THE armorial ensigns still used by
our great commercial metropolis have been traced back in all their main
features to A.D. 1325, and anyone, without graduating at the College of
Heralds, might construct them out of the legends.
(1) We have the miraculous mound
which elevated itself beneath the saint to let him be seen and heard; (2)
The tree, said to have been in the earlier blazon a mere branch or twig,
of course represents the hazel bush (or branch) with which the holy boy
miraculously rekindled the fire at Cuiross. In the tree are curiously
arranged,—(3) St. Mungo’s Bell; (4) The miraculous fish, whether pike or
salmon, with Queen Langueth’s ring in its mouth; And (5) St. Serf’s
It may be added that, looking to its
founder, origin, and early history, the city motto is singularly
appropriate: "LET GLASGOW FLOURISH
BY THE PREACHING OF THE WORD."
The popular rhyme on the city arms,
so well known to, and often repeated by, the youthful citizens of Glasgow,
is as follows:-
"There’s the tree that never grew,
There’s the bird that never flew,
There’s the bell that never rang,
There’s the fish that never swam."
This may simply refer to the various
ensigns or pictorial representations, or it may be a post Reformation
ditty impugning their reality.