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Wings Over Scotland


For queen and country

Posted on January 11, 2015 by

Pretty much the entire Scottish media yesterday carried a sad story about the funeral in Forfar of a young soldier who tragically died after serving in Afghanistan.

Private Mark Connolly wasn’t killed in combat but died after being punched by a comrade in a fight. Wrangling between his widow and mother had delayed his funeral for four years, and spilled over into angry confrontations as he was laid to rest, which the papers reported with considerable relish and plenty of photographs, and even video footage from the graveside.

warhero

The story was picked up in the Scotsman, the Daily Mail, the Telegraph’s Scotland sectionSTV News, BBC Scotland, the Courier and more. Curiously, though, one aspect of the unfortunate event was almost completely written out of the coverage.

An article which appeared in the Daily Mirror and Daily Record (which lifts large parts of its content straight from its English sister paper) noted another source of conflict at the funeral which wasn’t mentioned anywhere else in the Scottish media.

“His coffin was draped in the Union Flag, something his family were unhappy with – [wife] Stacy had asked for the Saltire to adorn her husband’s coffin but army top brass refused.”

Readers might assume that this would be standard armed-forces practice, given that Pte Connolly served in the British army. But it isn’t. Soldiers have been buried in recent years draped in both the Saltire and the St George’s Cross rather than the Union Jack. So it’s not clear why “army top brass” would have refused a widow’s wish to bury her husband in the flag of her choice. No reason was quoted in the paper.

But alert readers may recall that last July the Ministry of Defence blocked the Red Arrows from flying over the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games trailing smoke in the colours of Scotland’s flag, insisting on using the red, white and blue of the UK instead. They claimed that as a British unit the team only ever displayed those colours, something which we revealed to be a lie.

Just weeks before, Armed Forces Day was deliberately held in Stirling on the same weekend as events marking the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.

We’re constantly told that Scotland is still a “country” within the UK. The Queen is Queen Of Scots separately to being monarch of the rest of the UK, and is not referred to as Elizabeth II north of the border. It therefore seems perfectly legitimate for a Scottish soldier in the British army, serving his “queen and country”, to nevertheless be repatriated under the Saltire should that be the expressed wish of his next of kin.

The referendum was almost four months ago. But it seems as though the British armed forces are still bitterly fighting the war against independence.

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71 to “For queen and country”

  1. Robert Roddick says:

    No respect for a well established last wish. I see this as part of the subliminal indoctrination. A bit like the proposal to include the superfluous Union flag on driving licences.

  2. gillie says:

    Disgraceful.

  3. Holebender says:

    On the matter of pillar box wars I was surprised about six months ago when a new post box was erected in our village square. The box has a plate bearing the legend E2R on the front. This appeared 2-3 months before the referendum.

  4. The Man in the Jar says:

    Al this and a union flag appearing on our driving licences. Haud me back.

  5. Paul Cochrane says:

    Even the dead are politicised.
    Nauseating.

  6. The Man in the Jar says:

    I served in the Army for sixteen years. If I was still serving I would be absolutely insisting that in the unfortunate event of my demise under absolutely no circumstances would my coffin be draped with the union flag.

    These days my skin crawls at the sight of their bloody butchers apron.

  7. Brian MacLeod says:

    “Holebender says:
    11 January, 2015 at 11:03 am
    On the matter of pillar box wars I was surprised about six months ago when a new post box was erected in our village square. The box has a plate bearing the legend E2R on the front.”

    When I was younger, we found a bit of affection from a ball peen hammer fixed that. 🙂

    Which village is this? There may be a few patriotic hotheads left…

  8. jimnarlene says:

    Surely, the wishes of the next of kin and friends, out weighed political/geographical wishes/orders.
    If not, why not?
    We have but one life, we may touch many others. We most certainly have one death. At the very least those that wish to control our lives, must, let our kin lay us to rest.

    Mark Connolly, I never knew you but, I lament your passing.

  9. Seamus says:

    I served six years with the RHF. The army couldn’t care less about the welfare of troops when they finish their stint.
    Note how you never see politicians sons signing up. Never mind that Harry Windsor flew in Apache helicopters… He was as safe in that killing machine as if he was sitting in Buck Palace.
    Don’t encourage them…let them fight their own wars.
    Stuff the butter beans shilling, die for no-one but your loved ones!

  10. Ken500 says:

    Shortage of recruits for the Army. No wonder.

    26Million Russians died in 11WW. 1 in 6. Lest we forget.

