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Photobombing for beginners

Posted on July 13, 2013 by

Scottish nationalist style:


And British nationalist style:




It’s a point we’ve made several times before, but imagine last night’s events in Belfast had seen Scottish nationalists throwing bricks and bottles at Scottish police in the name of the Saltire, rather than British ones doing it in Britain over the Union Jack.

Last week the Scottish and UK media expended hundreds of column inches and broadcast minutes agonising over whether it was acceptable for Alex Salmond to wave the Saltire at a sporting event that had just been won by a Scot, by and large concluding (impartially, of course) that doing so was a tacky, crass, naff and generally unwelcome politicisation of a national symbol.




Yet we’re willing to bet there’ll be no similar outpourings of angst – especially in the Scottish press – about the symbol of the UK, despite what most observers would probably grudgingly concede was a slightly more inflammatory outbreak of political nationalism than Salmond’s celebration of Andy Murray’s historic Wimbledon victory.

There’ll be no need to wheel out the standard “Ah, but this is a peculiarly Northern Irish problem, not really British” that apologists for bigotry like to espouse, even though these “protestors” wore Chelsea, Arsenal and Rangers shirts to dance triumphantly on the bonnets of riot vans and hundreds of police reinforcements were called in from across the British Isles, leaving peaceful communities already short of officers due to policing their own home-grown “loyalists” even more stretched.

But of rather more direct relevance to the point, these charming and erudite people also mean to play an active, enthusiastic part in the Scottish independence debate.



The Scottish independence movement is almost certainly the most peaceful campaign for self-determination in world history. In over 300 years no policeman was ever hospitalised in its name, no MP ever knocked unconscious amid public disorder, no water cannons ever turned on the Bannockburn Rally (no matter how menacing the UK media try to make it seem).

Yet should a single anonymous Twitter user scandalise polite society by calling Sir Chris Hoy a “tosser”, or should an invisible horde even be alleged to have offered up some tame criticism of a little-known comedian, the mad dogs of the press will be reliably unleashed, demanding Alex Salmond must rein in his rabid army of vicious cyber-stormtroopers and bemoaning the dreadful inhumanity of it all.

But perhaps we’re wrong this time. Perhaps in next week’s Scotsman, Michael Kelly will take time off from defending Nigel Farage to demand that Alistair Darling and the rest of the No campaign take control of these rogue Unionist elements – or at least publicly condemn them in the way Alex Salmond was attacked for not doing over the Edinburgh anti-UKIP protest (organised by left-wing socialist organisations and not even nationalist, let alone under the auspices of the SNP).

After all, if there was a pro-independence group tens of thousands strong regularly seen hurling petrol bombs at police lines, we can only imagine the apocalyptic state the Scottish and British media would be working itself up into, given the high dudgeon it regularly reaches over some random would-be local councillor posting a mildly intemperate comment on his personal Facebook page.

(And we’re pretty sure that they at least wouldn’t be getting large amounts of uncritical live TV coverage on the BBC for their “Blood and Thunder” parades.)

Let’s wait and see, shall we?

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    114 to “Photobombing for beginners”

    1. John Donaldson says:

      Agreed, except: the ’45 was at least partially motivated by nationalist concerns…

    2. Alan MacD says:

      My Rangers jersey went in the bin today.

    3. themadmurph says:

      I won’t be holding my breath Rev!

    4. joe kane says:

      Some moaning minnies are girning to the BBC about its traditional 75 minute coverage celebrating this wonderful display of British diversity and multiculturalism – 
      BBC criticised for live coverage of Orange Order march in Northern Ireland 
      The Independent 
      11 July 2013 

    5. Marjorie says:

      Double Standards indeed.

    6. Atypical_Scot says:

      I find it hard to comment, the upside down world of Ulster is almost too upsetting for words.

    7. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      joe kane: Excellent, edited that in.

    8. The Water Beastie says:

      Its sad that they fight under the flag of the state that has worked so hard to keep their communities divided, constraining growth and prosperity there and limiting the potential of their families.
      On the other hand, re the Saltire……a German friend told me a few eeks back that it was the oldest national flag in Europe.  He was probably right – but I’d welcome independent confirmation……?

    9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Agreed, except: the ’45 was at least partially motivated by nationalist concerns…”

      Not sure that was really about independence so much as the standard bloody wars over succession to a throne. Isn’t it now generally acknowledged that Culloden was largely a Scot vs Scot battle, concerned with imposing a new King rather than freedom from England?

    10. Gaavster says:

      “The Scottish independence movement is almost certainly the most peaceful campaign for self-determination in world history. In over 300 years no policeman was ever hospitalised in its name, no MP ever knocked unconscious amid public disorder, no water cannons ever turned on the Bannockburn Rally (no matter how menacing the UK media try to make it seem).”


    11. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “the oldest national flag in Europe”

      Scotland doesn’t appear on this list, because of course it’s not a country:

      But that lists Denmark’s flag as the oldest, dating from 1370. The Saltire’s first “official” use, according to this page:

      was in 1286, but it identifies the “first certain illustration of a flag depicting such” at 1542, which would put it second behind the Danes.

    12. balgayboy says:

      FFS..get me and my country away from nonsense. These pictures are predictable but still very   poignant to what a closed brain mantra effect has on the reality of the real world. 

