Sunday, 27 May 2012


The Saltire flag - as with any country's national flag, the Saltire is one of Scotland's most iconic of symbols. The home of the flag originates at Athelstaneford in East Lothian where legend has it that the sign of the flag first appeared as white clouds on a blue sky before a winning battle. And, what Scot is not inspired by the Saltire proudly flying.

Yet today, thankfully, the flag is not seen in fights to the death but displayed in celebration around many cultural and sporting places in Scotland. And surely, there are none so dear and iconic as our national football stadium at Hampden. However, recently, connected to the Queen's Jubilee celebrations and the 2012 Olympics - Scotland has been awash, not with Saltires but with union jacks (much to do with marketing initatives used by national stores keen that 'we' join in Jubilee parties and BUY BRITISH). Nevertheless, where intense union jack 'activity' can be troublesome on the eye of a nationalist supporter - it is quite something else to stomach an unacceptable announcement that the Saltire flag is to be banned from flying at Hampden during the 2012 Olympics, the Olympics which Scotland is also involved in hosting.

Despite all the PR spin that Scotland was to play a big part in the Olympics, although happy to take Scottish money supporting the Games, the fact that we might want to fly our flag over our national stadium - no that does not appear to be ok. Such an absurd ruling, when I heard this myself I at first thought that I must be mistaken. But no, there are numerous news stories confirming what is surely a step too far for any Scot to accept without protest against this ban. For more details see: BBC NEWS STORY

Online, protest action has now begun to raise the profile of this insensitive ruling by the Olympics governing body. To get more details and to support that campaign please visit this page and help to spread the word against this unacceptable Olympic ruling through your own social media sites. Facebook protest group.

In 2012, in the quiet village of Athelstaneford (the home of the Saltire flag) across the fields where battle raged, now all is quiet with bird song and the breeze, the only sounds to be heard. From Athelstaneford, out across Scotland and beyond - now there appears to be a growing resurgence in Scottish people finding their voice. It seems to me in 2012, this is not the time to stay silent about a Saltire ban but to make some noise and speak out!  Speak out and lets see the Saltire flying in Hampden and in other places across this country. No country should be told by others where they can and can not fly their flag at home - let's fly the Saltire in Scotland and especially at Hampden!


  1. I see at least that the BBC article says that no flags of any country should be flown at the ground if an Olympic event is being held there. If that's the rules so be it but, in general I quite agree. Certainly the Saltire should not be replaced by the Union Jack, though I personally have no problem with the two being flown together. As far as the Jubilee is concerned, Her Maj has been Queen of Scotland too for 60 years, so the Saltire should certainly be flown.

  2. Very nice article Shona reflecting non-politically the deep meaning the Saltire holds to Scotland and Scots.
    Scots may well be part of the 'TeamGB' but Scotland is still a participating country as is Wales, N.I. and England. The OCOG should have anticipated this and at least clarified that GB is made up of different Nations each with their own flag, 3 of which are incorporated into the Union Jack. Under the 'rules' Scotland may well be part of the TeamGB but by playing football Games at the National Stadium Scotland is 'hosting' part of the event and therefore the National Flag should be flown!

  3. I am sorry, there are only two countries in the United Kingdom. They are Scotland and England. Wales is a Principality and Northern Ierland (Ulster) is a Province. That aside all are registered with the Olympic Committee as the United Kingdom, as such under Olympic rules none should fly their own flags at venues (during the games, as we are all covered under the Union Flag. And if we are splitting hairs. Why Team GB, Northern Ierland (Ulster) is not part of Great Britain, it is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ierland.