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Images from '3 Legs Good'
  “Because it is the description and not a picture which determines what the coat of arms
looks like, there can often be quite a bit of leeway in the different representations of it,
all of which can nevertheless be correct. ” Three Legs Good page 17
 
 
This was hard!
  Signpost photo  
  Sometimes you just make trouble for yourself don’t you? We did when we decided to put together a booklet on the Three Legs of Man.  
  We didn’t really think that sorting out
the background of such a deceptively
simple design would be easy –
after all, no-one, as far as we knew,
had done it before, and they surely
would have done had it been a doddle.
On the other hand we didn’t think it
would be as hair-tearingly difficult
as it turned out.
 
  Nowadays people talk about ‘global
reach’ meaning that their logo can be
recognised around the world. It’s far
from a modern idea. The triskelion
probably started life several thousand
years ago as a tri-spiral and, as such,
is the Coca Cola logo of the stone age.
It gets everywhere. Korea,
Switzerland, Tibet, Sicily… even the
Native Americans used triskelia.
 
  Our research took us from Shinto documents to Viking runestones and had us delve into everything from Buddhist theology to the work of Archibald Knox. We think the effort was worth it though. I hope you agree.
  Now… where’s that recipe for hair restorer…  
  Three Legs Good
There are very few places where the national flag is displayed so often and so proudly as on the Isle of Man. The flag’s emblem shows three human legs dressed in armour, joined at the hip, arranged as though running in a circle and usually displayed on a bright red background. The design is eye-catching, attractive but, to be truthful, slightly odd.

Images from 3 Legs Good

Painted on boats, reproduced in stained glass,
carved in wood and cut out of metal, the three legs
run all round their native island. Like all the best
designs, the three legs lend themselves
to reproduction in all sorts of shapes, sizes
and colours.

Images from 3 Legs Good
photo from 3 LEGS GOOD

Legends say that Manannan turned himself into
a fiery wheel and ran down the hill to chase away the island’s enemies. One tale even connects the three legs with a UFO. In fact the symbol is a very old one with links to Ireland, Ancient Greece and the Far East. The Celts used it as a sun symbol and the Vikings – in typical Viking fashion – linked it with drinking.

Three Legs Good celebrates the Manx triskelion, but also explores the history of the symbol, its various meanings, and its different uses.

photo of stone carving from 3 legs good

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