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Flag of Scotland
See adjacent text.
Name The Saltire
Use National flag
Proportion Not fixed[1]
Adopted C16th[2]
Design White (Argent) saltire on a blue (Azure) field.

The Flag of Scotland, also known as the Saint Andrew's Cross or more commonly The Saltire, is the national flag of Scotland.[3] As the national flag, the Saltire differs from the Royal Standard of Scotland in that it is the Saltire which is the correct flag for all individuals and corporate bodies to fly in order to demonstrate both their loyalty and Scottish nationality.[1] It is also, where possible, flown from Scottish Government buildings every day from 8am until sunset, with certain exceptions.[4]

According to legend, the Christian apostle and martyr Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, was crucified on an X-shaped cross at Patras, (Patrae), in Achaea.[5] Use of the familiar iconography of his martyrdom, showing the apostle bound to an X-shaped cross, first appears in the Kingdom of Scotland in 1180, during the reign of William I. This image was again depicted on seals used during the late C13th; including on one particular example used by the Guardians of Scotland, dated 1286.[5] Use of a simplified symbol associated with Saint Andrew which does not depict his image, namely the saltire, or crux decussata, (from the Latin crux, 'cross', and decussis, 'having the shape of the Roman numeral X'), has its origins in the late C14th; it being decreed by the Parliament of Scotland in 1385 that Scottish soldiers wear a white Saint Andrew's Cross on their person, both in front and behind, for the purpose of identification.[2]

The earliest reference to the Saint Andrew's Cross as a flag is to be found in the Vienna Book of Hours, circa 1503, where a white saltire is depicted with a red background.[2] In the case of Scotland, use of a blue background for the Saint Andrew's Cross is said to date from at least the 15th century,[6] with the first certain illustration of a flag depicting such appearing in Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount's Register of Scottish Arms, circa 1542.[7]

The legend surrounding Scotland's association with the Saint Andrew's Cross dates from a C9th battle, where Óengus II led a combined force of Picts and Scots to victory over the Angles, led by Æthelstan.[5] Consisting of a blue background over which is placed a white representation of an X-shaped cross, the Saltire is one of Scotland's most recognisable symbols.[8]

Contents

Design

Saltire with sky blue field.
Saltire with navy blue field.

The Scottish heraldic term for an X-shaped cross is a 'saltire', from the old French word saultoir; meaning a type of stirrup.[5] In heraldic language, it may be blazoned Azure, a saltire argent. The tincture of the Saltire can appear as either silver (Argent) or white, however the term Azure does not refer to a particular shade of blue.[9]

Throughout the history of fabric production natural dyes have been used to apply a form of colour,[10] with both the type and variety of raw materials being available locally, together with fashion trends, accounting for variations in colours.[11] In the case of the Saltire, variations in shades of blue have resulted in the background of the flag ranging from sky blue to navy blue. When incorporated as part of the Union Flag during the C17th, the dark blue applied to Union Flags destined for maritime use was possibly selected on the basis of the durability of darker dyes,[12] with this dark blue shade eventually becoming standard on Union Flags both at sea and on land. Some flag manufacturers selected the same navy blue colour trend of the Union Flag for the Saltire itself, leading to a variety of shades of blue being depicted on the flag of Scotland.[13]

These variations in shade eventually led to calls to standardise the colour of Scotland's national flag,[14] and in 2003 a committee of the Scottish Parliament met to examine a petition that the Scottish Government adopt the Pantone 300 colour as a standard. (Note that this blue is of a lighter shade than the Pantone 280 of the Union Flag.) Having taken advice from a number of sources, including the office of the Lord Lyon King of Arms, the committee recommended that the optimum shade of blue for the Saltire should be Pantone 300.[15] Recent versions of the Saltire have therefore largely converged on this official recommendation. (Pantone 300 is #0065BD as hexadecimal web colours)[16]

The flag proportions are not fixed, however the Lord Lyon King of Arms states that 5:4 is suitable.[1] (Flag manufacturers themselves may adopt alternative ratios, including 1:2 or 2:3).[17] The ratio of the width of the bars of the saltire in relation to the width of the field is specified in heraldry in relation to 'shield width' rather than 'flag width'. However, this ratio, though not rigid, is specified as one-third to one-fifth of the width of the field.[18]

History

According to legend, in 832 A.D. Óengus II led the Picts and Scots into battle against the Angles, led by Æthelstan, near modern-day Athelstaneford, East Lothian. Throughout the night before the battle, Óengus prayed to God for victory on the field, and vowed that if victorious he would make Saint Andrew the Patron Saint of Scotland, (a position akin to that then held by St Columba). On the morning of the battle, white clouds forming an X shape in the sky were seen by both armies. The Picts and Scots were heartened by this, however the Angles regarded the phenomenon with some trepidation. Emboldened by this apparent divine intervention, Óengus took to the field and the Angles, despite having a superior force in terms of numbers, were defeated.