  11. caz-m says:

    Regarding Union Jacks on our driving licenses, the people of Northern Ireland will not have the Union Jack on their license because of “sensitivities in the region”.

    http://www.irishpost.co.uk/news/no-union-flag-for-north-of-ireland-driving-licences

    They seem to think that the Scots don’t have any problems with the Union Jack.

  12. crisiscult says:

    I read an article a couple of months back about the Quebec referendum and after. According to that article, there was a conscious, conspicuous increase in Canadian imagery such as Canadian flags. I think this is the article I read: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/09/19/what_ominous_lessons_britain_can_learn_from_postreferendum_quebec.html

    “What did appear were conspicuous Canadian flags on buildings throughout the province, at festivals, competitions and other events held in the province of Quebec. All part of a plan, it was later revealed, to boost the presence and image of Ottawa in Quebec.”

  13. One_Scot says:

    We’re constantly told that Scotland is still a “country”

    If the referendum has taught me anything, it’s that Scotland is not a country. Apparently that is what the majority of Scots voted for. Hard to believe.

  14. Jock Politicaljunkie says:

    I haven’t followed this family squable story other than to take notice of, and lement the passing of the young man.

    With regard to the flag drapped over the coffin, in what way do the Army Brass have any call on this? Were they present with armed guards to drape and then prevent the switching of the flag? If it had been my son there would only have been one flag and nobody would have dared any switch.

    This is an overstepping of the mark of unbelievable scale. I feel sad that so many of my fellow Scots, due to the constant Britnat indoctrination from birth, feel that they have to submit to this high handedness. 🙁

  15. BraemarGareth says:

    Speaking to a friend of mine in the armed forces apparently it is regulation for a funeral with military honours it has to be the union flag. As much as iff it was me I’d prefer the saltire. I would be interested to see if the funerals with the saltire and st georges cross were full military funerals or not.

  16. Barry says:

    Whilst serving I specified in my will that if killed “under no circumstances whatsoever was the union flag to be draped over my coffin,only a saltire”. Disgusting from the MoD but not surprising. Anyone who has had dealings with them through any of the services will know what they’re like. As for the queen and country rubbish,very very few people join up to ‘serve Q & C ‘ ie Britain,it quite often a case that it’s a job!I served my country,Scotland and was proud to do so, I joined to protect it and all my colleagues were in no doubt whatsoever that I(and the majority of other Scots in the regiment) were the same & Scottish not British,great Cole ages from all over and many great friends made and good and bad times share together.Eventually conscience began to get the better of me as UK foreign policy took us to places and situations we should never have been in,I got injured and kicked out as quickly a possible with no support,that too us not unusual sadly. Very sad story about the young man,the very least the MoD could have done I’d afforded the families the very smallest of requests,injured sure it was entirely political.

  17. jimnarlene says:

    @Seamus.
    “Stuff the butter beans shilling, die for no-one but your loved ones!”

    Never a truer word, was spoken or written.

  18. Enid Anderson says:

    What all these idiots do not appreciate is that they are alienating the Scottish people even more and are virtually guaranteeing Scotland’s independence.

  19. donald anderson says:

    Brian MacLeod says:
    11 January, 2015 at 11:12 am
    “Holebender says:
    11 January, 2015 at 11:03 am
    On the matter of pillar box wars I was surprised about six months ago when a new post box was erected in our village square. The box has a plate bearing the legend E2R on the front.”
    When I was younger, we found a bit of affection from a ball peen hammer fixed that. 🙂
    Which village is this? There may be a few patriotic hotheads left…”

    The pillar boxes Scotland depict the Scottish Crown. In Engerland it is the closed Imperial Crown. The title King or Queen of Scots dates back to the days of the Scottish and Pictish factions.

  20. roy says:

    I think this sad story has had enough publicity. The families involved have been through an emotional grinder for years without this being dragged on.
    Let the lad rest in peace and the wounds between the families start to heal without more publicity

  21. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Speaking to a friend of mine in the armed forces apparently it is regulation for a funeral with military honours it has to be the union flag. As much as iff it was me I’d prefer the saltire. I would be interested to see if the funerals with the saltire and st georges cross were full military funerals or not.”

    Certainly looks like it:

    https://archive.today/1fj4j

  22. Tam Jardine says:

    Sad for the family this private quarrel has been published with details, images and footage. I’m sure it is the last thing poor Mark Connolly would have wanted – but then clearly his wishes count for nothing in this.

