Why do England have three lions on their badge?

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate will lead the Three Lions into Euro 2024 (Picture: Getty Images)

The England football team has worn three lions on their shirts ever since their first international game, but why did that ever become the national side’s crest?

There aren’t too many lions knocking about in England, but the three giant felines have adorned the England jerseys since all the way back in 1872.

That match finished 0-0 between Scotland and England at the West of Scotland Cricket Ground in Partick and while the sport has changed a lot since then, the Three Lions have not.

England wore the three lions badge in that game because it was the logo of the Football Association, founded way back in 1863.

So the question is: Why did the FA have three lions on their crest?

The beastly trio have been on the coat of arms of England since around 1200, although they were three gold lions on a red background as opposed to the usual blue and white on football shirts.

The three lions have also become part of the coat of arms of the United Kingdom, taking two quarters of the crest with the arms of Scotland and Ireland.

The Heraldic Lion of England presenting the coat of arms of the UK (Picture: Getty Images)

The whole concept of a lion on the crest began with Henry I, who stuck a lion on his standard when he claimed the throne in 1100. He was known as the lion of England, so it all made sense.

Henry was soon married to Adeliza and that led to a second lino on his standard because her father also had one on his crest.

The third lion joined the party in 1154 when Henry II wed Eleanor of Aquitane as her family also had a lion on their standard. The coat of arms has remained the same since the late 12th century.

Cole Palmer sporting the Three Lions (Picture: Getty Images)

Also on the FA’s badge are 10 Tudor roses, although the reason for the red flowers is not entirely clear.

One suggestion is that the 10 roses represented the 10 regional divisions of the Football Association, but that is not known for sure.

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Source:: Metro


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