Thursday 26 April 2012: Leith #12 - Sigillum Oppidi de Leith
You can see this sign in many shop windows in Leith, and you can find this crest in many places around Leith as well. I would have liked to find a more interesting one, but time restrictions and bad weather didn't make it possible.
This shield bearing a galley on the sea with Virgin Mary and Jesus in her arms is the seal of Leith. The phrase on top of the shield "Sigillum Oppidi de Leith" means "The Seal of the Town of Leith". Underneath, the word "Persevere" is Leith's Motto, which is believed to have been brought to the community by 11th century French traders, when this crest became the flag of the area.
This flag, which predates the Saltire, was forgotten about when Leith merged with Edinburgh in 1920, and many attempts have been made to restore it in order to bring back Leith's strong community spirit. People who are from Leith don't think of themselves as being from Edinburgh, and you can certainly feel that strong sense of identity in the area.
I have lived in many areas in Edinburgh, but this one is the one that has struck me as most unique. Using somebody else's words, Leith is as much as a state of mind as a place. Although a bit of a rough area, I really like its genuine character.
This is the last of this series. It was meant for me to learn a bit more about Leith and to show you some interesting bits about the area I live in. I hope you found it interesting. Time restrictions haven't allowed me to spend a lot of time doing research and some bits might be a bit inaccurate, but I hope you got a bit of an idea of the background history.
It's been a horrible rainy day and very busy at work. Now relaxing, but having a busy day off tomorrow!
Thanks very much for showing interest on my theme and for your comments! I hope you all had a great day! :)