    The ‘top brass’ were busy fighting their own battle to keep Scotland a colony during the indyref as I recall with plenty propaganda for the troops to ‘make up their own mind’.

    I recall taking on some squaddies at arm wrestling some time ago in a boozer and discussing politics with them – I was stunned at how little these intelligent guys were aware of in Scottish politics though there will be guys who are much more switched on of course.

    It made an argument for independence difficult because everything I said was new information. UK was the country and that was it. I wisnae able to persuade them through my physical prowess either….

  23. crisiscult says:

    btw, why is it that I can only get to new posts on this blog through Rev’s twitter links? If I go directly to wings, even refreshing the page, I get an older version of the blog. Do I need to clear my cash? Is this normal?

  24. Sheila Faichney says:

    I posted this comment on a page which shared this article, but I would like to make sure you are aware of it:
    This is the first time I have been disappointed in a Wings Over Scotland article. The young man is dead, and his family have wrangled enough over his earthly remains, without anyone wading in about which flag was on the coffin. Blind allegiance to flags causes many problems in this world, and I am a Yes voter who has occasionally been disturbed by the high-jacking of the Saltire as though it belonged only to those who support independence. This funeral required no further comment from anyone, and your stance on this is unworthy of your usually high standards.

  25. Hazel says:

    Given that England, I mean the UK, has its Scottish regiment headquartered at Edinburgh Castle overlooking Scotland’s capital city and the band of the Royal Marines plays at the Edinburgh Tattoo, the politicisation of the UK armed forces has been going on a lot longer than the past couple of years.

    The year I attended the Tattoo English establishment rapist Stuart Hall was the compere. It was the first time I’d ever been aware that Scotland was on some level an occupied country.

    They might fire that gun across the city at one o’clock to remind us of the time, or they might fire it to remind us they’re there and they’re still in charge. From this funeral fiasco it’s clear that the English military are well aware of the importance of symbolism and militarism in holding on to their power.

  26. Fred says:

    Anent the GB post-box, possibly they’ve ran out of Scottish ones and it’s not worth while ordering more, Lizzie can’t last forever.
    The Royal Mail here was quite proud of its Scottish livery, new recruits got a wee pep talk on the differenced uniforms/vehicles etc’ during the induction process. Whether this has changed since privatisation, who knows?
    Fire off a letter of complaint first before risking an appearance in the Sheriff Court. 🙂

  27. jimnarlene says:

    I have a tear in my heart, for a boy soldier;
    I never knew him, nor did I meet his kin.

    A rent in my soul, for one so young;
    Don’t excuse him, nor deafen his din.

    A young man, did venture forth;
    Old men, lay him down.

    Not for country, or land of birth;
    But for friends and all that’s worth.

    May he live long the mind, like the song of the morning lark;
    A sound so warming and kind, may you rest in peace Mark.

  28. Fred says:

    A sad business this funeral. Were the army footing the bill that they called the shots?
    When you take the queens shilling shit happens.

  29. Steve B says:

    @crisiscult

    I get the same but after a hint picked up on twitter to bypass the cache to pick up recent comments I find it also works to get the most recent articles which can take over an hour to appear.

    The trick is to put a /? at the end of the URL:

    wingsoverscotland.com/?

  30. Brian Mac says:

    As an ex-Scottish Soldier, – I am livid about this disgrace to that dead boy, and his family.
    An utter disgrace…….

  31. Tackety Beets says:

    I find this a very heart wrenching story and perhaps from my sofa appreciate both sides.
    I’m not up to speed on the inner workings of our Forces.
    I’m surprised anyone needs permission to drape a coffin with a flag. Do they ?
    I would have expected that to be a personal choice and certainly not for “The Forces Brass” to decide .
    What is not clear tho’ . Was the UJ the last straw for the mother etc …. when she saw the UJ she may have naturally attributed this to the choice of Mrs Connolly .
    From the article we know it was the “Top Brass” who made the decision , but did Mrs McComiskie know ?
    That said there may be a lot more to tell underneath the main story .

  32. David Braidwood says:

    Just for info. The agreement was reached after Elizabeth came to throne to use the highest number for a monarch from either Scottish or England. For example if a James became king he would be James 8th as there have been 6 Scottish king James plus James 7th who was joint king albeit he was called James 2nd at the time. This was agreed in parliament after a row over pillar boxes after Elizabeth became Queen. As a Nat I don’t like it particularly but that will be the rule until independence when we can change it if we like. Can’t see Westminster agreeing to change it at present. As for the MOD just disgusting.

