A panoramic view of Glasgow City Centre from the top of The Lighthouse
It is common to derive the name Glasgow from the older Cumbric glas cau or a Middle Gaelic cognate, which would have meant green hollow. The settlement probably had an earlier Cumbric name, Cathures; the modern name appears for the first time in the Gaelic period (1116), as Glasgu. However, it is also recorded that the King of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael, welcomed Saint Kentigern (also known as Saint Mungo), and procured his consecration as bishop about 540. For some thirteen years Kentigern laboured in the region, building his church at the Molendinar Burn, and making many converts. A large community developed around him and became known as Glasgu (often glossed as "the dear Green" or "dear green place").
The coat of arms of the City of Glasgow as granted in 1866.
The coat of arms of the City of Glasgow was granted to the royal burgh by the Lord Lyon on 25 October 1866. It incorporates a number of symbols and emblems associated with the life of Glasgow's patron saint, Mungo, which had been used on official seals prior to that date. The emblems represent miracles supposed to have been performed by Mungo and are listed in the traditional rhyme:
Here's the bird that never flew
Here's the tree that never grew
Here's the bell that never rang
Here's the fish that never swam
St Mungo's Bell
St Mungo is also said to have preached a sermon containing the words Lord, Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the word and the praising of thy name. This was abbreviated to "Let Glasgow Flourish" and adopted as the city's motto. The motto was more recently commemorated in a song called "Mother Glasgow", which was written by Dundonian singer/songwriter Michael Marra, but popularised by Hue and Cry.
In 1450, John Stewart, the first Lord Provost of Glasgow, left an endowment so that a "St Mungo's Bell" could be made and tolled throughout the city so that the citizens would pray for his soul. A new bell was purchased by the magistrates in 1641 and that bell is still on display in the People's Palace Museum, near Glasgow Green.
The supporters are two salmon bearing rings, and the crest is a half length figure of Saint Mungo. He wears a bishop's mitre and liturgical vestments and has his hand raised in "the act of benediction". The original 1866 grant placed the crest atop a helm, but this was removed in subsequent grants. The current version (1996) has a gold mural crown between the shield and the crest. This form of coronet, resembling an embattled city wall, was allowed to the four area councils with city status.
The arms were rematriculated by the City of Glasgow District Council on 6 February 1975, and by the present area council on 25 March 1996. The only change made on each occasion was in the type of coronet over the arms.
Glasgow City Chambers is the headquarters of Glasgow City Council and the seat of Local Government in the city
See also: Politics of Glasgow
Since the Representation of the People Act 1918, Glasgow has increasingly supported Left-wing ideas and politics. The city council has been controlled by the Labour Party for 30 years, since the decline of the Progressives. The left-wing support emanates from the city's legacy as an industrial powerhouse, and the relative poverty of many Glaswegian constituencies and wards. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and German Revolution, the city's frequent strikes and Militant organisations caused serious alarm at Westminster, with one uprising in January 1919 prompting the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George to deploy 10,000 troops and tanks onto the city's streets. A huge demonstration in the city's George Square on 31 January ended in violence after the Riot Act was read.
Industrial action at the shipyards gave rise to the "Red Clydeside" epithet. During the 1930s, Glasgow was the main base of the Independent Labour Party. Towards the end of the 20th century it became a centre of the struggle against the poll tax, and then the main base of the Scottish Socialist Party, a left unity party in Scotland. The city has not had a Conservative MP since the 1982 Hillhead by-election, when the SDP took the seat, in Glasgow's wealthiest area: admittedly, the constituency boundaries make it difficult to elect one as the West End is split between two constituencies where its votes are cancelled out by large council estates.
Scottish Parliament region
See also: Glasgow Scottish Parliament region
The Glasgow electoral region of the Scottish Parliament covers the Glasgow City council area, the Rutherglen area of the South Lanarkshire and a small eastern portion of Renfrewshire. It elects ten of the parliament's 73 first past the post constituency members and seven of the 56 additional members. Both kinds of member are known as Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). The system of election is designed to produce a form of proportional representation.
The first past the post seats were created in 1999 with the names and boundaries of then existing Westminster (House of Commons) constituencies. In 2005, however, the number of Westminster Members of Parliament (MPs) representing Scotland was cut to 59, with new constituencies being formed, while the existing number of MSPs was retained at Holyrood.
The ten Scottish Parliament constituencies in the Glasgow electoral region are:-
United Kingdom Parliament constituencies
See also: United Kingdom constituencies
Following reform of constituencies of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (Westminster) in 2005, which reduced the number of Scottish Members of Parliament (MPs), the current Westminster constituencies representing Glasgow are:-
Glasgow North East
Glasgow North West
Glasgow South West