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Island Facts

Quick Facts

  • Capital: Douglas
  • Population: 84,497 (2011 Census)
  • Land Area: 572 sq. km/ 221 square miles
  • Population Density: 133 people per sq. kilometre or 336 people per sq. mile
  • Location: The centre of the Irish Sea - 50 km (31 miles) from Ireland and 50 km (31 miles) from the U.K.
  • Longest River: Sulby (17 km/ 10.5 miles)
  • Highest Peak: Snaefell (621 m/ 2036 feet)
  • Head of State: Her Majesty the Queen
  • Lieutenant Governor: Mr Adam Wood
  • Chief Minister: Hon Allan Bell MHK
  • President of Tynwald: Clare Christian MLC
  • Speaker of the House of Keys: The Hon Steve Rodan SHK
  • Status: An internally self-governing dependent territory of the Crown which is not part of the United Kingdom
  • Parliament: Tynwald
  • Currency: Manx pounds and pence (equivalent to GB pounds)
  • Bank holidays: As in the UK with additional bank holidays for TT Senior Race Day and Tynwald Day.
  • Languages: English and Manx Gaelic
  • Religion: predominantly Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian
  • Entrance requirements:
    1. If you are a British citizen or a Citizen of the Irish Republic you do not require any clearance from the Immigration Office to live in the Isle of Man, but you may require a work permit issued under the Isle of Man Control of Employment Acts if you want to work on the Island (or take up self-employment).
    2. European Economic Area (EEA) national citizens are expected to be able to support themselves without assistance from public funds and are able to live and work on the Island as long as they are not excluded on grounds of public policy, public health or public security. But may require a work permit issued under the Control of Employment Acts if wanting to work or take up self employment.
    3. Foreign National are regulated by the Isle of Man Immigration Rules. The Rules lay down the requirements for the entry and stay of foreign nationals in the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man Rules, whilst not identical to the United Kingdom (UK) Rules, are based on the UK Rules and are very similar.
Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms of the Isle of Man (more correctly referred to as the Arms of Her Majesty in right of the Isle of Man) were granted by Her Majesty by Royal Warrant dated 12th July 1996. The Arms are an augmented version of the traditional arms which comprise the Three Legs conjoined on a red shield surmounted by a Crown and with the motto Quocunque Jeceris Stabit underneath. In heraldic terms the Arms are described:

For the Arms: Gules a Triskele Argent garnished and spurred Or And for the Crest ensigning the Shield of Arms An Imperial Crown proper and for the Supporters Dexter a Peregrine Falcon and sinister a Raven both proper together with this Motto Quocunque Jeceris Stabit.

In 1405, King Henry IV gave the Isle of Man with all its rights to Sir John Stanley on condition that he paid homage and gave two Peregrine falcons to him and to every future King of England on his Coronation Day. Sir John's descendants ruled as Kings or Lords of Mann for 360 years until George III assumed the Lordship, while the presentation of two falcons continued up to the Coronation of George IV in 1822.

The Raven is a bird of legend and superstition and there are a number of places on the Island which include Raven in their names. The Island has a strong Viking element in its history and Odin, the Norse God, was, according to mythology, accompanied by two Ravens. During the Millennium Year of 1979, a replica of a Viking longship was sailed from Norway to the Isle of Man by a mixed Norwegian and Manx crew. The longship, which is now preserved on the Island, is called 'Odin's Raven'.

Falcon

The Supporters assigned to the Arms were chosen because of their historic significance. In 1405, King Henry IV gave the Isle of Man with all its rights to Sir John Stanley on condition that he paid homage and gave two falcons to him and to every future King of England on his Coronation Day. Sir John's descendants ruled as Kings or Lords of Mann for 360 years until George III assumed the Lordship, while the presentation of two falcons continued up to the Coronation of George IV in 1822.

The Raven

Raven

The Supporters assigned to the Arms were chosen because of their historic significance. The Raven is a bird of legend and superstition and there are a number of places on the Island which include Raven in their names. The Island has a strong Viking element in its history and Odin, the Norse God, was, according to mythology, accompanied by two Ravens. During the Millennium Year of 1979, a replica of a Viking longship was sailed from Norway to the Isle of Man by a mixed Norwegian and Manx crew. The longship, which is now preserved on the Island, is called 'Odin's Raven'.

The motto 'Quocunque Jeceris Stabit', which translates literally as whithersoever you throw it, it will stand, continues to feature on the Coat of Arms. This motto has been associated with the Isle of Man since about 1300. It was, reportedly, in use before this date by the MacLeods of Lewis as ancient Lords of the Isles of Scotland which, after 1266, included the Isle of Man.

The Three Legs of Man:

Flag

The three legs symbol seems to have been adopted in the Thirteenth Century as the armorial bearings of the native kings of the Isle of Man, whose dominion also included the Hebrides - the Western Isles of Scotland.

After 1266, when the native dynasty ended and control of the Island passed briefly to the Crown of Scotland and then permanently to the English Crown, the emblem was retained, and among the earliest surviving representations are those of the Manx Sword of State, thought to have been made in the year 1300 AD. The Three Legs also appeared on the Manx coinage of the seventeenth-nineteenth centuries, and are still in everyday use in the Manx Flag.

