The Three Legs

The national symbol of the Isle of Man is the Three Legs. The true origins of this ancient motif are lost in the mists of time but it is thought to have been introduced to the Island by Alexander III of Scotland after he gained control of Manx territory in 1265. Alexander had family connections with Sicily, who had adopted a three-legged version of the sun symbol hundreds of years previously. The Manx legs were originally bare-legged but by the fourteenth century were clothed in armour and spurs. The legs are usually seen to run clockwise and carry the Latin motto ‘Quocunque Jeceris Stabit’ meaning ‘it will stand whichever way you throw it’ – a reference to the independence and resilience of the Manx people.