A campaign has been launched to introduce a new national symbol for Scotland – away from the unicorn or thistle.

A petition has been launched to the Scottish Parliament for MSPs to consider, urging the Scottish Government to “facilitate a conversation to identify, and adopt, an additional official emblem for Scotland”.

Catherine Cooper, who lodged the campaign, said the new icon will “complement” the existing use of the thistle and unicorn, “both of which have historical significance”, but help “unite us” in the “modern age” following the coronavirus pandemic.

As first reported in The Scotsman, Ms Cooper said: “Scotland’s society is at a turning point.

“During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic we learnt valuable lessons about the importance of community but also about how fragile the bonds between neighbours can be.

“Consequently, it is vital that we kickstart a campaign to unite us”.

East Lothian Courier: The unicorn is another of Scotland's national emblemsThe unicorn is another of Scotland's national emblems

She later continued: “This is an ideal time for us to come together and discuss, as a nation, the sort of society we want to live in going forward and, in doing so, identify solutions to our current issues.

“A debate about a new national emblem will allow us to do this.

“National symbols deserve respect not because they are static representations of unchanging ideals, but because they offer a focal point for diverse societies to express and navigate what it is that unites and represents them.”

The closing date for the online petition is today, Wednesday 21 October, and will come before MSPs later in the year to decide how to proceed.

You can view the petition here.