005 Valley Forge Flag Company consolidated all of its manufacturing to South Carolina and closed its plant in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania. Its headquarters moved to Reading, Pa. The company has around 500 employees, participates in the “welfare-to-work” program and employs disabled Americans.

Valley Forge flags are available at numerous retail outlets, large commercial flag dealers and online. Valley Forge Flag has a large product line including a variety of flags, flagpoles and accessories. The historical company will continue to manufacture high-quality, American-made products for years to come.

The United States Flag Store is the largest and most complete vendor of Valley Forge Flags, flagpoles and accessories, keeping a wide range of Valley Forge products in stock and carrying larger quantities than any other dealer.

President Approves New 51 Star American Flag

Well, America, I thought this day would never come. For years I’ve pledged my allegiance,  saluted, and watched my beautiful handwoven 50 star American Flag wave gently through the wind each and every day. However, not anymore.

Capitol Hill

Early this morning in a special joint session of congress, President Obama met via internet from his current stay in the UK with his cabinet and fellow lawmakers on Capitol Hill. They were hard at work putting the finishing touches on Senate Bill SB737-A, which was released to the public late Friday evening. Surprisingly, this controversial bill has gotten very little coverage by the mainstream American media, but this is of course typical for most news stories released at the end of the week.

Citing the current economic catastrophe, President Obama reportedly issued the following statement early this morning:

“This is a great day for America.  I would like you to please join with me as we celebrate this momentous occasion.  No longer are we a nation of Blacks and Whites.  No longer are we a nation of Rich and Poor, of “haves” and “have-nots”.  We are, instead, a nation of Americans.  Please join me in welcoming our nearly 4 million new brothers and sisters who have so valiantly and bravely made the decision to become a part of the greatest nation the world has ever known.”

This statement was made shortly after the signing of Senate Bill SB737-A early this morning, while most Americans were still asleep.  I won’t bore you with the litany of monotonous details, but in a nutshell it is a bill declaring the annexation into the American Union of ” El Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico” Or, for you and I – Puerto Rico.

That’s right, America.  While you were so innocently sleeping, the American government had begun to forge an all out assault on our beloved country.  No longer are we the “50 Nifty United States”, we are now, as of today,  51.

According to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, this decision “adds millions of jobs to the American economy”, and also will begin to “open up a few key trade routes that have begun to dwindle over the past few years”.  I for one, don’t think that adding an entire state to our country is going to do much towards boosting our struggling economy, but then again maybe that’s why I’m not the one in charge.

As noted historian Thomas Mclaughlin put it:

“This is a sad day for my country.  Never in my life did I imagine I would see something as ludicrous as this.  The sheer manner in which Congress passed this piece of legislation should in itself raise questions as to the Constitutionality of the entire ordeal.”

Fifty One Star Flag
Fifty One Star Flag

Well America, it’s surprising to say the least.  And perhaps frightening to say the most.  No longer will we be Pledging Allegiance to Old Glory, thanks to our lawmakers even that small piece of American tradition is now lost forever.

Congress will be officially be releasing public statements as to the passage of the bill as well as the ratification of the new 51 star American Flag sometime later this afternoon.

I have a few words for you, Congress — Your unwieldy use of power has begun to destroy the very country that you claim to serve.  I also have a few words for the rest of you, America — April Fool’s.