    13. mato21 says:

      Funny that, I have waited all morning to hear from the cringers of earlier in the week for their condemnation of the Union flag being used in this hate filled way, but none has been forthcoming Not one mention Where is the unease, the sadness, and the other (too many to mention) adjectives used to describe their feelings on seeing the Saltire last Sunday   
      Yet a happy event and the FM with the biggest smile on his face has had to put up with all sorts of vilification for having the audacity to proudly show the Saltire as a salute from Scotland to a winning Scot 
      Something wrong somewhere

    14. Bruce Hollands says:

      I think most Scots (no matter what their voting intention)would have been disappointed if our First Minister HADN’T waved the Saltire on such an occasion.

    15. max says:

      Irish flags being burn’ t.
      They certainly know how to celebrate British culture in Northern Ireland.
      What next a ceremonial burning of the Saltire?

    16. Adrian B says:

      Its the Lion Rampant that is older – from ~1222

    17. Doug Daniel says:

      The Water Beastie – on a recent canal cruise in Copenhagen, the tour guide claimed the Danish flag was the oldest national flag. However, that may be down to Scotland not currently being sovereign. 

    18. Doug Daniel says:

      Oh, Stu beat me to it!

    19. Betsy says:

      It’s not just Irish flags! Does anyone know what the Ivory coast did to make the loyalists angry?

    20. Morag says:

      The thing that really sickens me is that the BBC apparently pulled its camera away from Alex and the Saltire, as if someone’s boob had just come adrift from her halterneck.  That is frankly outrageous.  It set the tone for the entire debate.

    21. Yesitis says:

      FFS..get me and my country away from nonsense.
      That about covers it for me.

    22. Stuart Black says:

      Yes Morag, that irritated me at the time. What is it about Scotland that we are the only nation apparently not allowed to celebrate a sporting success in the same way that the rest of the world can, without comment and disapproval?

    23. Dal Riata says:

      Yes, Morag, that was so obvious, wasn’t it! You can just imagine the producer screaming, ‘Cut away! Cut away now!’ or whatever they shout when confronted with a scene they reckon is too gory for public viewing. The BBC propagandizing for the British Establishment – quelle surprise.

    24. The Man in the Jar says:

      It is A bit embarrassing but the only Saltire as we would recognise it today was flown at Culloden by The Royal Scots who were fighting for King George. The Stewarts of Appin flew their own Saltire but that was a yellow cross on a blue background.
      As for the 45 it was part of Charles Edward Stewarts manifesto read out at Glenfinnan on 19th August 1745 that if victorious and his father James VIII was reinstated as monarch of Great Britain he would immediately reinstate the Scottish parliament dissolved in 1707.

    25. CameronB says:

      Perhaps the live coverage of the OO riot, was the BBC’s response to C4’s ‘call to prayer’? How do you keep a fire going? Feed it oxygen, of course.

    26. ScottyC1314 says:

      Shameful scenes again associated with bigot parades. Cue for any number of 1690 “we are the people” knuckle draggers on twitter to say it has nothing to do with orange order or *insert name of any other living in the past bigoted organisation in NI*. Its the people following the march…didn’t you know?


    27. Juteman says:

      C’mon folks. Let the Brits wave their flags. It’s only harmless fun.

    28. max says:

      This time last year they were burning the Polish flag in Northern Ireland.

    29. Atypical_Scot says:

      They can’t get away with that this time. I watched this earlier, somewhere in it is an OO marcher in the thick of it, probably more than one, more than once.

    30. Dal Riata says:

      Here’s Simon Hoggart in his Guardian Diary’s first entry still talking about Alex Salmond’s scurrilous and beyond reproach crime of holding up the Saltire at Wimbledon, and then somehow managing to imply that Salmond was let off the hook, or something, because of the MOD’s annexe-Scotland policy. Yes, it’s as fucking ridiculous as it sounds!
      The so-called left-leaning Guardian – as right-wing as all the other usual suspects when it comes to Scottish affairs.

    31. Robert Louis says:

      It’s never a good idea to rely on the nonsense in wikipedia regarding Scotland.
      The flag of Scotland, the Saltire is the oldest national flag in the world, dating from 832 AD.  The fact that wikipedia does not say so, is neither here nor there.  It is usually wrong on most of Scottish history.
      I can’t believe I am having to post this here – of all places!!!!!!
      Vote YES in 2014, and NEVER be confused about YOUR county’s flag anymore.
      Oh, and as regards Culloden, the notion that it was Scot Vs. Scot is hogwash.  Yes, Scots took part on both sides, but then such things happened in many historic battles across Europe.  
      Jeez, Scottish history revisionism, you just couldn’t make it up.

    32. Jamie Arriere says:

      @Robert Louis
      “YOUR county’s flag”
      Scotlandshire? Revisionism? Edit would suffice

    33. Robert Louis says:

      Interesting to watch the unionists and Orange Lodge behaving in the way they do.  The Bitter together campaign, really does have some ‘charming’ people on its side.
      A few weeks ago there was a big orange walk in Edinburgh, and all I saw walking about were drunks with cans of lager, with rangers flags and union jacks.  
      These are die hard unionists – better together.

    34. Dan Simmie says:

      “Isn’t it now generally acknowledged that Culloden was largely a Scot vs Scot battle, concerned with imposing a new King rather than freedom from England”

      The Hanovarian army was made up of 20 regiments of those 20 regiments only 4 could be described as “Scottish”
      “A bit embarrassing but the only Saltire as we would recognise it today was flown at Culloden by The Royal Scots who were fighting for King George.”

