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Wings Over Scotland

The Not-So-England Club

Posted on June 25, 2013 by

A comment from a reader sent us off on a spot of Googling this morning. If you type nothing but the word “Wimbledon” into the search engine, the top result isn’t actually a link, but instead some sort of unclickable wired-in tournament schedule data.


A striking feature of the data is the national flags beside each contestant. We couldn’t help wondering what would happen if we typed in Andy Murray’s name.


Well, there’s a thing. But what about the rest of the Brit contingent?


That’s odd. But as the British women’s No.1 Laura Robson was born in Melbourne, Australia, perhaps there’s a simple explanation – the mysterious Google data is merely listing each player’s nation of birth.


Nope, that doesn’t seem to be it. Elena Baltacha was born in Kiev in Ukraine, but she appears under a Union Jack. Curiouser and curiouser.


James Ward, who would have met Murray in the second round if he hadn’t lost to Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu yesterday, is listed on Wikipedia as an “English tennis player”, although under “Country” he’s given as a citizen of both “Great Britain” and “England”. Google chooses the former.


Just to muddy the ground still further, Heather Watson gets a Union Jack despite being from Guernsey, which is in neither Britain nor the UK.


And finally, Johanna Konta (born in Australia to Hungarian parents but officially representing Britain since 2012) gets an Australian flag. We officially give up.

We couldn’t get the other British players we know of in this year’s tournament, Kyle Edmund and Samantha Murray, to show up in the same results format, and we don’t know what Google’s criteria for assigning nationalities is. (It’s not, for example, from Wikipedia, where Andy Murray’s country is given as “Great Britain”.)

But it’s at least passingly interesting to us that neither the British men’s nor women’s No.1 players are considered by the search giant to be representing Britain at the All-England Club. Why could that be? We’re all ears.

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38 to “The Not-So-England Club”

  1. alasdair says:

    maybe they contacted the players personally?

  2. Max says:

    ‘All England’ is an old term for the Kingdom of England

  3. Turnbull Drier says:

    On topic (I hope as I don’t want to feel  the rath of the rev…)
    But you got me thinking.. here is Allan McNish’s first line in wiki:
    Allan McNish (born 29 December 1969) is a British racing driver. He is a three-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, most recently in 2013, and three-time…
    but this is how it’s presented in the Google resutls page in a search for Allan McNish:
    Allan McNish (born 29 December 1969) is a Scottish racing driver. He is a three-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, most recently in 2013, and three-time 
    Spot the difference?
    Do Google edit their “quoted” presented results, or am I being stoopid somehow?

  4. beachthistle says:

    Heather Watson is there with a Union Jack, with Wikipedia informing us that she is a British tennis player. But the same source also informs us that she was born in Guernsey  – which Wikipedia also informs us is officially the ‘Bailiwick of Guernsey’ and that the Bailiwick of Guernseyis not part of the United Kingdom.
    Which is of course all a bit confusing as we are being told by our better(together)s that people born in Scotland will no longer be British if Scotland votes Yes and is no longer part of the United Kingdom….

  5. mato21 says:

    As long as Andy is recognised as a Scot I’m happy and I would imagine so is he

  6. Doug Daniel says:

    Turnbull Drier – Google trawls the web picking up content, visiting and revisiting pages periodically. It would seem the last time Google trawled McNish’s wikipedia page, he was listed as a Scottish racing driver ( However, some busybody has changed it to British. If you look in the revision history, there’s a few arguments about his nationality.
    Wouldn’t be a problem if he wasn’t successful, of course…

  7. Alasdair Stirling says:

    The term “All England” refers to the English and Welsh counties as single political/geographical unit.  It is commonly used in a legal context because of the english law’s jurisdiction over England and Wales.  It used to also be commonly used in sporting contexts, hence the name ‘All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, but that use is much rarer now.

  8. Ciaran McRae says:

    I’m finding quite a lot of Scottish people on wiki have had their nationalities changed to British recently.

  9. Turnbull Drier says:

    Ta for that…
    If only we were all losers, then we’d definitely be Scottish.. 
    No quite the positive campaigning that we are after 😉

  10. Well its the “All England ” title that seems to define the country of birth,by being an “All England” club,its themselves that create the division.Not really such a big deal,just the usual befuddled thinking of the British?English swap of identity and telling everybody the world over that Britain is England and vice-versa.

  11. mealer says:

    So,if we lose the referendum Duggy Dug will be a Scotty.But if we win,he’ll be a Britty.Or is it the other way around? I’ll need to ponder some more on this conundrum.If,indeed it is a conundrum.