Why the Three Legs were adopted as the royal arms of the Manx kingdom is unknown. It was originally a symbol of the Sun, the seat of Power and Life. In ancient times the emblem was particularly connected with the island of Sicily (probably because of its triangular outline) but the Sicilian 'Legs' were always naked and generally displayed Medusa's head at the central point.

A rather similar device was popular amongst the Celts and Norsemen in NW Europe, and in view of this it has been suggested that the Manx Three Legs were a heraldic modification of a native badge or emblem. Support for this theory may be seen in the appearance of the 'triskele', or simplified 'Three Legs' emblem, on coins of the tenth century Norse King, Anlaf Cuaran, whose dominion included Dublin and the Isle of Man; and it is probable that the later Manx Kings were a branch of the same dynasty.

All the early examples of the Manx 'Legs' show them as if running sunwise (i.e. clockwise) and to that extent the heraldic symbol of the Island still retained an essential feature of the ancient pagan sun-symbol. Although sometimes drawn anti-clockwise, that is singularly inappropriate.

Written by William Henry Gill (b.1839-1922) - Dedicated to Her Excellency the Lady Raglan in 1907
 
O Land of our Birth
O Gem of God's earth
O Island so strong and so fair
Built firm as Barrule
Thy throne of Home Rule
Makes us free as thy sweet mountain air
When Orry, the Dane
In Mannin did reign
'Twas said he had come from above
For wisdom from heav'n
To him had been giv'n
To rule us with justice and love
Our fathers have told
How Saints came of old
Proclaiming the Gospel of Peace
That sinful desires
Like false Baal fires
Must die ere our troubles can cease
Ye sons of the soil
In hardship and toil
That plough both the land and the sea
Take heart while you can
And think of the Man
Who toiled by the Lake Galilee
When fierce tempests smote
That frail little boat
They ceased at His gentle command
Despite all our fear
The Saviour is near
To safeguard our dear Fatherland
Let storm-winds rejoice
And lift up their voice
No danger our homes can befall
Our green hills and rocks
Encircle our flocks
And keep out the sea like a wall
Our Island thus blest
No foe can molest
Our grain and our fish shall increase
From battle and sword
Protecteth the Lord
And crowneth our nation with peace
Then let us rejoice
With heart, soul and voice
And in the Lord's promise confide
That each single hour
We trust in His power
No evil our souls can betide
O Halloo nyn ghooie,
O Chliegeen ny s' bwaaie
Ry gheddyn er ooir aalin Yee ;
Ta dt' Ardstoyl Reill-Thie
Myr Baarool er ny hoie
Dy reayll shin ayns seyrsnys as shee.
Tra Gorree yn Dane
Haink er traie ec y Lhane
Son Ree Vannin v'eh er ny reih
'S va creenaght veih Heose
Er ny chur huggey neose
Dy reill harrin lesh cairys as graih
Ren nyn ayryn g'imraa
Va Nooghyn shenn traa
Yn sushtal dy Hee fockley magh
Shegin yeearree peccoil
Myr far aileyn Vaal
Ve er ny chur mow son dy bragh
Vec ooasle yn Theihll
Ayns creoighys tooilleil
Ta traaue ooir as farkey, Gow gree -
Ny jarrood yn fer mie
Ta coadey 'n lught-thie
Ren tooilleil liorish Logh Galilee
D'eiyr yn sterrm noon as noal
Yn baatey beg moal
Fo-harey hug Eh, geay as keayn
Trooid ooilley nyn ghaue
Ta'n Saualtagh ec laue
Dy choadey nyn Vannin veg veen
Lhig dorrinyn bra
Troggal seose nyn goraa
As brishey magh ayns ard arrane
Ta nyn groink aalin glass
Yn vooir cummal ass
As coadey lught-thie as shioltane
Nyn Ellan fo-hee
Cha boir noidyn ee
Dy bishee nyn eeastyn as grine
Mee'n Chiarn shin y reayll
Voish strieughyn yn theihll
As crooinnagh lesh shee'n ashoon ain
Lhig dooin boggoil bee
Lesh annym as cree
as croghey er gialdyn yn Chiarn
Dy vodmayds dagh oor
Treishteil er e phooar
Dagh olk ass nyn anmeenyn 'hayrn

National Flower

Cushag

The Cushag

Now, the cushag, we know, must never grow
Where the farmer's work is done;
But along the rills in the heart of the hills
The Cushag may shine like the sun,
Where the golden flowers
Have fairy powers
To gladden our hearts with their grace,
And in Vannin Veg Veen,
In the valleys green,
The Cushags have still a place.

Written by Josephine Kermode (b.1852-1937) using the nom-de-plume 'Cushag'.

Born Margaret Letitia Josephine Kermode, 3rd daughter of Rev William Kermode & second wife Jane nee Bishop, Rector of Ballaugh. Josephine adopted the name 'Cushag'. And she also contributed to various FolkLore collections. Josephine never married, for most of her life she acted as housekeeper for her brother P.M.C. Kermode and on his death retired to Bournemouth to live with her sister and she is buried in Wimbourne Road Cemetery, Bournemouth.
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