      There were Royal Scots on both sides. Also Ogilvie’s and Bannerman’s would have carried a Saltire banner as well.
      And remember the engraving on some of the Jacobite swords “Prosperity to Scotland and no union”

      I’m not claiming that the Jacobite army was a hot bed of Scottish nationalisim,of course we will never know but it has been so misreported and played down over the years as critics have tried to portray it as a Highlander V Lowlander battle or Catholic V Protestant.
      It was none of these, with large parts of the Jacobite armies being made up of lowlanders from Angus and the Mearns and other areas and Catholics being outnumbered by non Catholics in the army.
      Try John Prebbles Culloden or Murray Pittock’s The myth of the Jacobite clans.
      Anyway back to 2013.

    35. Ian Mackay says:

      The Scottish Lion Rampart – the Royal Flag of Scotland – is thought to derive from King William I of Scotland; hence William the Lion. He reigned 1165-1214. At that time, Scotland had an intimate relationship with Flanders and there was much cultural exchange between the courts of Count Phillip d’Alsace and the Scottish King. William was impressed with the Lion Rampart of Flanders used by Phillip I and thus derived his own Scottish version.

    36. MajorBloodnok says:

      @mato21, now that is very interesting.
      Regarding Culloden, it was not just Scots regiments – there was a French one too, admittedly the Royal Ecossois, of which one of its Majors (appropriately enough) was a namesake.

    37. Dramfineday says:

      In an effort to retain your sanity and generally keep a good humour,  I give you the following ditty (with a nod to Harry Lauder and Frank Folley) with the instruction to burst into song every time you hear, see or are subjected to “The Cringe”

      Will you stop yer cringing, Jock!
      Oh, stop yer cringing, Jock!
      Dinna mak’ me laugh so hearty,
      Or you’ll mak me choke.
      Oh, I wish you’d stop yer cringing,
      ye fairly mak me boke.
      Will yer stop yer cringing cringy cringy cringing
      Stop yer cringing Jock!

      It’s hoped that spontaneous bursts of this chorus will reduce the overall level of cringing in the general population.

      PS I was wandering around in Edinburgh today, to pick up a few messages in the Tollcross area, and had my yes badge firmly to the fore. I was stopped twice by people who professed to be undecided and proceeded to ask some good questions, which thanks to the Rev and other contributors on here I was very comfortable answering. One guy asked if I was a politician and on replying “no” he replied “that I knew a lot about it”. I pointed both people to this site for further information.

    38. Vronsky says:

      Amazed that this article in today’s Herald still hasn’t registered.  I think it could be the first occurrence of the term ‘unionist’ in the MSM, and used in a close to pejorative sense.  And there’s also this.  Thought the Rev was desperately seeking signs of someone in the MSM jumping the dyke?

    39. Robert Louis says:

      A great article by dinwoodie about the unionist Scottish cabal running about daft, at the mere notion of Scots getting the truth on their TV sets – and that was 1977.  Interestingly, he also mentions the fact that the McCrone report on Scottish oil wealth was hidden from Scots, to prevent them demanding independence.
      Of course such behaviour rarely occurs nowadays, as unionist Labour with their army of labourite apparatchiks, effectively run blatantly biased BBC Scotland now.  Their very own little Scottish pravda.

    40. Midgehunter says:

      M.  Bloodnok says:
      Regarding Culloden, it was not just Scots regiments – there was a French one too, admittedly the Royal Ecossois, of which one of its Majors (appropriately enough) was a namesake.
      You mean there’s two (or was) Bloodnoks on the planet …!!  😉

    41. Robert Louis says:

      Just for reference, for those who haven’t seen the McCrone report, which was hidden by successive Westminster government, as it detailed how rich Scotland could be with oil in the 70’s, is available to download here;
      It is a mark of the patronising colonial attitude taken to Scots, that Westminster deliberately lied over and over again to Scots in the 70’s and 80’s, stating that the oil wasn’t worth much.  The anti independence campaign is still doing so now, right here in Scotland in 2013.

    42. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Dan Simmie
      The Royal Scots on both sides that you mention were separate units. The Royal Scots (Hepburns Regiment) fighting for King George were totally different from the Royal Ecosse who were a French Regiment fighting for the Stewarts.
      Anyway let’s not get bogged down with this. A wiser man than me once said, “If you think that you understand Scotland’s history then you have not been paying attention!”

    43. scottish_skier says:

      mato21 says:
      Interesting figures
      Very interesting. Thanks for that. Lots of information in there and looks to have been well researched. Confirms why the interweb is so strongly dominated by those nasty cybernats!

    44. MajorBloodnok says:

      Yes, although Bloodnoks traditionally reproduce vegetatively, like onions, orchids (not orcas) and the bad guys from Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.

    45. Bill C says:

      @max -“What next a ceremonial burning of the Saltire?” Wouldn’t surprise me in the least. The people who riot in Belfast in defence of ‘their union’ are not rational. They have been indoctrinated from an early age to hate Catholics, Irish nationalists and the Republic of Ireland. Their hatred is medieval and is seared into their very psyche by 300 years of tribal indoctrination.  They consider any talk of Celtic nationalism i.e. Irish, Scottish, Welsh as being treasonous and will literally fight to their dying breath to defend what they see as their culture, tradition and way of life. As we move closer to the date of the referendum vote, I fully expect to see displays of Loyalist triumphalism on the streets of Scotland. Some might argue that we have already seen that on the streets of Glasgow and Lanarkshire last weekend, however that is only what they do every summer at this time.  Once the reality of what is  happening on 18th September next year filters through to the minority who have an IQ of more than 80 in the Loyalist camp, expect to see serious unpleasantness on our streets. I hope I am wrong, but having lived and worked beside members of various Loyalist groups and been on the wrong end of their ‘cultural celebrations’ a few times, I think we can expect civil disorder.  

