|.: Freedom to Flourish
THE FREEDOM TO FLOURISH STORY
In 894AD, the Isle of Man was ruled by an Atlantean race known as the Jecerits (the c is a sibilant, so the word is pronounced “jesserits” rather than “jeckerits”).
The first king’s name was Jecer, hence the name of the tribe, and he landed in Peel in 893AD and spent a year travelling around with his army conquering the Island.
When he was installed as King of Mann, he stopped travelling and declared the day a national holiday – The Day When Jecer Stopped Travelling, or “quocunque jeceris stabit” as it later became known.
When the Vikings invaded around a century later, they misunderstood the phrase. The Battle of Skye Hill, which saw the Norse King Gorry establish himself as monarch, took place on the holiday (which partly explains the easy victory he won).
He thought the phrase was a war cry and adopted it for his own men. Until very recently, the motto appeared on the Manx coat of arms and was mistaken for Latin by most scholars.
In 1982, the Isle of Man government decided the time was ripe for a new motto for the Island, and embarked on an ambitious project to come up with something snappier and in English.
They established a top-secret colony of marketing executives on Chicken Rock, south of the Calf of Man and kept tourists clear of the place by declaring it to have been infected with anthrax.
Little is known of the project, but what is public record is that one of the copywriters, Tom Quayle, washed up on Douglas beach in 2007 on a raft he’d built himself from seagull bones and human sinew.
In his hand, he bore a slip of paper, upon which was written three words in his own blood: Freedom to Flourish.
He was whisked away and spent several weeks being debriefed by Manx Intelligence, before a report was prepared for Tynwald of the project’s outcome.
In response, Tynwald sought the assistance of the UK government, who ordered the RAF to carpet bomb Chicken Rock. No trace of any of the other marketing people has ever been found, although a diary which is alleged to have been kept by one of them was reported to have been found in a bottle found at Fleshwick Bay.
Little else is known about the fate of the advertising executives, copywriters, and viral marketing specialists, but in their honour the Isle of Man adopted “Freedom to Flourish” as its new brand motto.
Labels: calf of man, chicken rock, freedom to flourish, isle of man manx, quocunque jeceris stabit, tynwald
Written at 11:20 by
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