  12. Dcanmore says:

    @Doug Daniel
    That’s very interesting. Following your lead I just perused Chris Hoy’s Wiki history (I’ve never went through historical entries before and I picked an easy one) … there seems to be a bit of a ding dong battle going on with his national identity. For the first four years he was known as  a ‘Scottish’ track cyclist (2005-09), then that changed to a Track cyclist who represents Britain and Scotland, to now being a ‘British’ track cyclist. There are people trying to change him back to a Scottish cyclist but they seem to be up against Brit-Nats who want him British with the butcher’s apron. I think this is worth investigating to see how many Scots-born sports people have had their biogs changed from Scottish to British over the years (especially the last 5 years or so).

  13. pmcrek says:

    Looks like wiki doesnt list Nessie as Scottish either, just resident in Scotland 🙁

  14. Yesitis says:

    Ciaran McRae
    I’m finding quite a lot of Scottish people on wiki have had their nationalities changed to British recently
    We know what`s coming if we vote No next year – a smothering of one nation ‘Englishness’ disguised as Britishness.
    Scotland will be a worldwide laughing stock, and a sneering, humiliating minority who strangely seem to have a control over our Scottish media, will then use that media to maintain the British illusion/delusion and to humiliate and stir up hatred toward the Yes Campaign/SNP/Alex Salmond/SNP supporters.
    Basically, what is happening already.
    “And we don`t want to go through that again!”
    Scotland will, in all but name, be culturally cleansed. There will be no more talk (at least in the MSM) of Scots or Scotland, as we will all be Brits.
    Team GB. British flags. UKOK. Better Together. Rule Britannia. Team GB. British flags. UKOK. Better Together. Rule Britannia…
    Say it. SAY IT!
    Sorry, that was very rant-ish. Coffee is now severely needed.

  15. Desimond says:

    Aww….now it seems Englands even claiming Glen Michael!


  16. Iain says:

    Ciaran McRae says:
    25 June, 2013 at 11:36 am

    ‘I’m finding quite a lot of Scottish people on wiki have had their nationality’s changed to British recently.’

    At last we know what Michael Moore is for.

  17. Max says:

    Here is the Sun’s take on Andy Murrray;
    “THE Sun today unveils our daily Murrayometer — gauging whether Andy is a great Brit or a sulky Scot at Wimbledon.”

  18. Dcanmore says:

    Just checked Alan Well’s wiki history, over the last three years he has went to being firstly Scottish and British athlete, then to Scottish athlete, then British athlete and currently reverted to Scottish and British athlete.
    I think there IS a bit of a war going on here.

  19. Britishness is a concept peddled by the Ruling Classes to keep the restless natives under control. Not least those restless natives who have not yet conceded that there is only England albeit under a different name.
    “An alternative view is that as a matter of international law England continued, albeit under a new name and regardless of the position in domestic law, and was simply enlarged to incorporate Scotland.”
    “It is not necessary to decide between these two views of the union of 1707. Whether or not England was also extinguished by the union, Scotland certainly was extinguished as a matter of international law, by merger into either an enlarged and renamed England or into an entirely new state.”
    (Westminster Government Paper on Scottish Independence: Annex A, Opinion, Section 35)

  20. DRD Woodward says:

    And the best is yet to come ….. we have a history of celebrating/commemorating the start of conflicts and wars …… yes??   ……mmmmm Well to be honest, I’m struggling to think of one …. we tend to celebrate/commemorate the end of conflicts ….. like ‘hallelujah thank the Lord its all over!’ …..’lets remember our fallen’ …. etc etc ….. So why, other than in a year when some people with an agenda would like to see the ‘ we fought and died together ‘ sentiment wash over the land …. would we, as we are told we are going to, celebrate the commencement of the most bloody and life costly war in our history! ….. what’s there to celebrate?? 6.5 million killed – 16 million maimed ….yipeee pass the ice cream !
    ? Am I being cynical to think that this is a BT ploy?, because I cant think of any other possible reason for it.

  21. Kirriereoch says:

    We know what`s coming if we vote No next year – a smothering of one nation ‘Englishness’ disguised as Britishness.  
    There will be no more talk (at least in the MSM) of Scots or Scotland, as we will all be Brits.
    And simultaneously people in England are rejecting British identity anyway in favour of identifying as only English.
    The 2011 census in England had nearly 60% identifying as only English. Most reports seem to “smother” this aspect (eg BBC) by simply saying 90% or so stated they identified as English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish or British instead of highlighting the increasing rejection of Britishness in England and thus avoided reporting how British identity is declining.
    I´ve commented before about wondering how Better Together can square the circe in that respect. Telling people in Scotland they can´t be British and/or saying we´re British together, can be British and Scottish except if we aren´t governed by Westminster and stating some odd combination of these all etc.
    Although I´m sure they say it´s the evil people aiming at self-determination in Scotland (or separatists in their parlance) that are somehow creating a kneejerk reaction etc in England. 

  22. Ron says:

    The flags google are using are coming this page:
    which is a google domain for such common internal stuff. So I’m guessing the link between the player and the flag can’t be coming from any of the sources you’d expect, ie wiki or ATP etc. It must be manual, someone in google updating a database of the players somewhere before the tournament, then feeding it into their results feed. Lets face it, google can afford to waste a few programmers time on this kind of nonsense!
    Still, at least it isn’t evil.

