This royal unicorn holding a heraldic shield on top of a pillar is called a mercat cross. A similar symbol was used across Scottish towns from the 12th century until 1707 to indicate where a high authority had approved for merchants to conduct trade. Public ceremonies and announcements also occurred at its base. This Mercat Cross is a reproduction of the original one from 1659. It was designed by Edith Burnet Hughes and erected at the corner of Glasgow Cross in 1930.