Oct 26 2011 by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Wednesday
WHAT words sum up the Stirling area and its people?
The Stirling coat of arms doesn’t have a motto, and Provost Fergus Wood is leading the drive to find one.
“One of my proudest duties is to welcome visitors from around the world to Stirling, and that often includes showing people around our Council Chambers at Viewforth where the civic coat of arms is on display on the wall,” said Provost Wood.
“There’s a great story behind why we have a wolf on our crest that everyone enjoys, but visitors often ask if there’s a Stirling motto, too.
“The Provost’s Panel invited a group of eminent local historians, writers, constitutional experts and friends of Stirling to help us find one. It was agreed that the motto should be in either English or Auld Scots, although on occasion it might be appropriate to use a Gaelic translation.”
Guidance was also provided from Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum director Dr Elspeth King.
People are being asked to choose between two options:
Option one is “Steadfast as the Rock”: “Like their Castle perched on a rock, the people of the Stirling area have stood proud and steadfast through the ages. Rock solid, loyal and resolute – like so many characters from our past, and like the troops who have fought for freedom all over the world over the years from their Castle home”.
l Option two is “Heid High and Gang Forrit”: “There’s always been something determined, positive and forward-looking in the Stirling spirit, and here’s a rallying cry in Old Scots that captures it. In good times and bad, Stirling people simply keep going forward, with heads held high. A motto that speaks of our past and looks to our future”.
Voting slips are being included in the winter issue of Stirling magazine for people to return to The Civic Office.
Or people can simply email their preferred motto option to email@example.com
Stirling’s civic coat of arms is decorated with two caltrops (iron spikes) and two rowels (spiked wheels on a horse’s spurs), representing the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The Scottish Lion Rampant on the shield indicates the former close association of the Royal Stewarts with the Stirling area.
The supporters are a goshawk, representing the Drummonds, who were for centuries the principal family of southern Perthshire and were founders of Callander in 1739, and a wolf, representing the former Royal Burgh of Stirling.
The wolf comes from the ninth century legend when a howling wolf saved the town from a Viking attack.