With the formation of white clouds being interpreted as representing the crux decussata upon which Saint Andrew was crucified, Óengus honoured his pre-battle pledge and duly appointed Saint Andrew the Patron Saint of Scotland. The white saltire set against a celestial blue background is said to have been adopted as the design of the flag of Scotland on the basis of this legend.[2]

Although the earliest use as a national symbol can be traced to the seal of the Guardians of Scotland in 1286,[19] material evidence for the Saltire being used as a flag, as opposed to appearing on another object such as a seal, brooch or surcoat, dates from somewhat later. Certainly by 1542, a white saltire set against a blue background was depicted as being the flag of Scotland,[7] although an even earlier example known as the "Blue Blanket of the Trades of Edinburgh", reputedly made by Queen Margaret, wife of James III (1451–1488), also shows a white saltire on a blue field.[2] However, in the case of the Blue Blanket, the Saltire is not the only emblem to be portrayed.

Protocol

Use by the Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has ruled that the Saltire should, where possible, fly on all its buildings every day from 8am until sunset.[4] An exception is made for United Kingdom "national days", when on buildings where only one flagpole is present the Saltire shall be lowered and replaced with the Union Flag.[20] Such flag days are standard throughout the United Kingdom, with the exception of Merchant Navy Day, (3 September), which is a specific flag day in Scotland during which the Red Ensign of the Merchant Navy may be flown on land in place of either the Saltire or Union Flag.[4]

A further Scottish distinction from UK flag days is that on Saint Andrew's Day, (30 November), the Union Flag will only be flown where a building has more than one flagpole - the Saltire will not be lowered to make way for the Union Flag where a single flagpole is present.[4] If there are two or more flagpoles present, the Saltire may be flown in addition to the Union Flag but not in a superior position.[20] This distinction arose after Members of the Scottish Parliament complained that Scotland was the only country in the world where the potential existed for the citizens of a country to be unable to fly their national flag on their country's national day.[21] (In recent years, embassies of the United Kingdom have also flown the Saltire to mark St Andrew's Day).[22]

Use by military institutions on land

Challenger 1 tank of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards flying a Saltire from the whip antenna.

The seven British Army Infantry battalions of the Scottish Division, plus the Scots Guards and Royal Scots Dragoon Guards regiments, use the Saltire in a variety of forms. Combat and transport vehicles of these Army units are frequently adorned with a small, (130x80mm approx.), representation of the Saltire; such decals being displayed on the front and/or rear of the vehicle. (On tanks these can be also be displayed on the vehicle turret).[23] In Iraq, during both Operation Granby and the subsequent Operation Telic, the Saltire was often flown from the communications whip antenna of vehicles belonging to these units.[24][25] Funerals, conducted with full military honours, of casualties of these operations in Iraq have also included the Saltire; the flag being draped over the coffin of the deceased on such occasions.[26]

In the battle for "hearts and minds" in Iraq, the Saltire was again used by the British Army as a means of distinguishing troops belonging to Scottish regiments from other coalition forces, in the hope of fostering better relations with the civilian population in the area south west of Baghdad. Leaflets were distributed to Iraqi civilians, by members of the Black Watch, depicting troops and vehicles set against a backdrop of the Saltire.[27]

Immediately prior to, and following, the controversial merger in March 2006 of Scotland's historic infantry regiments to form a single Royal Regiment of Scotland, a multi-million-pound advertising campaign was launched in Scotland in an attempt to attract recruits to join the reorganised and simultaneously rebranded "Scottish Infantry". The recruitment campaign employed the Saltire in the form of a logo; the words "SCOTTISH INFANTRY. FORWARD AS ONE." being placed next to a stylised image of the Saltire. For the duration of the campaign, this logo was used in conjunction with the traditional Army recruiting logo; the words "ARMY. BE THE BEST." being placed beneath a stylised representation of the Union Flag.[28] Despite this multi-media campaign having had mixed results in terms of overall success,[29] the Saltire continues to appear on a variety of Army recruiting media used in Scotland.