  23. Morag says:

    I’ve been following Murray’s tennis career for a while, and he always has the saltire when you Google his name during a tournament.  It was like that when he won the US open too.  I always wondered how the flag was determined.
    I just checked my mother’s wiki page to see if anyone had been messing with it, but they haven’t.  She’s still Scottish.

  24. Marker Post says:

    Official Wimbledon site has Murray as born in Scotland, country United Kingdom, with the Union Jack beside his name…

  25. CameronB says:

    I edited the Scottish Labour wiki page back in February (badly), but the changes didn’t last the day. Childish perhaps, but it was fun. 🙂

  26. Yesitis says:

    North of England Labour Party – Scottish Labour 🙂

  27. Seasick Dave says:

    I was once asked by an American where I was from and when I replied, “Scotland”, he asked, “Scotland, England?”
    How I laughed 🙂
    I suppose that I should have asked him if America was near Canada.

  28. Big Jock says:

    Two can play that game…check out Wikipedia

  29. Simon says:

    If America was in Canada, surely? After all the latter is larger isn’t it?

  30. Big Jock says:

    No doubt some pomme will change it back. I have changed McNish as well!

  31. Robert Bryce says:

    Out of interest. The sharp eyed petrol heads out their would notice that Alan McNish has the saltire on his car at Le Mans (Not a union flag).
    Paul Di Resta (Formula1 Force India Team) also sports a saltire on his overalls whilst Hamilton & Button both have union flags.
    David Coultard also had a saltire on his helmet as well as is overalls.

    I’m not sure what the great Sir Jackie Stewart’s persuasion is but he did have a tartan helmet in his day 🙂 (absolutely no pun intended!)

  32. Big Jock says:

    Checked out Jackie Stewart on Wiki. He had a Union flag and British. It said on the editor please don’t change as he raced under the Union Flag. Very good! But he had a saltire on his car so he has one on Wiki….

  33. Robert Bryce says:

    Oh and Paul Di Resta’s big cousin (Indycar Legend) Dario Franchitti who has won 4 Indycar championships and 3 Indy500 titles also sports the saltire on his overalls & helmet.
    Dario proudly sports the Saltire on his official Indycar profile page.

  34. Peter says:

    Super Dario is also represented by a Saltire on the on-screen graphics during the races.  The poor english drivers are stuck not being english.  Maybe in his case it was a presonal request.
    Also why were ebc Scotlandshire  so tardy in mentioning McNish winning Les Mans?  

  35. Lianachan says:

    I see the Scottish/British nationality for McNish’s wikipedia entry has turned into a bit of a tennis match.  That’s one of the reasons why I retired from editing wikipedia many years ago, the Brit Nats there just about drove me daft.  That plus the racist abuse they used to dish out.  (See for example)

  36. Robert Peffers says:

    Sorry to disagree, Rev Stuart, but the Bailiwick of Guernsey, Bailiwick of Jersey, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland are indeed part of Britain, (an archipelago), but none of them are part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (A Kingdom – not a country)

    Incidentally, except for the Republic, they are in the position of being Crown Protectorates – Note: – They ARE NOT United Kingdom Protectorates.

  37. Robert Peffers says:

    @Chic macgregor says: 25 June, 2013 at 12:58 pm
    “Britishness is a concept peddled by the Ruling Classes to keep the restless natives under control.

    Well Chic, here’s the legal position in detail.
    Article I of the Treaty of Union establishes a bipartite United Kingdom with only two signatory, Kingdoms. That is the joint Royal Realm only.

    Article II is only about the accession and succession to the throne of the United Kingdom, (realm).

    Article III then sets up a TOTALLY NEW joint parliament. i.e. it is not a continuation of either parliament.

    In 1707 the Kingdom of England was composed of three countries with Wales annexed as part of the Kingdom of England in 1284, (Statute of Rhuddlan), & all Ireland annexed in 1582, (by the Crown of Ireland Act).

    Now for the interesting parts. On 1st May 1707 the Scottish Parliament was legally, ‘Prorogued’, and thus never actually wound up, only thus being in recess until Winnie Ewing, (a lawyer and very shrewd lady), declared the Scottish Parliament, ‘reconvened’. However, the old Westminster Parliament of England sat and ended the English Parliament.

    Now remember that in 1688 there was the English Kingdom’s, “Glorious Revolution”, that made that Kingdom of three countries a, “Constitutional Monarchy”, but Scottish Law has never been changed and has remained based upon the legal fact that the People of Scotland, not the monarchy, are sovereign. Note also the Scottish Claim of Right, 1789 and again in 1989, (incidentally the latter signed by Donald Dewar, Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown, among many other Better Together merchants.

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