(Taken from the Scottish-at-Heart.com website)
The Lion Rampant…. Royal Flag of Scotland:
Although the national flag of Scotland is the blue and white ‘Saltire’ (aka the St. Andrews Cross flag) there is also a second, quite different, flag which is called the ‘Lion Rampant’.
The ‘Lion Flag’ is often considered the unofficial national flag and referred to as the ‘Royal Flag of Scotland’.
The ‘Royal’ term applies because this flag historically, and legally, belongs to the monarchy (or royalty) – more specifically to a King or Queen of Scotland.
The Scottish Lion Rampant flag today:
Officially (and historically) the ‘Lion’ Flag is only allowed to be flown by a monarch, and today it is traditionally flown at royal residences when the Queen, or now King, is NOT in residence.
According to an Act of Parliament, passed in 1672, it is an offense for any private citizen or corporate body to fly or wave this flag, so they’re not a part of the every-day Scottish scenery.
Unofficially though, it’s often thought of as the ‘Second National Flag of Scotland’ and you’ll generally see hordes of them in the hands of sports fans at national (and international) football and rugby games.
They can also sometimes be seen on Scottish merchandise such as mugs, t-shirts and so on.
Lion Rampant flag at football games
Although this is technically illegal, there doesn’t seem to be any official objections to these displays of patriotism because King George V gave permission for Lion Rampant flags to be waved by the public during his Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1935.
BUT, if anyone wants to fly one from a flagpole or building they do still need to get special permission!