FLAGS OF SCOTLAND
The Scottish flag is the cross of St. Andrew, also known as the Saltire. It is said to be one of the oldest national flags of any country, dating back at least to the 12th century.
There is a second flag which is associated with Scotland, the "Lion Rampant", or Royal Flag of Scotland. Although based on an older Scottish flag than the St. Andrew's Cross, it should, strictly speaking, now only be used by the monarch in relation to her capacity as Queen in Scotland. However, it is widely used as a second national flag.
A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system.
Mac, Mc Prefix
Scottish and Irish patronymic surnames frequently have the prefix Mac or Mc. When these surnames were originally developed, they were formed by adding the Gaelic wordmac, which means son of, to the name of the original bearer's father. For example, the surname MacDougall literally means son of Dougal. In later times, these prefixes were also added to the occupation or nickname of the bearer's father. For example, MacWard means son of the bard and MacDowell means son of the black stranger.
The Picts were a mysterious warrior people of ancient Britain. According to tradition, the Picts migrated from the shores of Brittany around the 15th century BC. They sailed northward to Ireland, but were refused permission to settle there by the ancient kings of that land. However, the Picts were granted permission to settle in the northeastern part of Scotland on the condition that each Pictish king marry an Irish princess, thus providing the Irish with a colony whose rulers were of royal Irish blood. This Pictish settlement was ruled by a matriarchal hierarchy unlike any other form of government in British history.
In the Middle Ages, the most common geographical divisions in Scotland were rendered by counties. In the modern era, however, Scotland is divided into regions, and subdivided into counties. The following are a list of the modern regions of Scotland, and the ancient counties which are located within them.
The Boernicians, who were a mixture of Scottish Picts, Angles, and Vikings, were one of the ancient clans of the Scottish-English borderlands. Considered to be the ancient founding peoples of the north, the Boernicians inhabited the tract of rugged territory that stretches from Carlisle in the west to Berwick in the east. In the 4th century,Scotland was composed of five different kingdoms, which were each home to a different race: the Gaels, Vikings, Picts, Britons, and Angles all held land, each had their own realm.
The Vikings, a Scandinavian people of astounding vitality, first began their invasion of Scotland in 794. However, the first wave of mass Viking migration occurred around 888, when King Harold of Norway defeated an unruly faction of northern clans who then abandoned their homeland. In search of a new place to live, they migrated to the sea-swept Orkney Islands in the north of Scotland under the leadership of their chief, Earl Sigurd. This settlement was permitted by the Scottish king and the kings of theIsle of Man, who allowed the Viking exiles to make their homes in the Orkney and Shetland Islands in return for a payment of 20,000 shillings.
Mary Queen of Scots
Many people wonder which spelling of this Scottish name is the older. The quick answer is Stewart. The line of Stewart monarchs of Scotland began in 1371, descending from the union of Marjorie, daughter of King Robert the Bruce and Walter, the 6th High Steward of Scotland. Mary, Queen of Scots was born in 1542, a few days later her father died and she became infant Queen of Scotland.
A Brief History
The long history of the lands of the northern third of Great Britain has been violent and often tragic. The castles and ruins, the songs and the legends tell Scotland's tale. It is the harshness of its history and the ruggedness of its land that have shaped its proud inhabitants. How the country came to be, and evolved, has long taxed the minds of many historians.