This regal unicorn crouches atop a column on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, brandishing a shield and saltire.
This is the Mercat Cross, the current version of which is of Victorian origin, but it was built close to the site occupied by the original, which got its first mention in a charter of 1365. As is the tradition, important civic announcements were made at the mercat cross. Royal and parliamentary proclamations that affected all of Scotland were publicly read here. The practice of announcing successions to the monarchy and the calling of parliamentary general elections is still carried out by heralds of the Lord Lyon King of Arms.