    46. Dal Riata says:

      I have a couple of mates who back in the late 1990s were employed by the Old Firm, one at Celtic and one at Rangers. No, it’s not a joke!
      Anyway, this was when one or both of the Old Firm would occasionally go to Northern Ireland pre-season to play a friendly or two. My mates recalled having basically the same experience.
      For example, they had to always let the local cops know beforehand if any of the party wanted to leave their hotel at any time, say, even for just a walk, and when they did so they had to be in a group of at least four. There also had to be, of course, no clothing or bags or anything whatsoever that showed their team’s badge or colours should they wish to go out. The representatives of both clubs were given advise and information on what to do if confronted with people out to cause trouble. Most never left the hotel they were based in – they couldn’t be arsed dealing with the hassle.
      Members of both teams were not exactly happy at the prospect of going to N.I. for pre-season. Who can/could blame them? Who would want to go there and possibly have to deal with sectarian bullshit and hassle, when you could just go in the other direction to Holland or Germany or somewhere for a much more stress-free time?!
      But then that was/is the price to pay if you represent either of the Old Firm. Those trips in the 90s were seen as a ‘Thank-you’ to so many of their loyal [sic] supporters, mostly by Rangers. Make of that what you will.
      Finally, the thing both my mates said that struck me the most was that going to N.I. was like going to a country a hundred years behind – you flew out of Scotland in the 20th century (as it was then), and arrived in N. I. in the 19th century!
      We’re now in the 21st century, of course, but, in N. l. nothing – not the bigotry, the sectarianism, the flags, the O.O marches nor the religious divisions and hatred – nothing has changed. You have to feel for the many good people in N.I. that have to deal with that stuff.
      Thankfully, the people of Scotland have a choice next year to when they can finally rid the country of any association with those vestiges of hatred and division caused by religion and the British Establishment…. There is, of course, those two giant gorillas in the room which can’t be ignored – the Old Firm! Suggestions on a postcard to….

    47. Murray McCallum says:

      I don’t use Twitter but look to the Wings feed to get some feel for what is being said.  In terms of the Alex Salmond “flag waiving incident” this retweet by Wings hit the nail on the head for me:
      Zetlandi @Zetlandi 7Jul
      “I pledge to be a dignified & appropriate Scot from now on and defer to Unionist outrage by never drawing attention to my identity.”


    48. Seanair says:

      Not just Robbie Dinwoodie’s article but the one by Dr. Elliot Bulmer deserves attention. His book on a model constitution for Scotland will be worth reading.
      Meanwhile, in a cafe, I picked up a Hootsman (with tongs) to read the death notices but threw the rag back in its rack when I saw the title of an article by Alf Young claiming that the Union was a Scottish concept! Couldn’t bring myself to read it but the No campaign must be getting desperate….

    49. Andy-B says:

      This shows exactly just how powerful the unionist biased media are, why cant the YES camp have a dedicated radio station and tv station for the duration of the referendum, I just dont understand why…..
      Even Middle Eastern countries, (small factions) though events are way more extreme, televise, events of the day, imagine the difference a pro-independence tv channel would have, refuting project fears lies.

    50. Patrick Roden says:

      I think the First Minister made a very clever comment in his speech at Nigg, when he mentioned the MSM Bias.
      He said that it was the print media that was clearly biased, but that the BBC and other digital media had a difficult job, because a lot of the time they were merely reporting what had been printed in this ‘Biased’ print press.
      He mentioned that the BBC should be careful when reporting stories that had appeared in the press, that it didn’t look like they were agreeing with the story or that it was their own story.
      So the first Minister is saying that the MSM print press is clearly biased, but the BBC have been made to look biased because they haven’t been careful to make sure that people watching aren’t aware that the BBC don’t necessarily agree with the press release they are speaking about.
      very clever move by a very clever politician.

    51. Rod Mac says:

      Slightly O/.T Rev but in similar vein, alf young in his article today is mentioning an “alleged” incident in Milngavie train #station where poor Alf his wife and child were supposedly stalked by a drunken Scottish nationalist and harangued for daring to ask questions of the YES Campaign.
      This vile drunken nationalist allegedly accused Alf of being a ("Tractor" - Ed).
      No proof of course just Alf’s word , although perhaps  
       Ms Calman was with him at the time and can confirm it.

    52. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I can’t believe I am having to post this here – of all places!!!!!!”

      My emphasis:

      “The king vowed that if, with the saint’s help, he gained victory, then Andrew would thereafter be the patron saint of Scotland. The Scots did win, and the Saltire eventually became the flag of Scotland.”

      I’m well aware of the legend of Athelstaneford – a graphic derived from the memorial there formed the WingsLand banner for several months. The question is about when something was demonstrably and officially used as the national flag. There was no such entity as “Scotland” in 832AD, certainly not in any recognisable form comparable to the Scotland we know today.

    53. Patrick Roden says:

      I was very surprised by Todays Herald and how many articles could be said to have been positive for the yes campaign.
      Is something happening at the Herald?

    54. scottish_skier says:

      Was there the other day getting my brakes done at a mate from School’s garage (who’ll be voting yes; the flags hanging outside the workshop kind of give it away). Wee signs saying birthplace of the saltire etc, street named Saltire Gardens etc. Great stuff.

    55. Seanair says:

      Patrick Roden
      Marcus must be on holiday.
      But seriously the Herald must have seen the drop in circulation of the “national” press this month and have tried to prevent it happening to them. Will be interesting to see if it works.