  33. Kes Smth says:

    This is some what disgraceful.

    I have not followed the story but it is clear the Army top brass should not have interfered, bringing another layer of controversy to this sensitive matter.

  34. Macart says:

    Just terribly sad from every aspect, but government politicising the military dead? Its what they do.

  35. Jim Thomson says:

    O/T re the NHS funding in Scotland

    Just read this item on the EBC website

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-30767191

    Seems we got an “extra” £127M in Barnett consequentials. It would be nice to know what the consequences were that generated that cash. Has Boris built a new bike shed somewhere?

  36. Jimbo says:

    It’s a shame for private Connolly’s widow and family that, after everything they’ve already gone through, Westminster chose to politicise his funeral.

    It just shows that the Unionists will stoop to any level to eradicate our culture and national identity.

  37. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “This is the first time I have been disappointed in a Wings Over Scotland article. The young man is dead, and his family have wrangled enough over his earthly remains, without anyone wading in about which flag was on the coffin.”

    Then why did the army do exactly that? Why not let the family send off their loved one in the manner they wanted? Why interfere if not to politicise it? And if the army is politicising the dead, why shouldn’t we report it?

  38. Effijy says:

    I fear that these draconian measures will lead to violent acts of protest. When the majority of the electorate see that the ballot box only suppresses their lives, as they would wish to live them,
    other alternatives are sought.

    British Post Boxes where dispatched by the Irish when they weren’t being listen too and from there things developed into the very worst scenario.

  39. Mealer says:

    A few weeks ago the queen was asking asking us all to heal the divisions caused by the referendum.I don’t think much division actually exists,but it looks like the MoD are trying their best to create it.

  40. The Man in the Jar says:

    I have set aside a “Yes” sticker so that in the event of my demise before Scotland is independent the aforesaid sticker will be attached to the foot of my coffin for all to see.

  41. Geoff Huijer says:

    This makes me feel so sad for so many reasons…

    Sad for the family that the ‘top brass’ have interfered & disrespected loved ones (esp during such a tragic time for them).

    Sad that many in Scotland don’t see this constant undermining of our country.

    And sad that no matter how we have been treated over the decades people will still vote for a Government proven to not have our best interests at heart.

  42. Effigy says:

    Who would like to be the 86,000th signature to the petition for an Independent Enquiry into BBC Bias? or let them ramp it up!

    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/independent-enquiry-into-bbc-bias-regards-scottish-independence-referendum

  43. Robert Louis says:

    The butchers apron (the ‘union’ jack), will NEVER be my flag, and if FORCED by an English prime minister against my wishes to have the butchers apron on my driving license, it will be permanently covered up.

    It is as moronic as those English people who move up here and buy guest houses in the highlands, calling them by pseudo gaelic names and all, yet merrily covering them in union jacks, apparently oblivious to the history of that tawdry rag, especially in the highlands.

    My flag is the Saltire, the flag of my country, Scotland, in the same way the St.Georges cross is the flag of England.

    I wonder if it would be possible to crowd fund wee saltire stickers just the right size to cover those obscene union jacks they want to impose on Scottish driving licences?

  44. Valerie says:

    Can’t tell you how disgusted and sad I feel that the military stepped in to disrespect the poor soldier, and cause more grief to his family.

    I hadn’t been following it, so I’m grateful to Wings for raising it, and any call for it not to be reported widely is misplaced, it’s already out there, and if one soldier makes their final wishes known in writing, then perhaps it will make a difference.

  45. Lollysmum says:

    Whilst I can see both sides of the debate about Wings posting about the funeral, I also have to ask ‘Who will report it if Wings doesn’t?’ No-one in the mainstream media or broadcasting is except with just a passing comment. Last wishes are sacrosanct & are not there for MOD/politicians to trample over or reverse. It’s called ‘honouring the dead’ yet it seems that in this case MOD failed abysmally to do that.

    Other soldiers families are going to have to go through the same arguments with the brass/MOD etc at what is the worst time in their lives. If Wings reports this & people start talking about it so that it becomes common knowledge then that will help those bereaved families in the future. Forewarned is forearmed.

  46. Truth says:

    Sickening. That is all.

  47. Charles Edward says:

    If you sign up they will strip you of your identity, train you to become a tool for murder, stick you in traumatic situations that might torture you for the rest of your life but hey!
    ‘You get to see the world and be the best you can be..’.
    This soldier even after his death is still a pawn on the table.

