The Lion And The Elk

The Northern Ireland government’s coat of arms was approved for use in 1924, three years after the government was established. Its “supporters” – the red lion of Scotland and an Irish elk, carrying (respectively) Irish harp and De Burgh flags, and standing on a grassy mound with flax plants – were added later.

This mural celebrating the centenary of Northern Ireland’s creation, in the Woodburn estate, Carrickfergus, accurately shows the Tudor crown on the arms, as was used at the time of creation and prior to the Edwardian crown (WP).

For a similar design, see Defending Freedom From Hate in Highfield.

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Nihil Nisi Optimi

Ballyclare Comrades football club – motto is ‘Nihil nisi optimi’ [nothing but the best] – was founded in 1919 by members of the local Great War ‘comrades’ association. That heritage is used here for the Ballyclare Protestant Boys flute band. In the centre, between images from WWI, the flowers of the four ‘home nations’ are joined by orange lilies, and in the shield are the lion and the unicorn from the coat of arms of the UK.

“To Flanders fields some men in our town were sent and along their way many would repent their priority goal to keep Ulster free that we may have freedom both you and me as part of Great Britain they fought and died and their names we will remember and remember with pride. Lest we forget. Comrades from Ballyclare. Nihil nisi optimi. The Comrades.” “Ballyclare Protestant Boys Est. 2004”

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United Kingdom

The central panel in Thorndyke Street, Belfast, reproduces a postcard from during the Home Rule debate: “Ulster to Britain: thou mayest find another daughter with a fairer face than mine, with a gayer voice and sweeter and a softer eye than mine; but thou canst not find another that will love thee half so well!” The Ulster Banner (a flag of Northern Ireland) is used to represent Ireland in the quartet of flags while the shamrock stands alongside daffodil, rose, and thistle. For the Anglo-Norman French around the crown’s coat of arms, see Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.
Copyright © 2004 Extramural Activity
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