During the reign of Charles II, the motto, appearing on a scroll beneath the shield and overlying the compartment, was added to the Royal coat of arms of Scotland and, since 1707, has appeared in the Scottish version of the arms of British Monarchs, including the present Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom used in Scotland. The motto appears in conjunction with the collar of the Order of the Thistle, which is placed around the shield. (The collar of the order appears in earlier versions of the Royal coat of arms of Scotland, but without the order motto).
The motto of the Order of the Thistle, (Nemo me impune lacessit), should not be confused with the motto of the Royal arms, (In Defens), which appears on an escroll above the crest in the tradition of Scottish heraldry. (In Defens being an abbreviated form of the full motto In My Defens God Me Defend).
Armed forces units elsewhere have also adopted this historic motto. In Australia, the motto was also used by the Victoria Scottish Regiment, which subsequently became 5th Battalion Royal Victoria Regiment and is now one of the rifle companies of 5th/6th Battalion Royal Victoria Regiment. The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, a reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces, also bears this motto. (The motto appearing upon the regimental cap badge). The motto is also that of the Cape Town Highlanders Regiment, a reserve mechanised infantry unit of South African Army. In Belgium, the 1st Squadron (Belgium) of the Belgian Air Force bear the motto, so too the 1st Battalion 24th Marines of the United States Marine Corps.
The motto appears as an inscription on the rim of the 1984 and 1994 "Scottish" editions of the British one pound coin and is also referenced in the Edgar Allan Poe story "The Cask of Amontillado" (Poe was adopted by a Scottish merchant). Union College, University of Queensland, Australia, also adopted the motto.
The motto also appears (spelled "Nemo Me Impune Lacesset") above an American Timber Rattlesnake on a 1778 $20 bill from Georgia as an early example of the colonial use of the coiled rattlesnake symbol, which later became famous on the Gadsden flag. The phrase also appears on mourning bands worn over the badges of law enforcement officers in the USA.
The phrase "Wha daur meddle wi' me?" also appears in a traditional border ballad entitled "Little Jock Elliot", which recalls the exploits of a 16th century border reiver, with particular reference to an infamous encounter with James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.
United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office Publishes Application for Trademark "NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT" to Secretary of State for Defence for Beers, Alcoholic Beverages
Apr 17, 2010; SOUTH WALES, United Kingdom, April 17 -- The Secretary of State for Defence, London, has filed the trademark "NEMO ME...