House of Gordon USA
Kid's Corner Fun Facts!
Did you Know...?
... Scotland is called Alba in Gaelic? Alba gu brath
means Scotland forever!
|Check back later, because we will be adding MORE fun facts!
Did you know that the Saltire (say salter) is the national flag of Scotland, and is
the is the oldest continuously used sovereign flag in the world, having been
in use since AD 832!
According to legend, in 832 A.D. King Óengus (II) (or King Angus) led the Picts and
Scots in battle against the Angles under a king named Athelstan near modern-day
Athelstaneford in East Lothian. King Angus and his men were surrounded and he
prayed for deliverance. During the night Saint Andrew, who was martyred on an "X"
shaped cross, appeared to Angus and assured him of victory. On the following morning
a white saltire against the background of a blue sky appeared to both sides. The Picts
and Scots were heartened by this, but the Angles lost confidence and were defeated.
This saltire design has been the Scottish flag ever since.
Did you know the Declaration of Arbroath was signed on April 6, 1320? It is a
formal declaration of independence and we celebrate its signing with Tartan Week and
Tartan Day? Thomas Jefferson modeled our Declaration of Independence on the
Declaration of Arbroath, and was one of the first times that the idea of the people
choosing their own ruler was put forward! Did you know that it was Adam Gordon who
was sent as ambassador by Robert the Bruce to the Pope who presented the
Declaration of Arbroath and pled the case of the Scottish people?
Did you know that George Washington was influenced by the Declaration of
Arbroath? The Declaration stated that "...for, as long as but a hundred of us remain
alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for
glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone,
which no honest man gives up but with life itself."
George Washington's back-up plan was always to stand with the Scots and Ulster Scots
in his native Virginia! He said, "If all else fails, I will retreat up the valley of Virginia, plant
my flag on the Blue Ridge, rally around the Scotch-Irish of that region and make my last
stand for liberty amongst a people who will never submit to British tyranny whilst there is
a man left to draw a trigger."
Did you know Scotland's motto is "Nemo me impune lacessit" or No one
provokes me with impunity"? That means if you push me around, you won't get
away with it, cause I will make you pay for it! In America this phrase was placed above
an American Timber Rattlesnake on a 1778 $20 bill from Georgia (pictured left)
and this image was also seen on the very first US Marine Corps bright yellow drums
in 1775 with the American translation of the phrase, "Don't Tread On Me!" Same thing!
The Gadsen Flag made it a famous image of the American Revolution and it was all
inspired by our Revolutionary ancestor's ties to Scotland!
Did you know that Scotland is known for being inventive? Television, telephone,
the video cassette recorder, finger printing, golf, tarmacadam, (that's black top) tires,
and penicillin are all Scottish inventions -- well sort of, at least they were all Scots who
Did you know Scotland includes 787 islands, of which most belong to groups
known as the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland but only 62 are over 3 square
miles? This is one reason that so many Scots have been great sailors.
John Paul Jones was born in Kirkcudbright, Scotland. He went to sea at thirteen
and later moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he met George Washington and
Richard Henry Lee. He volunteered for service in the Continental Navy and through his
daring example became known as the father of the United States Navy!
Did you know that Scotland is a little smaller than South Carolina? According to worldatlas.com, Scotland's total area
measures 30,607 sq miles. South Carolina measures in area 32,005 square miles and ranks # 40 in size among the states.
That means that 40 of the 50 states are bigger than Scotland!
All of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) total land and water measures 89,175 sq mi square miles or just a little
larger than Minnesota (highlighted in yellow.)
Did you know that Scotland only has about 5.2 million people living in her borders with about 172 people per
square mile? That compares to the population of Minnesota, but not to Minnesota's population per square mile which is
only about 61 people per square mile! It is interesting to see that Minnesota is about as big as all of Great Britain but has
the population of Scotland! Scotland is much more crowded than the USA.
Did you know Scotland's highest point is Ben Nevis
at a height of 4,406 feet (pictured left) which is
comparable to Elliot's Knob in Virginia (pictured
right) at 4,463 feet while Virginia's highest point is Mount
Rogers at 5,729 feet.
The mountain ranges of the southeastern USA are home
to many of Scottish and Scotch-Irish descent whose
ancestors favored this area which reminded them of the
FYI Alaska's Mt. McKinley (also called Denali) is the
highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit
elevation of 20,237 feet above sea level. At some 18,000
feet, the base to peak rise is considered the largest of any
mountain situated entirely above sea level in the world!
Did you know the geographic center of Scotland is Schiehallion?
(Scottish Gaelic: Sìdh Chailleann which means the Fairy Hill of the Caledonians.)
The lines of longitude and latitude drawn from the easterly and westerly most
points and from the northly and southerly most points in Scotland intersect almost
exactly at the summit of the mountain.
Did you know that the mass (weight) of the Earth was measured in a
famous experiment in 1774 at Schiehallion? Schiehallion was chosen for it's
isolation from other mountains and it's steep symmetrical slope which maximised
the effect being measured and made the calculations easier at the same time!
The experiment also measured the mean density of the Earth from which a value
for Newton's gravitational force (G) could be deduced. Contour lines on maps were
also a result of the experiment on Schiehallion! American history influenced the
experiment as well. Anomalies detected while surveying the Mason-Dixon Line was
one of the triggers for the experiment, and Benjamin Franklin was one of the
members of the Committee of Attraction formed by the Royal Society to consider
the matter and they sent astronomer and surveyor Charles Mason to choose a
suitable mountain for the site of the experiment!