During battle, when the Vikings attempted to surprise the Scots by night, one of them supposedly placed a bare foot on a thistle, causing him to cry out in pain and alerting the Scots to the Viking presence. Thus, the thistle became known as the “Guardian Thistle” and, under James III, it became the badge of the Stuarts. Given the legend surrounding the Scottish thistle, the plant clearly connotes bravery, courage, and loyalty in the face of treachery.
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