Cornish symbols

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Flag of St Piran, used as a flag of Cornwall
Flag of the Duke of Cornwall
Cornish Chough
Flag of Cornwall, Ontario

Many different symbols are associated with Cornwall, a region which has disputed constitutional status within the United Kingdom (confer the Constitutional status of Cornwall). Saint Piran's Flag, a white cross on a black background is often seen in Cornwall. The Duchy of Cornwall shield of 15 gold bezants on a black field is also used. Because of these two symbols black, white and gold are considered colours symbolic of Cornwall.

Saint Piran's Flag is the flag of Cornwall. It was first described as the Standard of Cornwall in 1838.[1] It has since been used by Cornish people as a symbol of identity.[2]


Chough[edit]

The chough (in Cornish = palores) is also used as a symbol of Cornwall. In Cornish poetry the chough is used to symbolise the spirit of Cornwall. Also there is a Cornish belief that King Arthur lives in the form of a chough. "Chough" was also used as a nickname for Cornish people.

Anvil[edit]

An anvil is sometimes used to symbolise Cornish nationalism, particularly in its more extreme forms. This is a reference to 'Michael An Gof', 'the smith', a leader of the Cornish Rebellion of 1497.

Fish, Tin, and Copper[edit]

Fish, tin, and copper together are used as they show the 'traditional' three main industries of Cornwall. Tin has a special place in the Cornish culture, the 'Stannary Parliament' and 'Cornish pennies' are a testament to the former power of the Cornish tin industry. Cornish tin is highly prized for jewellery, often of mine engines or Celtic designs.

Flowers[edit]

Several flowers and plants have been described as the Cornish national flower. These include broom,[3] furze (gorse),[4] rhododendron,[5] and Cornish heath.[6]

Although Cornwall has no official flower many people favour the Cornish heath (Erica vagans). In recent years daffodils have been popular on the annual Saint Piran's day march on Perran sands although they are donated by a local daffodil grower and it is already considered to be the National flower of Wales.

As part of a 2002 marketing campaign, the plant conservation charity Plantlife chose Thrift (Armeria maritima) as the "county flower" of the Isles of Scilly.[7]

Trees[edit]

The Cornish national tree is the sessile oak,[8] known in Cornwall as the Cornish oak.[9]

Food[edit]

The Cornish national dish is the Cornish pasty.[10][11][12]

Diocese of Truro[edit]

The arms of the Diocese of Truro include a saltire gules on which are a crossed sword and key: below this is a fleur de lys sable, all surrounded by a border sable charged with 15 bezants. The saltire is the cross of St Patrick, taken to be the emblem of the Celtic church; the sword and key are emblems of St Peter and Paul, the patrons of Exeter Cathedral, and the fleur de lys represents St Mary, patron of the cathedral. The border is derived from the arms of the Duchy of Cornwall.[13] They were designed by the College of Heralds in 1877 and are blazoned thus:

"Argent, on a saltire gules, a key, ward upward, in bend, surmounted by a sword, hilt upward, in bend sinister, both or. In base, a fleur de lys sable. The whole within a bordure sable, fifteen bezants. Ensigned with a mitre."[14]

Cornwall, Ontario[edit]

The original settlement of colonial Cornwall was established in 1784, by disbanded Loyalist soldiers, their families and other United Empire Loyalists--primarily from New York-- following the 1776 American Revolution. The settlement they founded was later renamed Cornwall after the Duke of Cornwall, Prince George, and became one of the first incorporated municipalities in the British colony of Upper Canada in 1834.[15]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'The Parochial History of Cornwall', by Davies Gilbert. (1838) Vol III, p. 332
  2. ^ Phil Rendle, Cornwall - The Mysteries of St Piran, The Flag Institute
  3. ^ John T. Koch, Celtic Culture: a historical encyclopedia, ABC-Clio, 2006
  4. ^ George Thayer, The British Political Fringe: a profile, A. Blond, 1965
  5. ^ Peggy Pollard, Cornwall, P. Elek, 1947
  6. ^ James Minahan, The Complete Guide to National Symbols and Emblems, Volume 1, Greenwood Press, 2009
  7. ^ "County flower of Isles of Scilly". Plantlife International - The Wild Plant Conservation Charity. Retrieved 7 April 2006. 
  8. ^ James Minahan, The complete guide to national symbols and emblems , Volume 1, 2009
  9. ^ "Will native trees thrive in the future?". West Briton. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "My angel in an apron cooks up the perfect pasty". Western Morning News. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  11. ^ James Minahan, The Complete Guide to National Symbols and Emblems, Volume 1, 2009
  12. ^ Lesley Gillilan, The Best of Britain: Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Crimson Publishing, 2009
  13. ^ Pascoe, W. H. (1979) A Cornish Armory. Padstow: Lodenek Press; pp. 136-37
  14. ^ Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; p. 33
  15. ^ 5 Star Flags
  16. ^ Flags of the World