Symbols of Scotland
- Scotland at War
The Scot has been famous for hundreds of years as a fierce fighter. Over the last few hundred years, these qualities have been used to good effect by the British army - but at a high cost in casualties. This striking Scottish soldier stands on the war memorial at the front of Stirling Castle.
The war memorial on the left is in the centre of Paisley. It has an unusual mixture of the heroic knight on horeseback (not out of placein Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe) and the images of infantrymen from the trenches of the First World War. The simpler image of the soldier on the right is located in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh. Although showing a kilted soldier, it commemorates the contribution of American servicemen in two World Wars who answered the call to arms before their country entered the conflicts.
The traditional Highland kilt proved to be totally impractical in the trench war-fare of the First World War and was replaced (except for ceremonial occasions) by the more serviceable khaki uniform. The war memorial in Ayr shows the uniform of a typical "Jock" in the Second World War.
The traditional Highland dress and claymores of earlier times are kept very much alive by various "re-enactment" societies. The illustration on the right was taken at the World Pipe Band Championship on Glasgow Green.
Of course, the reputation of the "fighting Scot" originated in the days of William Wallace (the model on the left is in the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum) and Rob Roy MacGregor (this statue is in Stirling also).
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