    56. Andy-B says:

      Will you no stop your cringing Jock!
      Good Post…
      Harry lauder  had good reason to cringe, he lost his only son in the Great War…also known as the …”War of Queen Victoria’s Grandchildren and their Vanity”
      Lauder wrote “Keep right on to the end of the Road”…in memory of his lost son, and the fact that no matter what happens, you need to keep going…..
      this kind of never say die attitude, should stand as an example to the YES camp.

    57. John Donaldson says:

      “Not sure that was really about independence so much as the standard bloody wars over succession to a throne. Isn’t it now generally acknowledged that Culloden was largely a Scot vs Scot battle, concerned with imposing a new King rather than freedom from England?”

      It is accepted that the highlanders were anti-union:
      “The Marquis of Tullibardine read aloud the Declaration of King James to the assembled clans, James’ commission appointing Charles his Prince Regent, and Charles’ manifesto (dated 16 May 1745).[40] In this manifesto, Charles declared he was executing the will of his father in asserting his undoubted right to the throne of his ancestors.[41] After all this the Highlanders “threw their bonnets in the air and huzza’d 3 different times, crying alowd long live K. James the 8, and Charles P. of Wales, prosperity to Scotland and no union“.[42]” (Wikipedia)
      See also:
      William Donaldson, The Jacobite Song: Politic Myth and National Identity (Mercat: 1988)

    58. Jiggsbro says:

      where poor Alf his wife and child were supposedly stalked by a drunken Scottish nationalist and harangued for daring to ask questions of the YES Campaign.
      I have noticed, since the SNP came to power and pledged to hold a referendum on independence, the appearance of a new social problem in Scotland: drunk people being obnoxious and arguing with innocent passers-by. I know that correlation is not causation, but it probably is in this case. Roll on 2014, when we can reject this madness and return to a sober, respectful society under the civilising rule of England, where this phenomenon is unknown.

    59. Robert Louis says:

      Have to disagree with rev.
      Quote “There was no such entity as “Scotland” in 832AD, certainly not in any recognisable form comparable to the Scotland we know today.”
      The same is true of Denmark, or doesn’t that count.
      It’s stuff and nonsense.  Honestly.

    60. CameronB says:

      It is also 300 year old history and has little if anything to do with the price of bread today, IMO.

    61. Richard McHarg says:

      I’m surprised that any sober person would recognise Alf Young, never mind a drunk.

    62. Braco says:

      Major Bloodnok,
      you thought those were the bad guys?

    63. Macart says:

      Unbelievably sad and bitter to watch.
      Equally the press have a lot to answer for in terms of their double standards. Sooner we’re done with this caring, sharing union, the better.
      Hope you caught my reply to your fine post yesterday. Much appreciated. 🙂

    64. Bill McLean says:

      agree Robert Louis – at Culloden there were Scots (highland and lowland),Irish, French and English and probably some odds and sods. On the British side 10 of the 13 battalions were English. The Campbells, unfortunately, fought against their own people but at least refused to slaughter the wounded. Not a Scot v Scot battle, not a Catholic v Protestant battle. Just those in charge making sure it stayed that way no matter who was killed, raped and stolen from – any many of those were pro-Hanoverian highlanders – they were all just Scots you see!

    65. Atypical_Scot says:

      Flags, an international problem. I was educated at Kilrymont in St.Andrews, my history teacher told me the Saltire as it is today is a unionist flag. Don’t know personally.

    66. ianbrotherhood says:

      Doonfooter –
      It was a great pleasure to meet you and your Yes Scotland buddies.
      Have to concede, your ‘table’ is a thing of beauty and well beyond our budget, but we enjoyed a fantastic response from the honest men and bonnie lasses to our petition against the Bedroom Tax – at one point had a queue of people waiting to sign.
      We also had ex-SSP members approach us and ask for contact details. As a wee experiment (we normally stick to Irvine and Saltcoats) it was a tremendous success and we’ll certainly be returning.
      Thanks again for the heads-up you’d be there, and hopefully we’ll meet again.
      (Sorry Tris, didn’t get any photies – too busy!)

    67. annie says:

       Read this morning that the Herald and Sunday Herald have now joined Scotsman and SoS in opting out of posting monthly circulation figures they will now only post every six months.  All newspaper circulation figures down apart from the I.

    68. scottish_skier says:

      NI Secretary of State Theresa Villiers on the British pro-union riots.

      “Attacks on the police are completely unacceptable and there can be no justification for this kind of behaviour,” she said.

      “This sort of behaviour does nothing to promote Britishness or the pro-union cause, rather it undermines it in the eyes of the overwhelming majority of people here in Northern Ireland and in the rest of the UK.”

      Em, aye.

    69. Atypical_Scot says:

      Every effin year as well. Mrs Atypical, from outside Belfast, says it’s just a bit worse than usual this year because it was sunny.

    70. mato21 says:

      Thank you I had missed it  I’m pleased you weren’t offended   
      So much goes on here it would be a full time job keeping up
      Hope things are on the mend for you  
      All requests catered for (smiley)

    71. Jeannie says:

      Well, I don’t mind whether it’s the oldest or second-oldest flag in Europe.  All I know is that as of this afternoon there’s a great big one now flying in my back garden in Argyll, clearly visible from the road.  Should’ve done it ages ago!

    72. Jeannie says:

      PS:  Would anybody know where I could get a life-size cardboard image of Alex Salmond to stick behind it, just for a laugh?

    73. cirsium says:

      “Agreed, except: the ’45 was at least partially motivated by nationalist concerns…”
      Not sure that was really about independence so much as the standard bloody wars over succession to a throne. Isn’t it now generally acknowledged that Culloden was largely a Scot vs Scot battle, concerned with imposing a new King rather than freedom from England?

