The Thistle – A Flower of Scotland History

The Thistle is one of the most well-known flowers in Scotland history. Its origins are mysterious, but its significance has never been in doubt. From its history to its connection with Robert Burns and Scotland’s national anthem, the flower has made its mark on Scottish culture. Discover the history of the flower and its connection to Scottish culture in this article. You’ll also discover more about the cories, origins, and Robert Burns.


The Scottish thistle is an iconic plant. It is a biennial plant, meaning that its life cycle is divided into two years, a period during which the flowering plant grows and dies. Thistle seeds are viable in the soil for seven to twenty years. Because of this, thistle seeds can be dispersed throughout the year, and the plant can be grown in gardens, parks, or open areas without any other plants.

Robert Burns

The life of Robert Burns is full of surprises and turns of fate. In 1786, the poet was facing financial ruin. He worked on a poor farm with his brother, nearly starving. While he was living in Jamaica, Robert burned out several times. His love affair with Jean, who was pregnant with twins, ended in tragedy. Burns was unable to return home to Scotland. His lover, ‘Highland Mary,’ was murdered while waiting for him to return.


One of the most famous songs in Scottish history is “Cories are a flower of Scotland”. The song is performed often and is credited to Roy Williamson, a member of the folk group the Corries. Initially heard on a 1967 BBC television program, the song has become Scotland’s unofficial national anthem. The lyrics are based on the victory of the Scots led by Robert the Bruce over Edward II of England at the Battle of Bannockburn.


The prickly-leaved purple flower, the thistle, is the national emblem of Scotland. As the national emblem of the United Kingdom, it’s not the only flower that reflects the nation’s heritage and national pride. Other UK countries include England, Wales, and Ireland. In fact, each has its own flower as their emblem. Despite this, the thistle is unique to Scotland.

Anti-Scottish verse

Despite the country’s national anthem, Scotland’s antipathy to the English has occasionally found artistic expression. The first anthem was composed around 300 years ago. The phrase “whaur’s yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?” was coined by a punter who wanted to sing the verse at a church service. The phrase was included in the Church of Scotland’s “Church Hymnary,” appended to the back of a King James Bible issued to the Boys’ Brigade.

Problems with anthem

The problems with the Flower of Scotland history anthem stem from its history. It is explicitly anti-English and refers to the victory of the Jacobite army over the English at the Battle of Bannockburn. Considering the Scottish population’s tepid views of nationhood, the anthem will never have much popularity among Scots. Moreover, the anthem’s lyrics are inaccurate and rarely get airplay.