Order of the Thistle

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The ancient Order of the Thistle is Scotland’s highest order of chivalry.

It was begun by King James VII of Scotland in 1687.

By a statute of 1827, the Order consists of the Sovereign and sixteen knights. The insignia is a silver Cross of St. Andrew surrounding a green thistle and the motto: “Nemo Me Impune Lassecit” (“No one wounds me with impunity.”)

It is Scotland’s equivalent to the Order of the Garter.

The origins go back to about 1540 in Scotland. Historians do not credit myths that the Cross of Saint Andrew appeared in the sky on the eve of a successful battle of Scots against the English.