Thistle is the national emblem of Scotland. How did this thorny flower become a nationally recognized symbol for a country? One legend suggests that a long time ago when Scotland was being ravaged by Viking invaders, some Scottish warriors were taking the night to rest in a field. A raiding party was preparing to attack this group of Scots when darkness fell. As the Viking marauders approached they stood on a patch of thistles with their, unfortunately for them, bare feet. The cries of pain that the attackers let out awakened the sleeping Scots (who we assume were wearing shoes while they slept or had very thick soles on their feet) and they were able to fight off the Vikings.
The coin is dated 1963.