The Royal Banner of the Royal Arms of Scotland, also known as the ‘Lion Rampant’, is The Queen’s official banner in Scotland. The Banner is gold, with a red rampant lion and Royal tressure. The use of the Banner is not restricted to the Monarch: it can also be flown, in a personal capacity, by Her Majesty’s Great Officers. These include Lord Lieutenants, the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Lord Lyon King of Arms and the Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland, an office that has been held since 1999 by the First Minister of Scotland.
It is thought that the Lion Rampant may have been first used as a Royal emblem in Scotland by William I, styled ‘William the Lion’, although there is no clear evidence of its use before 1222, by William’s heir Alexander II. The symbol was incorporated into the Royal Arms of England for a period following the Union of the Crowns in 1603 and occupied two quarters of the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom after the Act of Union in 1707.
From 1801, the Lion Rampant has occupied the second quarter of the Royal Arms used in England, and the first and fourth quarters of the Royal Arms in Scotland.
In 1934, in connection with the preparations for the Silver Jubilee of King George V, His Majesty issued a Royal Warrant granting the people of Scotland permission to use the Royal Banner of the Royal Arms of Scotland as a sign of loyalty and celebration.
The Royal Banner of the Royal Arms of Scotland is currently flown at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Balmoral Castle when The Queen is not in residence. When Her Majesty is in residence, The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom is flown.