      RevStu – there was a nationalist dimension to Jacobitism. The Jacobites saw themselves as carrying on the struggles of Wallace and Bruce and carried Scottish national symbols, for example, claymores were engraved with “no union”, the soldiers, whether Lowland or Highland,  wore tartan.   From Murray Pittock’s “Scottish Nationality”  –

      One must not forget history’s semantics of defeat and victory are different: had Bruce failed, the Wars of Independence would now be termed a British ‘civil war”, yet Bruce v. Balliol and George v. James are not so distinct as history’s vocabulary pretends, not was there ever a time in major Anglo-Scottish conflicts when there were not Scots who supported the English side.

    74. crantara says:

      Our merchant marine flag is also one of the oldest in the world. That is the red ensign with the saltire in the corner. The southern authorities have deemed it illegal . My small yacht flies one. They are available for purchase from a certain Glasgow yacht chandlers.

    75. Dcanmore says:

      Another interesting Independence article in the Herald today …
      For some reason the link has something to with green energy targets, but it actually goes to a piece by Kate Devlin  that writes: 
      Why the online chat is pro-independence…but not because of SNP

    76. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Read this morning that the Herald and Sunday Herald have now joined Scotsman and SoS in opting out of posting monthly circulation figures they will now only post every six months”

      Other way round – Herald opted out months ago, Scotsman just joined them recently.

    77. Big Jock says:

      Part or most of the reason I want Scottish Independence is to distance our country from that ugly flag. It is used and abused by the lowest forms of life in our society. It’s a symbol of shame to me and I despair every time I see it used in Scotland. Michael Kelly ironically sees nothing wrong with the flag and British Nationalism. I bet his Irish ancestors would be proud of his stance. He thinks something like this: “Well I am all for Irish independence against British rule..but the country I am from and live in er no I think we should stick to good old Glasgow Labour and the glorious Union… after all look at the state Ireland is know if they hadn’t given up British rule Labour could run Dublin as well”…LOL The guy is a walking talking hypocrite in everything he does.

    78. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Part or most of the reason I want Scottish Independence is to distance our country from that ugly flag. It is used and abused by the lowest forms of life in our society. It’s a symbol of shame to me and I despair every time I see it used in Scotland.”

      Aye. I just watched the Andy Murray documentary on BBC1. Now, during the Wimbledon final people were discussing what flag he might theoretically wrap around himself when he won, and obviously many nat types were advocating the Saltire. And I thought (and said), “No, that’d just be rude. He’s playing in England to a largely English crowd, but they’re massively behind him, and if he did that he’d basically just be saying ‘Screw you’ to them after all their support, which I have no doubt was meant well rather than as an imperialist gesture of ownership or anything.”

      I was glad he avoided the issue completely.

      And then it showed his homecoming to Dunblane after the Olympic gold, and among the sea of Saltires were a handful of Union Jacks, and they made me feel ill. I can’t really rationalise it, other than that in that specific context it felt as rude as if he’d paraded around Wimbledon in a Saltire.

      I’ve written before about how I’ve never felt anything other than aversion to the Union Jack, but rarely more so than on that occasion. Any flag of the Orange Order is no flag of mine, and it had no business in Dunblane either.

    79. ianbrotherhood says:

      Looking forward to seeing T in the Park highlights later.
      What’s the betting there isn’t a solitary Union flag on show? 
      If nothing else, we can pretty sure that – if there is one – the BBC will find it.
      Another good one will be the Eminem concert in Glasgow…’You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow,This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo.’
      Yo, indeed.


    80. Dramfineday says:

      Big Jock – hear, hear!
      Andy-B – Jings, Andy you’ve reminded me of a childhood memory – near forgotten – my father was a great singer and my granddad, usually at new year, would ask him to sing “keep right on” in (as it turned out) respect of his lost WW1 relatives. As a child I understood that the atmosphere was highly charged but did not understand why. Now I do, and as a walker of the mountains, straths and glens, have came across, in some quiet beautiful places, a dignified reminder of the sacrifice that was made because “families fall out”. Sir Harry’s heart was broken – he was not alone.
      So (all) let us not now buckle as the torrent of cringe and whine increases but reflect that people like my father (RAF) and father in law (17th Indian division – part of the forgotten army) are going to vote yes. They could have been considered as “British” to the core – but they are Scots first. I hope and pray they make it.
      So the next time you hear or see the cringe – send them my amended words of Lauder and Folley, sing loudly my friends and crush the cringe.

    81. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Dramfineday & Big Jock-
      Great posts.
      At street-stall in Ayr today, got chatting to ex-serviceman (I guess, early 60’s) who’s suffered severe PTSD for years. He’s allowed respite stays at Erskine Hospital but still has the family home. 
      When he’s home, and ‘takes a turn’, he uses a box-room to shut himself away from everyone until it passes. He didn’t go into detail about what these episodes involve, or why he feels the need to voluntarily imprison himself at the drop of a hat, but it don’t take no Poirot to suss that he becomes a danger to his nearest and dearest.
      And guess what?
      The glorified cupboard he uses as a bolt-hole has been classified as a ‘bedroom’, so he’s liable for this fucking tax.
      A home fit for a hero, eh? 

    82. Jeannie says:

      @Andy B
      That song was my Granny’s favourite, sung by her at family parties, usually held in her house as she was bedridden.  Her body might have been wrecked, but there was nothing wrong with her voice and I can still hear her singing this.  Thanks for the memory and the inspiration.