    I found a wee book written by General Smedley Butler who at the time of his death in 1940 was the most decorated marine US history.
    War Is A Racket.
    ‘It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and losses in lives.’

  48. gerry parker says:

    @ the man in the jar.

    Being part English and getting cremated when the time comes, I was thinking of a Saltire draping the coffin which will be removed as it slides behind the cutain, and me wearing a pair of union jack boxer shorts inside the coffin.

  49. Valerie says:

    @ Gerry Parker, that made me smile. I shall consider a Union flag mini dress now for my final journey into the cleansing fire.

  50. Croompenstein says:

    One of the things I can’t understand in this sorry saga is why the army advised Mark that his wife couldn’t be named as the executor of his will as surely she is his next of kin. For the army to then disregard her wishes that his coffin should be draped in a saltire rather than the UJ is shameful. His wife has been treated rather shabbily in all of this and his mother seems to be overwhelmed with grief.

    RIP Mark

  51. liz g says:

    The role of the MOD in this whole sorry affair is the ONLY thing that was news.
    Everything else as far as I can tell was just gossip, while I agree that flag’s are sometimes argued over too much NI being only one example,I don’t think that’s the point of the aritical.
    Pointing out that this happened is exactly what this site does and I thought with the correct focus on the on the news aspect and not the gossip.

  52. Brian Mac says:

    Wings, – Take it from an ex-Soldier, you are 100% right in posting this fact about the boy being denied the Saltire at his funeral.

    Again, I think it an outrage that they were able to get away with it.
    The Army should be forced to give a public apology to the family.
    If he was my boy, I would have stopped the funeral.

  53. DRD Woodward says:

    ……and they will continue to do so until they feel comfortable they have removed all mechanisms by which the natives might get uppity again! Native national identity is unquestionably one of the most threatening manifestation’s of uppityness possible and must at all costs be smothered!
    Colonialism … something the English are expert at!

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6ZkJKsp736k/UZfq71K5b7I/AAAAAAAAC1Y/LpKh7ksuIRE/s1600/Lord+Macaulay+on+India.jpg

  54. mister_rae_guest says:

    Can’t we all chip in to a crowdfunder and help erect a fine Saltire gravestone?

  55. Big Jock says:

    Surely she could just have a private burial and put two fingers up to the army and decline their attendance. If anyone put a butchers apron on my coffin I would haunt them for the rest of their days.

  56. Taranaich says:

    One wonders if this is part of that insidious “military covenant” that all the Westminster parties seem so eager to ascribe to.

    @Sheila Faichney: The young man is dead, and his family have wrangled enough over his earthly remains, without anyone wading in about which flag was on the coffin.

    Our opinion on which flag was on the coffin doesn’t matter. What matters is the family’s opinion – an opinion which was not respected. Note that the article says “[wife] Stacy had asked for the Saltire to adorn her husband’s coffin but army top brass refused.” Not the mother or rest of the family, but “army top brass.”

    That is the problem here: the imposition of the state upon someone’s deeply personal and private affairs. This is a serious issue, one I would take even if the situation was reversed: imagine if, some time in the future, Scotland gains its independence, and a Unionist soldier dies. If his family wants him draped in the flag of the Union Flag, and the Scottish Armed Forces refuse, then that would also be an appalling and disgusting thing to do.

    People should be free to be buried however they see fit, and it is nauseating beyond belief that the army would not honour it because of political ramifications.

  57. Calgacus says:

    @ David Braidwood, I have no recollection of any such agreement. Do you have a source for your claim?

  58. stone_truth says:

    I highly recommend reading Hellstorm by Thomas Goodrich, it will dispell a lot of the myths surrounding WW11 and gives a horrifying account of the truth of the allies actions.

  59. TheWealthOfNations says:

    If this unfortunate soldier was told that his wife could not be the executor of his will it was almost certainly because she was its primary beneficiary.

    Executors are not permitted to be beneficiaries.

    Just FYI..

  60. frazer allan whyte says:

    Sorry but you lot don’t seem to “get” it – as a colonized nation it is utterly normal that not only your natural resources but your “human capital”(hateful term) go to serve your controlling power. They do with it what they will. You have nothing to say in the matter.They don’t even hear the whines.

    They’re not too good with their own plebs either – look at the numbers of prisoners and mental patients or a combination of the two who are ex-military.It really is an Evil empire.

