Saint Andrew and the Flag

St Andrew the Patron of Scotland People often ask about the Scottish flag or ‘saltire’ which is also seen within the flag of Great Britain; the Union Jack. The Union Jack dates back to the union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. The flag combines aspects of three national flags: the red cross of St George of the Kingdom of England, the white saltire of St Andrew for Scotland (the two were united in the first Union Flag in 1606), and the red saltire of St Patrick to represent Ireland. St Andrew (whose name in Greek means ‘manly’, ‘masculine’) was born around 5-10 A.D. in a Palestinian port. He was a fisherman like his father and brother. Later, on the banks of the Jordan, Andrew met John

The Kilt

The kilt is the brightest symbol of Scottish national identity and it can be seen nowadays all over the world as it has become quite a fashionable dress not just within Scotland itself. If you are on a tour about Glasgow or any other Scottish city you will definitively see people wearing the kilt. How old is it and does it come from? After the Glorious Revolution of 1688–89 the Catholic king James II of England and VII of Scotland, fled to exile in France. James' daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange, who was also James's nephew, ascended the British throne. In 1690 Presbyterianism was established as the state religion of Scotland. The Jacobite rising of 1745 was the attempt by cat

The Thistle Story

Thistles can be found everywhere in Scotland – not only in parks and the countryside. Any sightseer on a Tour of Glasgow City is bound to see one. This emblem crops up on the strip of the international rugby team and football clubs, local and major organisations and even on the uniforms of police officers. It’s also the symbol that greets people arriving to the airports. So when did it become a national emblem? There are different legends about its symbolic origins, but here is the most famous. Norwegian control over the Hebrides and the Isle of Man was established in 1098, when Edgar, King of Scotland signed the islands over to King Magnus III of Norway, setting the boundary between Scots a

The Legacy of Glasgow’s International Exhibition of 1901

At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century International Exhibitions became very popular. The first 'world fair' had taken place in London in 1756, with the French adopting the tradition from the 1790s onwards. However, the 1851 Crystal Palace exhibition in London set a new standard and fashion for exhibitions of industry and culture. It focused on the international progress of the arts and industry. Glasgow was in need of a new building that would encompass an art gallery, museum and art school, all on the same site. Here was a wonderful opportunity to elevate Glasgow onto the same plane as its rival cities, which were already in possession of impressive civic art gallerie

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