Other uses of the Saltire by the Army include the cap badge design of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, which consists of a (silver) Saltire, surmounted by a (gilt) lion rampant and ensigned with a representation of the Crown of Scotland. (This same design, save for the Crown, is used on both the Regimental flag and tactical recognition flash of the Royal Regiment of Scotland).[30]

The Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy adorn three of their aircraft with the Saltire. Specifically, the Westland Sea King Mk5 aircraft of HMS Gannet, operating in the Search and Rescue role from Royal Naval Air Station Prestwick, Ayrshire, display a Saltire decal on the nose of each aircraft.

Although not represented in the form of a flag, the No. 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force uses the Saltire surmounted by a lion rampant as the device shown on the squadron crest,[31] and the station crest of RAF Leuchars, Fife, also shows the Saltire, in this case surmounted by a sword.

General use

Planning permission to fly the Saltire from a flagpole is not required,[32][33] therefore it can be flown at any time by any individual, company, local authority, hospital or school.[1][4] Many local authorities in Scotland fly the Saltire from Council Buildings, however in 2007 Angus Council approved a proposal to replace the Saltire on Council Buildings with a new Angus flag, based on the council's coat of arms. This move led to public outcry across Scotland with more than 7,000 people signing a petition opposing the council's move, leading to a compromise whereby the Angus flag would not replace but be flown alongside the Saltire on Council Buildings.[34]

The Scottish Red Ensign of the historic Royal Scots Navy

Unusually, the ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne has been observed to fly the Saltire as a Jack on vessels which have a bow staff, including when such vessels are underway.[35] This practice has also been observed on the world famous Paddle Steamer Waverley when operating in and around the Firth of Clyde.[36] The practice of maritime vessels adopting the Saltire, for use as a jack or courtesy flag, may lead to possible confusion in that the Saltire closely resembles the maritime signal flag M, "MIKE", which is used to indicate "My vessel is stopped; making no way."[37] For the benefit of Scottish seafarers wishing to display a Scottish flag other than the Saltire, thereby avoiding confusion and a possible fine, a campaign was launched in November 2007 seeking official recognition for the historic Scottish Red Ensign.[38] Despite its last being used by the pre-Union Royal Scots Navy and merchant marine fleets in the C18th,[39] the flag continues to be produced by flag manufacturers[40] and its unofficial use by private citizens on water has been observed.[41]

Many bodies of the Scottish Government use the flag as a design basis for their logo; for example, Safer Scotland's emblem depicts a lighthouse shining beams in a saltire shape onto a blue sky.[42] Other Scottish bodies, both private and public, have also used the saltire in similar ways.[43] In the United Kingdom, owners of vehicles registered in Great Britain have the option of displaying the Saltire on the vehicle registration plate, in conjunction with the letters "SCO" or alternatively the word "Scotland".[44]

Similar flags used outside Scotland

Inverse representations, (blue saltire on a white field), of the Scottish Saltire are also used outside Scotland. In Canada, an inverse representation of the Saltire, combined with the shield from the Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland, forms the modern flag of the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia, the first colonial venture of the Kingdom of Scotland into the Americas.[45]

In Russia, during the period before and after the Soviet Union, the naval ensign of the Russian Navy has been an inverse representation of the Cross of Saint Andrew. The flag, known in Russian as the Andreyevsky flag, also forms the basis of the naval jack and several rank flags of the Russian Navy.[46][47] (Saint Andrew is also a patron saint of Russia).

The U.S. state of Alabama's flag is officially "a crimson cross of St. Andrew on a field of white",[48] however the reference is used only to describe the shape without using the vexillological term saltire. Similarly, the Spanish island of Tenerife[49] and the remote Colombian islands of San Andrés and Providencia[50] also use the saltire on their flags. In Poland, the official banner of the city of Kraków, (twinned with Edinburgh), feature the coat if arms of Kraków overlying a white saltire on a blue field.[51] The Dutch municipality of Sint-Oedenrode, named after the Scottish princess Saint Oda, also uses the Saltire as the basis of its flag, although in this case the Saltire is defaced with a gold castle, having on both sides a battlement.[52]

The Saltire is also the flag for St. Andrew's Scots School in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and its "spinoff" university Universidad de San Andrés.[53] In Northern Ireland, sections of the Protestant community routinely employ the Saltire as a means of demonstrating and celebrating their Ulster-Scots heritage.[54]