  61. starlaw says:

    I was the executer of my fathers estate, don’t know the rules about it , but lawyers bank managers and siblings knew the position, I had no problems

  62. no no no...yes says:

    What about the freedom of expression at this time of international outpouring of solidarity? Do the family of the deceased not have that right?
    We are meant to be a family of nations,Scotland and her people get a bad deal from the UK, time for change.

  63. donald anderson says:

    If anyone pits an offensive rag oan mah coaffin ah’ll jump oot, wrap it roon his neck and hoist him intae eternity.

  64. Kevin Turnbull says:

    yes soldier served in afghan. But Hero? Debatable. He died in a fight between himself and colleague. The colleague was not charged with murder or manslaughter as the said person was defending self from the attacker the deceased. Bringing Army into disrepute. His parents fighting at graveside was same as deceased fighting in a bar. No respect for either. Ps I’m also a veteran from many campaigns.

  65. Fred says:

    In Scotland an executor can be a beneficiary of a will, I would think most are.

  66. crazycat says:

    I was both executor and sole beneficiary of my mother’s will. It seems to be quite a common arrangement. Because she died in England, it was dealt with under English law, which is thus clearly no different from Scottish law in that respect.

  67. Effijy says:

    Rev Stuart,
    Do you consider it time to fund a series of full page adverts in the Red Top papers in the run up to the general election?
    You will be well aware that the Newspapers, TV and Radio Stations
    will not under any circumstances offer an impartial and true reflection of any opinion against the Westminster elitists.

    I feel that this is the only hope we have of heading off the unchallenged garbage being spouted by the Better Together parties.
    Your expose ” The goldfish principle
    Posted on January 08, 2015 by Rev. Stuart Campbell was absolutely brilliant and showed exactly corrupt and disingenuous manner
    the Labour party operate in their quest to stop the SNP, Greens, and Socialists from stopping the Westminster gravy train.

    There are obviously many hits on this wonderful web site, but I fear that a very unhealthy proportion are from our enemies.
    We have some wonderful debates and reveals here, but I fear it
    doesn’t reach Joe average who buys the Record because he always liked their Football Reports, and watches the BBC News because
    they are “bound” to be impartial.

    We need to find a very creative way of reaching the uneducated.

    Could you please offer your thoughts on how we build this bridge?

  68. TheWealthOfNations says:

    Well…

    I stand corrected.

    That is interesting….

    OT

    Anyone see Andrew Marr going after Milliband today?

    When he was pressing him on his willingness to cooperate with the SNP I half expected him to start asking what his Plan B was…

  69. boris says:

    I am wondering the reason he was given a full military honours funeral since the circumstances of his death would normally indicate a private funeral attended by perhaps by uniformed, ex-military colleagues of his regiment. Seems to me the whole sorry fiasco was a put up job. The draping of the coffin in the Union Jack was uncalled for and in any event it would be for the family to decide. I expect the Military contingent turned up armed only with the Union Jack, giving the Widow a faite-compli. His so called Regiment, The Black Watch, exist only as an afterthought in any event. The original Black Watch Regiment eliminated recently, forming part of the Englishisation of Scotlands Regiments would, if asked to perform honour duties at a funeral always draped the coffin in the Saltire. Changed days indeed.

  70. Ewan Dow says:

    If this is an MOD regulation it must have only recently been brought in.

    As the owner of a funeral directors, I carried out the funeral of Private Paul Lowe after he was killed in Iraq in 2004 and the Black Watch certainly had no problem in Paul’s family having a saltire on the coffin. (In fact it was one of my saltires)

    Think this was the case in all bar one of the Black Watch fatalities in that period (and the one funeral with the Union Flag was at the family’s request).

    Knowing how many grey areas there can be when families are organising funerals, especially when there’s a division in the family, I wouldn’t go on newspaper reports that it was definitely the MOD that insisted on the Union Flag. It may well have been a decision of a family member for some reason.

    Perhaps, given the circumstances surrounding this funeral, Stu, I’d be wary of drawing conclusions of the British State forcing propaganda – it’s certainly not beyond it to do that, but there’s just too many ifs and buts in this case to be certain.

  71. Brian Mac says:

    I agree with Kevin Turnbull’s comment above.

    But please readers lets remember why Wings posted this, – It’s regarding the fact the Vassals of the WM government (The Army) denied/overruled the boys FAMILY on what to me is a very personal, delicate, sensitive thing, – His funeral, and being buried under the Saltire, – NOT the Union Jack.

    In my mind this is a deliberate anti-Scottish independence
    motivated breach of human rights.

    Totalitarian state indeed.



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