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unicorn

unicorn

The legendary white horse or pony with a single horn is the beloved unicorn. Unicorns were a symbol of purity and innocence in European mythology. Only a virgin girl could capture a unicorn. A symbol of purity, they have been shown with the Virgin Mary as her protector and the protector and companion of all maidens. In Scotland, two unicorns are on the royal coat of arms. The British coat of arms features the unicorn with the lion. Other than the rhinoceros, there is no record of any real one-horned creature, living or extinct. Legends grew from encounters between early man and the rhino, and sailors on the North Atlantic Ocean passed off the tusk of the narwhal as a unicorn horn. James III of Scotland placed it on a coin that was then called a "unicorn." The Egyptians show a unicorn and a lion together on an ancient papyrus. Also, a most famous tapestry from the Gothic era depicting unicorns hangs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 15th century heraldry the unicorn is profiled with the lion's tail and the goat's hooves and symbolizes the ability to break free from bondage. The addition of a broken chain implies that once free, the creature can never be captured again.

light

Unicorns are associated with the light of the moon as well as the "light" of love, harmony, and understanding. In Medieval Europe, this gentle creature stood in opposition to the lion, which is aligned with more forceful solar influences.

protection

The unicorn's horn has magical healing powers and was a popular ingredient in medieval medicines. It is a potent antidote to poison in food and water and when worn (in jewelry, for example) it will protect from evil.

virtue

The all-white unicorn is an emblem of virtue, chastity, and purity. Legend has it that you can capture a unicorn only by luring it with a maiden. Sensing her purity, the unicorn will approach and lay its head in her lap.

unicorn is also a symbol of courage, strength, virtue, purity, ferocity.

Example of known uses of unicorn

The royal coat of arms of Scotland

The royal coat of arms of Scotland

The supporters in Scotland's royal coat of arms are two chained unicorns, symbolism the taming of nature. After the Union of the Crowns in 1603 - the unification of Scotland and England - the right hand unicorn was replaced by a lion.

The coat of arms of the Worshipful

The coat of arms of the Worshipful

The unicorn as a symbol of healing can be seen in the 17th century coat of arms of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London - a membership organisation for pharmacists, dentists and veterinary surgeons - which features two unicorn supporters.

Royal coat of arms of UK

Royal coat of arms of UK

The royal coat of arms for the United Kingdom shows a lion sinister facing a unicorn dexter, both rampant, each supporting a shield. The royal coat of arms for Scotland has a similar design, but showing two unicorns instead of the lion.

The Governor General's Horse Guards

The Governor General's Horse Guards

A unicorn rampant with a chain around its neck appears as the badge for the The Governor General's Horse Guards in Toronto, Ontario, confirmed in 2004. The unicorn here has cloven hooves but no beard. The arms originally derived from The Mississauga Horse.

The coat of arms for Lísnice munici

The coat of arms for Lísnice munici

The coat of arms for Lísnice municipality in the Czech republic shows a unicorn head with no beard over a red-and-white drum, against two crossed gold flails on a blue field. The flails and the field also appear on the village's flag.

Unicorn Game Products

Unicorn Darts a game that is popular all over and the Unicorn Grocery in the U.K. uses the logo of this mythical creature.

Societies and Municipalities

Societies and Municipalities

The Society of Apothecaries in England and the town of Eger in Hungary, use the unicorn in their coat of arms.

Unicorn Activist Group

Unicorn Activist Group

Lastly, The Invisible Pink Unicorn group's logo is used to depict global atheism.

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