National Emblems in Great Britain
The red rose was the emblem of Lancastrians, the white rose that of the Yorkists, the two Houses fighting for the English throne in the War of Roses. But their struggle ended by marriage of Henry VII, the Lancastrian with Princess Elizabeth, the Yorkist. The red rose has since become the emblem of England. The thistle is the national emblem of Scotland. It happened in very old times when Norsemen wanted to settle in this country. They came close to the Scots’ camps in the night and wanted to kill them in their sleep. That’s why they took off their shoes so as to make no noise. But one of the Norsemen stepped on a thistle and screamed. The Scots woke up and put the enemy to flight. The leek is the emblem of Wales. Welshmen all over the world celebrate their national holiday St David’s Day by wearing leeks. They do it because they believe St David have lived for several years on bread and wild leeks. Irishmen wear their national emblem on St Patrick’s Day. It’s a small white clover with three leaves on the stem. It is called a shamrock.