    83. Ann says:

      In this day and age the walk of OO and supporters have no place in Scotland and modern society and every police force, law lord and court in the land should ban  them permanently.
      I’m all for freedom of expression etc., but they don’t parade to celebrate the success of William of Orange, but to deliberately antagonize the Catholic populace and as long as this continues to happen there will never be permanent peace in that country.

    84. scottish_skier says:

       Any flag of the Orange Order is no flag of mine

      It’s the fact it’s the flag of the Tories that originally did it for me.

      And of course now:

      You won’t catch me waving a Tory emblem. 

    85. CameronB says:

      A cheap shot perhaps, but is the plastic Tory at the end of scottish_skier’s list, covering up the word “cheese”?

    86. Jeannie says:

      @scottish skier
      Those links would look great all on one poster under the headline, “What has the Union ever done for us?”  Just don’t know how to do it:(

    87. old mikey says:

      10a.m. this morning, Airdrie town centre, the ‘hibs’ walk. Mounted police and police everywhere. Lots of shouting and the odd waving of a union jack by onlookers. Bands waving large tricolour banners and believe it or not a saltire. I’m appalled by this, something going on here.
      I’m out early tomorrow leafleting for the SNP and I’ll want to find out more about this from our team and organiser.
      By the way, I ‘m a devoutly religious person myself as a member of the FSM, the religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Ramen.

    88. Caroline Corfield says:

      This is an excellent impartial site for information on flags. If you look up the Union Flag you will find its only official at sea when you refer to it as the Union Jack. But when you look up Northern Ireland you’ll find the Union Flag was made the official flag there in 2003, the Ulster Banner being unofficial from 1973. It’s a fascinating site and I’m sorry I don’t know how to make it active.

    89. Morag says:

      The thing that really sickens me is that the BBC apparently pulled its camera away from Alex and the Saltire, as if someone’s boob had just come adrift from her halterneck.  That is frankly outrageous.  It set the tone for the entire debate.
      Having just watched the entire final on iPlayer, I take that back.  I didn’t see it live because I was on a boat sailing out of Longyearbyen at the time, and satellite coverage doesn’t extend so far north.

      There was nothing to it.  It happened quite far on in the victory parade, and the cameras were cutting here, there and everywhere.  I don’t think they deliberately cut away, and in fact I think it’s likely someone saw what Alex and Moira were up to and intentionally showed it.  The way the camerawork was going, it wasn’t a shot that was going to be held.

      The unionists are a bunch of complete cretins, but I don’t think the BBC were to blame at all.  This time.

    90. AlexMcI says:

      I have tickets for the Eminem one in Bellahouston park. I’m going to get a big Saltire with
      FUCKING YES on it. Just YES wont cut it at that gig I’m afraid.

    91. CameronB says:

      Re. flying flags in the UK, I think the UK Parliament’s Flags and Heraldry Committee’s Flag Institute might know a thing or two.
      From their site; “The Flag Institute is the world’s leading research and documentation centre for flags and flag information. The Institute is also the largest vexillological membership organisation in the world. The Institute was founded on St. George’s Day, 23 April, 1971”.
      I only read their guide very quickly, but I didn’t see any guidance that would cover waving flags at sporting events. I know this will annoy some, but this is a lot of hoo-ha over a bit of cloth, held up behind a civil servant who is on a temporary contract. There are bigger fish to fry.

    92. ianbrotherhood says:

      Ya jammy!
      If it turns out you can’t make the gig, please PLEASE gimme a shout on the tickets for my boy.
      Seriously – ian [at] stevenston4 [dot] fsnet [dot] co [dot] uk
      Having said that, I hope you do make it.
      If you can’t? I’ll collect the banner and make sure we get as near the stage as we can.
      Cheers mister.

    93. john king says:

      mato says
      Interesting figures scottishindependencereferendum/”
      wow, get everyone on twitter 🙂

    94. john king says:

      “Robert Louis says:

      It’s never a good idea to rely on the nonsense in wikipedia regarding Scotland.”

      Do you know, I read that story when I was a child at school in the early 60’s
      must have been before the Scottish history censors removed any vestige of our own history from the curriculum

    95. john king says:

      ianbrotherhood says

      (Sorry Tris, didn’t get any photies – too busy!)

      And that sir is the correct answer, YOU ARE A WINNER 🙂

    96. Shinty says:

      All I know is that as of this afternoon there’s a great big one now flying in my back garden in Argyll, clearly visible from the road.  Should’ve done it ages ago!
      Yeah me too – I was going to hold off until 18th Sept this year, but I might as well get the ball rolling, who knows it might set off an early trend. Large Saltire going up in East Loch Lomond this week, believe me you won’t miss it from the roadside – just hope the National Park/Council don’t object – guess I’ll find out soon enough.
      Gave me a real laugh on the Salmond cut out thing – what a hoot that would be.

    97. Jeannie says:

      I was at Balmaha during the week lazing in the sun.  I’ll keep an eye out for your flag.  What actually happened was…..I was walking along the coastal path on Loch Fyne near St Catherine’s when I noticed somebody had stuck a large saltire in their garden, overlooking the shore.  I had been thinking about it for a while, but for some reason thought I needed a flagpole as there are a few other folk up this way with flags on a flagpole.  However, this man’s flag was just on a big stick and it looked great, blowing in the breeze. So I thought to myself – If a big stick is ok, then let’s just do it. There’s tons of them in the garden.  So a big stick it was and it looks great.  Mind you, I’ve since been on ebay and you can get a 20foot flagpole with a saltire for £29.99 complete.  Interestingly, you can also get one with a Union flag – it’s £10.00 cheaper for some reason.  I’m thinking of getting the flagpole so it’ll be visible from the other side of the loch as well. 
      I’ve had no luck so far on the cardboard cutout of the First Minister though.  But if I could get one of Andy Murray, I’d stick that up as well.  Or both together, even better 🙂

    98. Jeannie says:

      Oh….and the good-sized flag was £4.99 in a shop in Inverary.  The stick, of course, was free.