Incorporation into the Union Flag

The Saltire is one of the key components of the Union Flag[55] which, since its creation in 1606, has appeared in various forms[56] following the Flag of Scotland and Flag of England first being merged to mark the Union of the Crowns.[57] (The Union of the Crowns occurring in 1603, when James VI, King of Scots, acceded to the thrones of both England and Ireland on the death of Elizabeth I of England). In objecting to the design of Union Flag adopted in 1606, whereby the cross of Saint George surmounted that of Saint Andrew, a group of Scots took up the matter with John Erskine, 18th Earl of Mar, and were encouraged by him to send a letter of complaint to James VI, via the Privy Council of Scotland, which stated that the flag's design "will breid some heit and miscontentment betwix your Majesties subjectis, and it is to be feirit that some inconvenientis sail fall oute betwix thame, for our seyfaring men cannot be inducit to resave that flage as it is set down".[58] Although documents accompanying this complaint which contained draughts for alternative designs have been lost, evidence of an unofficial Scottish variant, whereby the Scottish cross was uppermost, does exist.[59][60] An early account of the possible use of such a flag refers to an occasion in 1617 where in welcoming James VI to Dumfries, the Town Commissar was reported to have stated "Your Royall Majestie, in whose sacred person the King of kings hath miraculouslie united so many glorious Kingdoms, under whose Scepter the whyte and reid crocies are so proprtionablie interlaced".[61] This description of the crosses being "so proportionablie interlaced" is interpreted by some as evidence of a Scottish version of the union flag,[62] however others dispute this interpretation.

Evidence to suggest actual use of this flag appears in the depiction of Edinburgh Castle by John Slezer, in his series of engravings entitled Theatrum Scotiae, c. 1693. Appearing in later editions of Theatrum Scotiae, this engraving depicts the Scotch (to use the appropriate adjective of that period) version of the Union Flag flying from the Castle Clock Tower.[63] Furthermore, this flag's design is described in the 1704 edition of The Present State of the Universe by John Beaumont, Junior, which contains as an appendix The Ensigns, Colours or Flags of the Ships at Sea: Belonging to The several Princes and States in the World. Within this appendix, the flag's blazon is given as "Azure, a Cross gules, fimbriated, argent; over all a Saltier of the last".[64] This blazon is described elsewhere as "On a blue shield (field?) of Scotland the red cross of St. George fimbriated with its white field, surmounted by the white cross of St. Andrew".[65]

On 17 April 1707, just two weeks prior to the Acts of Union coming into effect, and with Sir Henry St George, Garter King of Arms, having presented seven designs of flag to Queen Anne and her Privy Council for consideration, the flag for the soon to be unified Kingdom of Great Britain was chosen. Along with that version finally selected, the designs for consideration had included that version of Union Flag showing the Cross of Saint Andrew uppermost; identified as being the "Scotts union flagg as said to be used by the Scotts".[66] Despite bold lobbying on the part of the Scots representatives to the Privy Council, all their efforts were to be in vain, for that version of Union Flag showing the Cross of Saint George uppermost was destined to win the day.[67]

From 1801, in order to symbolise the union of the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland a new design, which included the St Patrick's Cross, was adopted for the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.[68] The Flag of the United Kingdom, having remained unchanged following the partition of Ireland in 1921 and creation of the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland, continues to be used as the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Royal Standard of Scotland

The Royal Standard of Scotland, also known as the Banner of the King of Scots[69] or more commonly the Lion Rampant of Scotland,[70] is the Scottish Royal Banner of Arms.[71] Used historically by the King of Scots, the Royal Standard of Scotland differs from Scotland's national flag, The Saltire, in that its correct use is restricted by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland to only a few Great Officers of State who officially represent The Sovereign in Scotland.[71] It is also used in an official capacity at Royal residences in Scotland when The Sovereign is not present.[72]

