The national symbols of Scotland are the objects, images, or cultural expressions that are emblematic, representative, or otherwise characteristic of Scotland or Scottish culture. As a rule, these national symbols are cultural icons that have emerged from Scottish folklore and tradition, meaning few have any official status. However, most if not all maintain recognition at a national or international level, and some, such as the Royal Arms of Scotland, have been codified in heraldry, and are established, official, and recognised symbols of Scotland.
The national flag of Scotland, the Saltire or St. Andrew's Cross, dates from the 9th century, and is thus the oldest national flag still in use. The Saltire now also forms part of the design of the Union Flag.
The Royal Arms of Scotland is a coat of arms symbolising Scotland and the Scottish monarchs. The blazon, or technical description, is "Or, a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure within a double tressure flory counter-flory of the second", meaning a red lion with blue tongue and claws on a yellow field and surrounded by a red double royal tressure flory counter-flory device.
Although officially subsumed into the heraldry of the British Royal Family in 1707, the historic Royal Arms featuring the lion rampant continues to represent Scotland on several coins of the pound sterling, forms the basis of several emblems of Scottish national sports teams (such as the Scotland national football team), and endures as one of the most recognisable national symbols of Scotland.
The thistle, the floral emblem of Scotland, also features in Scottish & British heraldry through symbols, logos, coats of arms, and on British currency.
Burns' Night is an annual celebration of Scotland's national poet Robert Burns.
Declaration of Arbroath (1320) Scotland Declaration of Independence. Tartan Day, a recent innovation from Canada, is a celebration of all things Scottish on the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath.
The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland. The Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland, used prior to 1603 by the Kings of Scotland, was supported by two unicorns, and the current royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom is supported by a unicorn for Scotland along with a lion for England. The unicorn is frequently found as an ornament on mercat crosses. A National Unicorn Museum is being set up in Forres, Moray.
Edinburgh Castle, a national icon of Scotland. Considered one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was involved in many historical conflicts from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century to the Jacobite rising of 1745. Research undertaken in 2014 identified 26 sieges in its 1,100-year history, giving it a claim to having been "the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world"
Kilt, Scotland's national dress. Originating in the Scottish Highland dress for men, it is first recorded in the 16th century as the great kilt, a full-length garment whose upper half could be worn as a cloak. The small kilt or modern kilt emerged in the 18th century, and is essentially the bottom half of the great kilt. Since the 19th century, it has become associated with the wider culture of Scotland, and more broadly with Gaelic or Celtic heritage.
The National Monument of Scotland, Scotland's national memorial to the Scottish soldiers and sailors who died fighting in the Napoleonic Wars.It was intended, according to the inscription, to be "A Memorial of the Past and Incentive to the Future Heroism of the Men of Scotland"