Referendum 2014
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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
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Councillors withdraw flag motion

Two Stirling councillors withdraw a motion calling for the Union flag to be flown outside the Stirling Councils headquarters.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Stirling Councillors Callum Campbell and Danny Gibson left looking like the idiots they undoubtedly are.

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Why the Saltire makes me cringe

Why the Saltire makes  me cringe | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
There are two councillors in Stirling who want the Saltire that flies over the council headquarters to be taken down and replaced with the Union flag.
Peter A Bell's insight:

It is probably a mistake to afford this article too much attention. To criticise it at all risks the easily justifiable accusation that one is affording credibility to ill-thought, attention-seeking drivel. But I would suggest that what Mark Smith offers us is, not the pointed political analysis and sage semiotic critique that he imagines he has written, but a distinctly unedifying glimpse into the muddled mind of a British nationalist bigot.


It is clear that young Mr Smith supposed himself to be evincing the air of the seasoned metropolitan sophisticate and rapier-penned provocateur when he set about denigrating Scotland's national flag. In reality, he comes across more as the kind of crass and boorish maladroit who mistakes puerile, ill-informed offensiveness for controversial commentary.


Leaving aside for the moment the inexplicable - and largely unexplained - bitter antipathy towards a flag which does nothing more than symbolise the nation and people of Scotland, let's take a look at Mark Smith's comparison between the way flags are used by the two sides in the referendum campaign. The first thing we notice is that, struggling to make the facts fit his preconceptions, Mark Smith finds himself obliged to clumsily avoid comparing like with like. Instead, he seeks to contrast the wholly unsurprising and not in any way improper Saltire-waving of independence supporters with the relative dearth of union flags on the official No campaign website. As any fair-minded observer will immediately realise, the only meaningful comparisons would be between websites and/or between the two sets of supporters.


Take a look at the Yes Scotland website and you will struggle to find a saltire anywhere. Neither, incidentally, will you find the talk of "patriotism" and "Real Scots" that litters the Better Together site. The truth that Mark Smith is at pains to conceal is that the official Yes campaign makes even less use of Scotland's national flag than the official No campaign makes of the union flag. Precisely the opposite of what Smith seeks to imply. Dishonest? You decide.


Certainly, the supporters of independence use the Saltire. And why should they not? They are the people of Scotland campaigning in Scotland for the restoration of Scotland's rightful constitutional status. What could possibly be inappropriate about flying Scotland's flag?


And it's not as if the British nationalists don't do likewise. Obviously, they lack the kind of support that will allow them to muster 25,000 people for a march and rally in Edinburgh. Gatherings of anti-independence activists tend more towards the minuscule than the massive. More call-box than Calton Hill. Instead, they rely on staged events in the ongoing banal Britfest of trivial sporting tournaments, sycophantic celebrations of aristocracy and painfully contrived historical commemorations. There's no shortage of union flags on these occasions, nor mind-numbing Britnat jingoism.


The Saltire does not symbolise Scotland's independence movement. It symbolises the nation and the people. All of the nation and all of the people. The only people who feel uncomfortable with the Saltire are those who are uncomfortable with the concept of Scotland as a nation. The Saltire is not being denied to such people because of Scottish nationalism. It is being rejected by them because of their British nationalism.

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Joan McAlpine: Alex Salmond has every right to fly Saltire for Andy Murray at Wimbledon

Joan McAlpine: Alex Salmond has every right to fly Saltire for Andy Murray at Wimbledon | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
JOAN MCALPINE says that the First Minister was right to show Scotland's colours in celebration of hero Andy's historic Wimbledon victory.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Joan McAlpine makes a very good point. As a lifelong supporter of Scotland's civic nationalist movement I have never considered the saltire to be a symbol of that movement. I have always considered it to stand for the whole country - nationalist and unionist alike.


It is unionists - or, at least, the more mindlessly fanatical among them - who now seem to want to define Scotland's flag exclusively as a symbol of the independence movement. They are as wrong in this as they are in so much else.

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Anger as former Labour Deputy leader calls FM holding saltire at Wimbledon "sad"

Anger as former Labour Deputy leader calls FM holding saltire at Wimbledon "sad" | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The former Deputy Leader of the Labour party has caused anger after describing the holding aloft of the Scottish flag at Wimbledon by First Minister Alex Salmond as "sad".


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Flying Saltires in the face of the opposition as Scottish Government doubles spend on flags

Flying Saltires in the face of the opposition as Scottish Government doubles spend on flags | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH Government spending on small plastic Saltires has doubled in the past year amid claims that the SNP is bidding to counter the pro-Union effects of the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee.
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Peter A Bell: Getting cross about the saltire

Peter A Bell: Getting cross about the saltire | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

There's a bit of a row brewing over the high-handed attitude of London Olympics organisers, Locog, to the display of flags other than the "officially approved" union jack along the route of the torch relay and at various venues - including Hampden.

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The cower of Scotland

The cower of Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

We’ve highlighted some truly gruesome displays of anti-Scottish bigotry on this website over the last couple of years, the large majority of them from right-wing English newspapers. But today sees perhaps the worst case we’ve ever seen, and we’re sad to report that the blame for this one lies squarely at Scotland’s own door.


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Without honour in their land

Without honour in their land | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

This is the entrance to the municipal offices of Stirling Council (“Scotland’s Heart”), visible from the monument to William Wallace that looks over the former Scottish capital. The figures guarding the doorway are Wallace and Robert the Bruce.


Peter A Bell's insight:

This is appalling!

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FLAGGING UP OFFENCE

FLAGGING UP OFFENCE | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The question that sits beneath both images ought to be simple to answer.  A Swastika or the First Minister holding a saltire?


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Scottish independence: what would happen to the Union Jack?.

Scottish independence: what would happen to the Union Jack?. | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Some on both sides of the debate argue that independence will mean that the Scottish saltire will automatically be removed from the Union Flag.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Why would Scotland care what flag rUk decides to use. We have our own flag.

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Football club forced to remove Saltire from badge following complaint

Football club forced to remove Saltire from badge following complaint | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Formartine United's 53-year-old badge had to be changed or the club would have been prosecuted.
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