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b c d e Bartram, Graham (2001), "The Story of Scotland's Flags" (PDF), Proceedings of The XIX The XIX International Congress of Vexillology, York, United Kingdom: Fédération internationale des associations vexillologiques, pp. 167–172, http://www.flaginstitute.org/pdfs/Graham%20Bartram.pdf, retrieved 2009-12-09  
  3. ^ Gardiner, James. "Scotland's National Flag, the Saltire or St Andrews Cross". Scran. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. http://www.scran.ac.uk/database/record.php?usi=000-000-113-368-C. Retrieved 2009-12-09.  
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  47. ^ "N 162-ФЗ - О знамени Вооруженных Сил Российской Федерации, знамени Военно-Морского Флота, знаменах иных видов Вооруженных Сил Российской Федерации и знаменах других войск" (in Russian). РОССИЙСКАЯ ФЕДЕРАЦИЯ ФЕДЕРАЛЬНЫЙ ЗАКОН. Государственной Думой. 2000-12-29. http://ntc.duma.gov.ru/bpa/vdoc.phtml?bpaid=1&code=73541. Retrieved 2009-12-14.  
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  50. ^ "Bandera del Departamento de San Andrés" (in Spanish). Red de Gestores Sociales. http://www.rgs.gov.co/bimagenes.shtml?x=20157. Retrieved 2009-12-11.  
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  52. ^ "Een greep uit de historie" (in Dutch). Gemeente Sint-Oedenrode. http://www.sint-oedenrode.nl/default.asp?path=33. Retrieved 2009-12-11.  
  53. ^ "Copa Jorge G. Taylor 2007 fotos" (in Spanish). Universidad de San Andrés. http://www.udesa.edu.ar/Sobre-San-Andres/Vida-en-el-campus/Deporte/Copa-Jorge-GTaylor/Fotos-Copa-Jorge-G-Taylor%202007. Retrieved 2009-12-01.  
  54. ^ "Symbols in Northern Ireland - Flags Used in the Region". CAIN Web Service. University of Ulster. http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/images/symbols/flags.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-01.  
  55. ^ "Saint Andrew and his flag". Scots History Online. http://www.scotshistoryonline.co.uk/saltire/saltire.html. Retrieved 2009-12-02.  
  56. ^ "Symbols of the Monarchy: Union Jack". Royal Website. http://www.royal.gov.uk/MonarchUK/Symbols/UnionJack.aspx. Retrieved 2009-12-02.  
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  58. ^ Hulme, Edward. F. (1897). The flags of the world : their history, blazonry and associations. F. Warne & co.. pp. 152.   Full text at 'The Internet Archive'
  59. ^ William McMillan and John Alexander Stewart (1925). The story of the Scottish flag. H. Hopkins. pp. 112.   Google books: "This flag had official recognition"
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  61. ^ Nichols, John (1828). The progresses, processions, and magnificent festivities, of King James the First: his royal consort, family, and court; collected from original manuscripts, scarce pamphlets, corporation records, parochial registers, &c., &c. ... Illustrated with notes, historical, topographical, biographical .... J. B. Nichols.   Google books
  62. ^ Paul Harris, William McMillan and John Stewart (1992). Story of Scotland's Flag. Lang Syne Publishers. pp. 48.  
  63. ^ John Slezer, Robert Sibbald and Abel Swall (1693). Theatrum Scotiae: Containing the prospects of their Majesties castles and palaces: together with those of the most considerable towns and colleges; the ruins of many ancient abbeys, churches, monasteries and convents, within the said kingdom. All curiously engraven on copper plates. With a short .... John Leake. pp. 114.  
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  67. ^ Sears, Neil (1999-12-07). "Byline: Now the father of the Union Jack flies into battle". The Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers Ltd). http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/daily-mail-london-england-the/mi_8002/is_1999_Dec_7/father-union-jack-flies-battle/ai_n36091156/. Retrieved 2008-12-15.  Full view at bnet Business Library: Newspaper Collection
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External links

External images
The Saltire (1:2 ratio) A stiff breeze showing the Saltire to full effect. n.d. By madpup1uk Accessed 2009-12-16.
Saltire Trio The Saltire, in triplicate, marking the border with England. 12 January 2009. By shortfinals. Accessed 2009-12-16.
Scottish Red Ensign.
In use on the Brigantine Jean de la Lune. 26 March 2006. By Ewan McIntosh. Accessed 2009-12-28.
Celestial Saltire Contrails from jet aircraft recreate the legend of Óengus. 08 April 2009. By damiandeclan Accessed 2009-12-16.
Scottish Union Flag.
In use during the 31 May 2009 'Open Day' at Lennoxlove House. 02 June 2009. By boongiepam. Accessed 2009-12-16.
English/British Union Flag.
1606 design used in England and, from 1707, Scotland until 31 December 1800. April 29, 2008. By Will S.. Accessed 2009-12-16.
United Kingdom Union Flag.
In use since 01 January, 1801. (Here showing the 1:2 ratio). 15 July 2009. By leegibb13. Accessed 2009-12-16.

