The most recognizable national emblems of England and the historical region of Great Britain are the "cross of St. George", "lions on the alert" and "the Tudor rose". All of them have an exciting history of many centuries. No less interesting is the history of the symbols of Ireland: the golden harp, the shamrock and the tricolor national flag.
"St George's Cross" is the national flag of England. It is a rectangular red cross on a white background. Saint George is the heavenly patron of England. The banner with the cross of St. George, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, appeared in the English army during the reign of King Richard the Lionheart. Later it became the state flag and ensign of the Royal Navy. According to another version, supported by many historians, the "cross of St. George" was originally the flag of the Genoese Republic. And the English kings paid an annual tribute to the Genoese doges for the right to use the flag on their ships and count on the protection of the powerful Genoese fleet.
"Lions on the lookout" is the traditional English coat of arms. The lion was originally the emblem of the Plantagenet dynasty, the monarchs who ruled England from the mid 12th to the late 14th century. Under the most famous representative of this dynasty, Richard the Lionheart, there were three lions on the coat of arms. Over time, the state emblem of Great Britain was supplemented by other symbols. But even now, the logo based on the three lions is used by many English public organizations, in particular, the English Football Association.
The Tudor Rose is another well-known heraldic emblem. It symbolizes the end of the destructive civil war of the scarlet and white roses. The long-term confrontation ended with the ascension to the throne of Henry VII Tudor. His father came from the Lancaster house, whose symbol was the scarlet rose. The mother was the heiress of the formerly hostile York house, which was symbolized by the white rose.
The golden harp on a blue field is the national emblem of the Republic of Ireland. The harp became the symbol of the country back in the 15th century. Why this musical instrument became the state emblem, historians do not know for certain. In the book of Karl Allard "On Flags", published in 1708, there is such a version: one of the ancient Irish rulers chose the harp as a symbol of his personal heavenly patron, the biblical king and prophet David, the famous poet and musician.
The shamrock is a trade symbol for Ireland and is officially registered in the World Intellectual Property Register. In Irish, the emblem is called shamrock, which means clover. Depicted as a three-leaf clover leaf. According to legend, the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, using the example of a shamrock, explained the meaning of the church's doctrine of the Trinity.
The tricolor national flag of Ireland, consisting of three vertical stripes of green, white and orange. Green has been interpreted as the color of Irish nationalism. Orange represents the Dutch Prince William of Orange, who became King William III of England and conquered Ireland. White means a truce between "green" and "orange".