‘This is the tree that never grew,
This is the fish that never swam,
This is the bird that never flew,
This is the bell that never rang.’
The rhyme refers to the stories about the fire that went out and was re-kindled, the Robin that died and came back, the
bell that was sent to Glasgow’s bishop by the Pope, and the salmon that was caught with the Queen’s ring in its mouth.
Glasgow’s Coat of Arms dates back to 1866. The emblems within the armorial bearings go back much further, and are taken from the legends surrounding the city’s founder and patron saint, St Kentigern or St Mungo, “the dear one”. The Bell is believed to represent the one given to St Mungo by the Pope. Inscribed on it is the city’s motto: “Lord let Glasgow flourish through the preaching of thy word and praising thy name.” – often shortened to: “Let Glasgow Flourish”. The Tree represents the hazel branch which the St Mungo as a boy set alight when the fire of the monastery at Culross was mischievously extinguished by other boys. The Bird represents a robin brought back to life by Mungo after St Serf’s disciples had accidentally killed it and put the blame on Mungo. The Fish refers to the story of Queen Langeoreth whose ring was discovered in a salmon’s mouth in time to save her from humiliation. Glasgow’s Coat of Arms and the city’s motto can be seen throughout the city – inscribed on buildings, incorporated within street lamps and etched into some of the city’s magnificent statuary.
Let Glasgow Flourish – an anthem