Simple English

File:Flag of
The Saltire

The Flag of Scotland is a white X-shaped cross, which represents the cross of the patron saint of Scotland, Saint Andrew on a blue field. The flag is called the Saltire or the Saint Andrew's Cross.

Contents

History

According to legend, in 832 A.D. King Óengus (II) (or King Angus) led the Picts and Scots in battle against the Angles under a king named Athelstan near modern-day Athelstaneford in East Lothian. King Angus and his men were surrounded and he prayed for deliverance. During the night Saint Andrew, who was martyred on a saltire cross, appeared to Angus and assured him of victory. On the following morning a white saltire against the background of a blue sky appeared to both sides. The Picts and Scots were heartened by this, but the Angles lost confidence and were defeated. This saltire design has been the Scottish flag ever since.

Material evidence of the saltire's use dates from somewhat later. In 1385 the Parliament of Scotland decreed that Scottish soldiers should wear the saltire as a distinguishing mark. The earliest surviving Scottish flag consisting solely of the saltire dates from 1503: a white cross on a red background. By 1540 the legend of King Angus had been altered to include the vision of the crux decussata against a blue sky. Thereafter, this saltire design in its present form became the national flag of Scotland.

Flying the flag

Scottish Parliament

File:Flags outside
The Flag flies outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

There are five flagpoles outside the Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh. The Saltire is flown every day, alongside the Union Flag and the EU Flag. The fourth flagpole is used for special occasions such as Commonwealth Day and United Nations Day. The fifth pole is used for the Royal Standard.[1]

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is managed by Historic Scotland, but it still has a military garrison of the British Army. Like all British Army bases, it flies the Union Flag (in ratio 5:3) and the Army flies it every day from the Clock Tower. The Saltire is flown every day at the Half Moon Battery.[2]

The flying of the Union Flag at Edinburgh Castle has sometimes caused controversy. In 2001, a group of 20 Scottish National Party MSPs called for the Union Flag to be replaced by the Saltire.[3]

Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has decreed that the Flag will fly on all its buildings every day from 8am until sunset. An exception is made for "national days". On these days, the Saltire shall be lowered and replaced with the Union Flag. These days are the same as the flag days of the United Kingdom with the exception of 3 September (Merchant Navy Day), which is a specific flag day in Scotland and during which the Red Ensign may also be used.

Another difference with the UK days is that on Saint Andrew's Day, the Union Flag will only be flown if the building has more than one flagpole - the Saltire will not be lowered to make way for the Union Flag if there is only one flagpole.[4] This difference arose after Members of the Scottish Parliament complained that Scotland was the only country in the world that could not fly its national flag on its national day.[5]

Others

The Flag can be flown at any time by any individual, company, local authority, hospital or school. There is no need to have planning permission to fly the flag from a vertical flagpole.

In recent years, embassies of the United Kingdom have flown the Saltire to mark St Andrew's Day]].

Most local authorities in Scotland fly the Saltire. Glasgow City Council fly the flag from the City Chambers building in George Square [6], while the City of Edinburgh Council fly the flag from their own city chambers.

In 2007 Angus Council led by Robert Myles decided to scrap the Saltire and replace it with a new Angus flag. This move led to public outcry across Scotland with more than 7,000 people signing a petition opposing the council's move, leading to a compromise whereby the Angus flag would not replace but be flown alongside the Saltire on Council buildings.[7]

Colour and dimensions

File:Flag of Scotland (traditional).svg
Saltire with "sky blue" field.
File:Flag of Scotland (navy blue).svg
Saltire with "navy blue" field.

At various times throughout history colours as light as sky blue or as dark as dark navy blue have been used (a selection apparently motivated by which colour of blue dye was available at the time). When incorporated as part of the Union Flag, the navy blue colour used was that of the Blue ensign belonging to the historic 'Blue Squadron' of the English Royal Navy.

Although this navy blue colour was used specifically for depicting the Union Flag on maritime flags on the basis of durability, it soon became standard on Union Flags, both on land and at sea. This navy blue colour trend was adopted for the Saltire itself by many flag manufacturers, resulting in a variety of shades of blue being depicted on the flag of Scotland ranging from "sky blue" to "royal blue" to "navy blue". Eventually, this situation resulted in calls to standardise the colour of Scotland's national flag.

