"Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, was best known for defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.
Statues honouring this military hero can be found all across Britain.
In the early 1980s a traffic cone mysteriously started appearing on top of the Duke of Wellington’s head.
The origins of this practice are murky, but the most widely held belief is that a brave, drunk student scaled the statue after a night out in order to adorn the Duke with his new accessory.
Despite attempts at removal by Glasgow City Council, the cone has remained for over 30 years. Whenever a cone is removed, it is only a matter of days before a new one appears in its place.
As this tribute to Wellington is an A-listed statue on top of a three foot plinth, it’s no surprise that Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland discouraged the tradition to avoid damage and injury.
In 2013, the council proposed a scheme to double the height of the plinth in order to deter intrepid cone fans.
The immediate backlash from the Glaswegian public, however, showed that the practice was not widely considered an act of vandalism, but rather a representation of local culture.
Within 24 hours, a ‘Keep the Cone’ Facebook page had accumulated over 72,000 fans who united in opposition of the council’s plans.
The plinth restoration project was to cost £65,000, and the council claimed that the cost of removing the cone amounted to £10,000 per year (£100 per cone). In addition to the Facebook page, a rally was organised and over 100,000 fans from all over the world signed a petition in support of the cone.
Thanks to public pressure, Glasgow City Council eventually backed down and the restoration plans were scrapped
It's an important part of the city’s identity – Glasgow’s unique sense of humour.
“It’s a harmless way of ‘sticking it to The Man’ and it simply gives people a laugh or reminds them of good times." The campaigner coined the term ‘keep it coney’, and encourages fans to use it as a hashtag on social media." ~ inews.co.uk