HomeWild Cat SpeciesLionWhy is a lion the symbol of England?


Why is a lion the symbol of England? — 4 Comments

  1. In heraldry, an attitude is the position in which an animal, fictional beast, mythical creature, human or human-like being is emblazoned as a charge, supporter or crest. Many attitudes apply only to predatory beasts and are exemplified by the beast most frequently found in heraldry—the lion.

  2. Don’t forget the term “Lionheart” – refers to a great, powerful and brave individual. Plus lions rule prides, just as kings rule courts. Lions were given to several English monarchs (as tributes and gifts from other countries) and housed in the royal menagerie, which used to be at the Tower of London.

    Why a lion? The type specimens for the lion was the Barbary lion, well known to Romans and once endemic to north Africa. They were used in the Roman arenas and therefore known in Europe for centuries.

    Why not a tiger? The tiger was a much less familiar beast to Europeans due to its geographical range (Asia, extending into Siberia). If you’re going to pick a regal beast, you need to choose one that is widely recognised as a symbol of power and courage, and thanks to the Romans, that would be the lion rather than the tiger.

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