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Saturday, October 14, 2006
Random Knowledge 3: Why Lions? -vww

The use of three lions as a symbol of England has been around for a long time. I saw it on TV a few days ago during some soccer match and wondered, why lions? There are no lions in England, zoos excluded. What strange choice of animal to represent one's country.

So I did a little research online and found that it was Richard the Lionheart who started using three golden lions in a red field on his banner. No wonder the NJC crest looks so familiar; we do subconsciously worship our colonial masters after all. I also came across this page with a funny rant about King Richard and his "big pussy cat" emblem (St George, the big pussy cat and Good King Richard). I don't know much about this king except that he's a crusader and likes to make cameo appearances at the end of movies (Robin Hood: Prince of Theives and recently Kingdom of Heaven).

Then I thought of Singapore, the Lion City, which too has no lions. I seriously doubt that Sang Nila Utama, if he existed, ever saw a lion in his whole life. My hypothesis is that he probably saw some strange looking tiger and assumed that it was a lion based on vague descriptions passed down through generations. His ancestors would certainly have seen lions if you consider the royal line in the Malay Annals.

A travel article has this to say about the whole lion affair:
"Singapore's name is misleading. In Malay Sanskrit it means ''Lion City,'' named in the 12th century by a Sumatran prince who wrote that he fought a lion. It was probably a tiger since there are no lions here. Nevertheless, Singapore has kept the name and added to the nonsense by putting a mermaid's tail on the beast and calling it a merlion."

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
11:12 AM


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Previous Posts

My Neighbour Is A Genius! -vwv

25 Under 25 To Watch -vvw

The Best Year of My Life -vvv

Artillery Website -vvv

Singapore Dreaming -vvz

Yet another weekend -vvv

Pretty Persuasion -vvz

Shrinking Solar System -vwv

Fly with Tilly -vvx

There's always something to watch -vvz

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