Did you Know...?
... Scotland is called Alba in Gaelic? Alba gu bra
means Scotland forever!
|Check back later, because we will be adding MORE fun facts!
Did you know that the Saltire (say salter) is the national flag of Scotland, and
is the is the oldest continuously used sovereign flag in the world, having
been in use since AD 832!
According to legend, in 832 A.D. King Óengus (II) (or King Angus) led the Picts and
Scots in battle against the Angles under a king named Athelstan near modern-day
Athelstaneford in East Lothian. King Angus and his men were surrounded and he
prayed for deliverance. During the night Saint Andrew, who was martyred on an "X"
shaped cross, appeared to Angus and assured him of victory. On the following
morning a white saltire against the background of a blue sky appeared to both sides.
The Picts and Scots were heartened by this, but the Angles lost confidence and were
defeated. This saltire design has been the Scottish flag ever since.
Did you know the Declaration of Arbroath was signed on April 6, 1320? It is a
formal declaration of independence and we celebrate its signing with Tartan Week
and Tartan Day? Thomas Jefferson modeled our Declaration of Independence on
the Declaration of Arbroath, and was one of the first times that the idea of the people
choosing their own ruler was put forward! Did you know that it was Adam Gordon who
was sent as ambassador by Robert the Bruce to the Pope who presented the
Declaration of Arbroath and pled the case of the Scottish people?
Did you know that George Washington was influenced by the Declaration of
Arbroath? The Declaration stated that "...for, as long as but a hundred of us remain
alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not
for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that
alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself."
George Washington's back-up plan was always to stand with the Scots and Ulster
Scots in his native Virginia! He said, "If all else fails, I will retreat up the valley of
Virginia, plant my flag on the Blue Ridge, rally around the Scotch-Irish of that region
and make my last stand for liberty amongst a people who will never submit to British
tyranny whilst there is a man left to draw a trigger."
Did you know Scotland's motto is "Nemo me impune lacessit" or No one
provokes me with impunity"? That means if you push me around, you won't get
away with it, cause I will make you pay for it! In America this phrase was placed above
the above an American Timber Rattlesnake on a 1778 $20 coin from Georgia
(pictured left) and this image was also seen on the very first US Marine Corps bright
yellow drums in 1775 with the American translation of the phrase, "Don't Tread On
Me!" Same thing! The Gadsen Flag made it a famous image of the American
Revolution and it was all inspired by our Revolutionary ancestor's ties to Scotland!
Did you know that Scotland is known for being inventive? Television,
telephone, the video cassette recorder, finger printing, golf, tarmacadam, (that's
black top) tires, and penicillin are all Scottish inventions -- well sort of, at least they
were all Scots who invented them!
Did you know Scotland includes 787 islands, of which most belong to groups
known as the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland but only 62 are over 3 square
miles? This is one reason that so many Scots have been great sailors.
John Paul Jones was born in Kirkcudbright, Scotland. He went to sea at
thirteen and later moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he met George
Washington and Richard Henry Lee. He volunteered for service in the Continental
Navy and through his daring example became known as the father of the United
Did you know that Scotland is a little smaller than South Carolina? According to worldatlas.com, Scotland's total
area measures 30,607 sq miles. South Carolina measures in area 32,005 square miles and ranks # 40 in size among
the states. That means that 40 of the 50 states are bigger than Scotland!
All of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) total land and water measures 89,175 sq mi square miles or just a
little larger than Minnesota (highlighted in yellow.)
Did you know that Scotland only has about 5.2 million people living in her borders with about 172 people
per square mile? That compares to the population of Minnesota, but not to Minnesota's population per square mile
which is only about 61 people per square mile! It is interesting to see that Minnesota is about as big as all of Great
Britain but has the population of Scotland! Scotland is much more crowded than the USA.
Did you know Scotland's highest point
is Ben Nevis at a height of 4,406 feet
(pictured left) which is comparable to
Elliot's Knob in Virginia (pictured right)
at 4,463 feet while Virginia's highest point is
Mount Rogers at 5,729 feet.
The mountain ranges of the southeastern
USA are home to many of Scottish and
Scotch-Irish descent whose ancestors
favored this area which reminded them of
the Scottish Highlands.
Did you know the geographic center of Scotland is Schiehallion?
(Scottish Gaelic: Sìdh Chailleann which means the Fairy Hill of the
Caledonians.) The lines of longitude and latitude drawn from the easterly and
westerly most points and from the northly and southerly most points in
Scotland intersect almost exactly at the summit of the mountain.
Did you know that the mass (weight) of the Earth was measured in a
famous experiment in 1774 at Schiehallion? Schiehallion was chosen for
it's isolation from other mountains and it's steep symmetrical slope which
maximised the effect being measured and made the calculations easier at the
The experiment also measured the mean density of the Earth from which a
value for Newton's gravitational force (G) could be deduced. Contour lines on
maps were also a result of the experiment on Schiehallion! American history
influenced the experiment as well. Anomalies detected while surveying the
Mason-Dixon Line was one of the triggers for the experiment, and Benjamin
Franklin was one of the members of the Committee of Attraction formed by the
Royal Society to consider the matter and they sent astronomer and surveyor
Charles Mason to choose a suitable mountain for the site of the experiment!
Kid's Corner Fun Facts!
FYI Alaska's Mt. McKinley (also called Denali) is the highest mountain peak in North
America, with a summit elevation of 20,237 feet above sea level. A little over 18,000
feet, the base to peak rise is considered the largest of any mountain situated entirely
above sea level in the world!