Scotland Lion Rampant flag
The Royal Banner of the Royal Arms of Scotland, also known as the Royal Banner of Scotland, or more commonly the Lion Rampant of Scotland, and historically as the Royal Standard of Scotland, (Scottish Gaelic: Bratach rìoghail na h-Alba, Scots: Ryal banner o Scotland) or Banner of the King of Scots, is the Royal Banner of Scotland, and historically, the Royal Standard of the Kingdom of Scotland. Used historically by the King of Scots, the banner differs from Scotland's national flag, the Saltire, in that its correct use is restricted by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland to only a few Great Officers of State who officially represent the Sovereign in Scotland. It is also used in an official capacity at royal residences in Scotland when the Sovereign is not present.
The earliest recorded use of the Lion rampant as a royal emblem in Scotland was by Alexander II in 1222; with the additional embellishment of a double border set with lilies occurring during the reign of Alexander III (1249–1286). This emblem occupied the shield of the royal coat of arms of the ancient Kingdom of Scotland which, together with a royal banner displaying the same, was used by the King of Scots until the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when James VI acceded to the thrones of the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Ireland. Since 1603, the Lion rampant of Scotland has been incorporated into both the royal arms and royal banners of successive Scottish then British monarchs in order to symbolise Scotland; as can be seen today in the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom. Although now officially restricted to use by representatives of the Sovereign and at royal residences, the Royal Banner continues to be one of Scotland's most recognisable symbols.