    99. These photos cry out to be used in posters with “BETTER TOGETHER” emblazoned thereupon. 

      Or perhaps the Scotchman will so style their front page – after all, the swastika saltire was in FAR. poorer taste. 

    100. Shinty says:

      Thanks – the flag pole will have to wait,  I’ll get a big stick and secure it to a strainer post on the roadside (my strainer, so the NP can naff off)

    101. ianbrotherhood says:

      Here’s a wee Sunday night teaser.
      Who wrote this?:
      ‘We Scots don’t really take to the stuff-shirtedness of the All England Club. That’s why we never warmed to Tim, not because he was English but because he was posh. If he’d been a Geordie or a Brummie things would have been different but we kind of also thought that if he’d had such origin it would have been unlikely he’d have been there in the first place.So good luck to Eck and his flag. But he shouldn’t have snuck it in. He should have draped it over his shoulders at the entrance gate and he should have waved it from start to finish. Because it is not the flag of a political party. It is the flag of Scotland.And today has been a great day for Scotland.’
      Wee clue – I found it via the Zany Comedy Relief column above. The identity of the author may surprise some.

    102. AlexMcI says:

      @iabrotherhood, goodness me who would have expected that from mr smart. But the man is on the money this time, credit where it’s due. Although he was the second one I looked at after nico, so that kind of shows where the others on the list stand in my mind.

    103. ianbrotherhood says:

      ‘Twas Ian S Smart right enough – he is one mixed-up dude.
      I always send a coconut to anyone who answers these things, but seeing as you went the extra mile by reading Nico, I thought I’d best deliver it ‘in-person’:

    104. AlexMcI says:

      mmmmm coconuts.

    105. ianbrotherhood says:

      Are you familiar with George Carlin’s stuff?
      If so, you’ll probably know this clip – I’ve posted this on WoS numerous times (and hope Rev doesn’t mind me doing so again) but there’s always someone who hasn’t seen it.
      It’s worth bearing in mind that Carlin was nearing the end of his life, and a long career in a tough business, so he was delivering material which had been honed, perfected over decades. For me, this is ‘art’ – it’s almost like rapping, and it would be great if someone could put a suitable soundtrack behind these words.
      At 1.45 he talks about the stuff you brought up in your first posts here. If you haven’t seen this, I think you’ll enjoy it a lot, and perhaps your apprentices will too – Carlin was recommended to me by an old mate, Kenny Little, who was a spark in Yarrows back in the late 70s, then went on to become an artist and musician (Hollow Horse).

    106. Jeannie says:

      Happy to report I saw George Carlin live in a performance in California at Stanford Uni in the 1970s, before he was mega-famous. Funniest comedian I’ve ever seen – I was literally falling off my seat laughing.

    107. ianbrotherhood says:

      Wow. I am suitably jealous.
      It’s just such a shame he wasn’t better known here. By the time I found out about him he was already dead. 

    108. AlexMcI says:

      @Ianbrotherhood, I had never saw it before, but everything he says is true. It’s kind of weird , it’s delivered as comedy, but when you really think about it you find that it is anything but funny. I guess that’s probably the genius in it though. Will have a watch of some more of his stuff. Thanks for the link.

    109. ianbrotherhood says:

      It’s brilliant stuff – ‘genius’ is the right word.
      I love the bit where he’s reaching out to the audience, as if he wants to grab them by the fucking ears – ‘They don’t care about you. At all. At all. At all…’, and then, later, when he quietens his voice and repeats, ‘…and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care.’
      It’s a wise old man, who probably doesn’t need the dosh, the exertion or the hassle, trying to tell his truth before time runs out. He wasn’t so much a comedian as a prophet.
      And has any ‘gag’ ever had a better punchline? – ‘It’s called the American Dream…’cause you have to be asleep to believe it.’
      I never tire of watching it, and never will.

    110. AlexMcI says:

      Yep, but it makes you wonder how many of his audience actually got what he was saying. How many of them went home and told their mates, “George carlin was brilliant , so funny you should go see him” but didn’t get the fact he was imploring his audience to wake the fuck up.

    111. ianbrotherhood says:

      Aye, and it makes you wonder – what other avenues exist for any genuinely radical voices? Virtually all of the ‘arts’ are completely compromised by market forces – it forces artists to become mediocre, or give up.
      Very few manage to make a living from their vocation while telling whatever ‘truth’ inspired them to begin with. Closest contemporary Scot I can think of is Frankie Boyle, but you get the feeling his jaiket’s always on a very shoogly peg MSM-wise.

    112. AlexMcI says:

      Lol you get the feeling that there is a few telly execs just choking for a chance to arse and neck Frankie from the premises. The mans quality.

    113. Morgan McKeown says:

      I`m just trying to get my head round using the Union flag of 1801 for an event in 1690 involving a Dutch King in a family squabble with his cousin whom he usurped for control of these Islands……Although I am led to believe that it was our own Edinburgh born James VI who was proclaimed “King of Great Britain” and first mooted the Scots/English only version of the Union Flag in 1606.   

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