Scotland (English / Scots)
Alba (

Flag of Scotland
Flag of Scotland

Royal Standard of Scotland
Royal Standard of Scotland

Royal Standard
Motto: In My Defens God Me Defend (Scots) (Often shown abbreviated as IN DEFENS)
Anthem: None (de jure)
Flower of Scotland, Scotland the Brave (de facto)

Location of Scotland
Location of Scotland

Location of Scotland (inset - orange)
in the
United Kingdom (camel)

in the European continent (white)
external image clip_image008.gif55°57′N 3°12′W/ 55.95°N 3.2°W / 55.95; -3.2
Largest city
Official languages
English (de facto)1
Recognised regional languages
Gaelic, Scots
Ethnic groups
88% Scottish, 8% English, Irish, Welsh, 4% other[1]
Scots, Scottish2
Constitutional monarchy
Elizabeth II
First Minister of Scotland (Head of Scottish Government)
Alex Salmond MP MSP
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Gordon Brown MP
Scottish Parliament

78,772 km2

2007 estimate


Pound sterling (GBP)


Patron saint
St. Andrew[3]

Scotland (Gaelic: Alba) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom.[6][7][8] Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, Scotland consists of over 790 islands[9] including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
Edinburgh, the country's capital and second largest city, is one of Europe's largest financial centres.[10][11][12] Edinburgh was the hub of the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century, which saw Scotland become one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Scotland's largest city is Glasgow, that was once one of the world's leading industrial cities, and now lies at the centre of the Greater Glasgow conurbation which dominates the Scottish Lowlands. Scottish waters consist of a large sector[13] of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union.

National symbols of Scotland
The national flag of Scotland, known as the Saltire or St. Andrew's Cross, dates (at least in legend) from the 9th century, and is thus the oldest national flag still in use.

Flower of Scotland is popularly held to be the National Anthem of Scotland, and is played at events such as football or rugby matches involving the Scotland national team.

external image clip_image009.gif external image clip_image011.gif
external image clip_image009.gif
The thistle, Scotland's Floral emblem.

St Andrew's Day, 30 November, is the national day, although Burns' Night tends to be more widely observed.