Thursday, October 8, 2009

No crown, but look at the size of our leek...

I originally covered this story over a year ago:
For the other three home nations, the emblem, which cost more than £26,000 to design, carries national flowers.

It was decided that a leek would represent Wales but nationalists claim it is not even that but only it's leaves that are seen.
The emblem in question (pictured below) represents the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court, which as the now highest court in the land will be formally opened by the Queen next week.

Although HM herself may also have cause to be slightly disgruntled at the design:
The emblem was approved by the Queen although Her Majesty never saw the less formal emblem which does not contain the Crown.
Back to that weedy looking leek:
But the court defended the design and insisted "all four nations are equally represented".
Which is true... although the original argument as to why Wales alone of the 4 home countries is depicted as a vegetable remains:
Elfyn Llwyd, Plaid Cymru's leader in Westminster, said: "It has been a bit of a snub for Wales and I cannot quite understand why that should be.

"If that is a leek then it will not be winning any shows. It is a few leaves. The daffodil is the flower of Wales."
And disappointingly for the Welsh Nats, their bete-noir David Davies is also not a happy man:
David Davies, Tory MP and member of the Commons Welsh Affairs Committee, added: "It is disappointing and verging on the insulting.

"If they cannot even get the national symbol right how can we expect them to pass judgment of national interests that these judges claim to be responsible for?"
The cost? 26 grand, which actually in the new scheme of things with the taxpayer coughing up for 36,000 pound grocery bills ,moats, duck islands, maps of Fermanagh and the like can probably be regarded as a bargain.


Anonymous said...

What is the blue and yellow flower that I presume depicts Northern Ireland?

Timothy Belmont said...

As one prone to the occasional reactionary outburst, you can easily guess my reaction to the Court's new symbol!

No crown, nothing to represent Wales, an oak leaf for the National Trust - which I approve of - and a little blue forget-me-not, if that's what it is.

Brown thinks we are made of money by spending our hard-earned money on some expensive new Court, when the Law Lords have done the job for as long as I can remember.

O'Neill said...


It's a flax which was chosen as a neutral symbol by the NI Assembly.


The Crown is a strange omission when the Crown remains the ultimate, ultimate (!) legal authority of the UK. Re the concept of the Supreme Court, I can understand the theory behind it ie the complete separation of the legislature and judiciary. However and ironically in the country where the Supreme Court makes most news (ie the US) it is generally because of the perceived political bias of the judges actually sitting on it! I'm not confident that the UK's Supreme Court will herald a new era of neutral, legal excellence.

Alwyn ap Huw said...

I don't like this symbol for a number of reasons. The main one being the use of the Omega. Why should British justice be enclosed by a foreign Grecian symbol? The Supreme Court is not the "end" of the legal process Supreme Court verdicts can be appealed to Europe. Worst of all the use of the symbol is blasphemous . The Alpha and the Omega is The Lord God (Rev 1:8), Christian martyrdom is premised on the fact that one can suffer the ultimate sanction of temporal law but still appeal to a much higher and more just authority; the use of the omega symbol suggests that the Supreme Court is not just taking over the former responsibility of the law lords but that it is also usurping the authority of The Lord too.

Having said that I don't agree with Elfyn and David. The welsh national plant is the leek and has been for more than 600 years. The Daffodil is a fairly modern symbol adopted by Lloyd George because he thought leeks were too smelly for decent company and because the Welsh name for the daffodil translates literally as St Peter's leek.

Elfyn's comment that "If that is a leek then it will not be winning any shows" is fair enough, but then the flowers in the symbol won't be winning any shows either - have you ever seen such a weedy looking English rose before?

O'Neill said...


The religious significance is fascinating but I guess its something which didnt even cross the minds of the designers.

The point about the EU being the final arbiter of justice for the UK citizen is also very true.