In 2003, a committee of the Scottish Parliament met to examine a petition that the Scottish Government adopt the Pantone 300 colour as a standard. (Note that this blue is of a lighter shade than the Pantone 280 of the Union Flag). Having taken advice from a number of sources including the office of the Lord Lyon King of Arms, the committee recommended that the optimum shade of blue for the Saltire should be Pantone 300 (that is, 0, 114, 198 in the RGB color model, or #0072C6 as hexadecimal web colors). Recent versions of the Saltire have therefore largely converged on this official recommendation.

The flag proportions are not fixed, but is generally taken as 1:2, 2:3, 3:5 or 4:5. The bars in the cross should be 1/5 (i.e., 20%) the width of the flag.

Outside Scotland

File:Flag of Nova
Provincial Flag of Nova Scotia.

Inverse representations, (blue saltire on a white field), of the Scottish Saltire are also used outside Scotland. In Canada, an inverse representation of the Saltire, combined with the shield from the Royal Arms of the Kingdom of Scotland, forms the modern flag of the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia, the first colonial venture of the Kingdom of Scotland into the Americas.

In Russia, during the period before and after the Soviet Union, the naval ensign of the Russian Navy has been an inverse representation of the Cross of Saint Andrew. (Saint Andrew is also a patron saint of Russia). The very same Saltire was also flown as the flag of Galicia in Spain until 1891, when Russia requested the Galician flag to be modified in order to avoid confusion between Galician ships and Russian Navy ships. The current Galician flag is actually the original blue-over-white saltire but without one of the arms of the cross.

The U.S. state of Alabama's flag is officially "a crimson cross of St. Andrew on a field of white," but the reference is used only to describe the shape without using the vexillological term saltire as that flag's origins are from either or both of the Confederate Battle Flag or the Cross of Burgundy Flag, both of which have saltires and are associated with the history of that state. Similarly, the Spanish island of Tenerife and the remote Colombian islands of San Andrés and Providencia also use the saltire on their flags.

The Scottish Saltire is also used unofficially by students and graduates of Xavier University because of the university's blue and white official colors and the resemblance of the flag to the letter "X". It is also the flag for St. Andrew's Scots School, Argentina (founded in 1838) and its "spinoff" university Universidad de San Andrés.

The Dutch municipality of Sint-Oedenrode, named after the Scottish princess Saint Oda, also uses the Saltire as the basis of its flag.

Incorporation into the Union Flag

The Scottish Saltire and field is one of the key components of the Union Flag.[8] The Union Flag has been used in a variety of forms since 1606,[9] when the flags of the Kingdom of Scotland and Kingdom of England were first merged to symbolise the Union of the Crowns.[10] (The Union of the Crowns having occurred in 1603). In Scotland, and in particular on Scottish vessles at sea, historical evidence suggests that a separate design of Union Flag was flown to that used in England.[11] However, following the Acts of Union of 1707, which united the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England, the 'English' version of the Union Flag was adopted as the official flag of the unified Kingdom of Great Britain.[12]

From 1801, in order to symbolise the union of the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland, a new design was adopted for the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.[13] The 1801 design, having remained unchanged despite the partition of Ireland in 1921 and creation of the Irish Free State, continues to be used as the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
File:Flag of

The Saltire, the flag of Scotland: A white saltire on a blue field. (Shown is the recommended "Pantone 300" shade).
File:Union Jack 1606

The 'Scotch' Union Flag may have seen limited use in Scotland from 1606 to 1707, following the Union of the Crowns.
File:Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg

The Union Flag, 1606 (King's Colours), used mostly in England and, from 1707, the flag of the Kingdom of Great Britain.
File:Flag of the United

Union Flag used since 1801, incorporating the Cross of Saint Patrick, following the Act of Union between Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland.

Lion Rampant

[[File:|right|thumb|The Lion Rampant.]] The Royal Standard of the King of Scots, also known as the Royal Flag of Scotland or the Lion Rampant, is the flag used historically by the King of Scots. It remains the personal banner of the monarch and use of this flag is restricted under the Act of the Parliament of Scotland 1672 cap. 47 and 30 & 31 Vict. cap. 17.[14]

Despite the legal restrictions concerning the use of this flag, it is often regarded as a second, albeit unofficial, national flag for Scotland, most often seen at sporting events.

Other websites

References








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