Silliness, Nationhood, or Colonialism?

I have never owned, waved, flown, or had much interest in the St. Andrews Cross (Saltire) flag and have pretty much despised the Union Flag (Butchers Apron) my whole politically aware life, I remember not that far back when it was pretty much the flag for the England Football Team and at a young age that was enough to put you off it before even knowing the political history of the apron. So I was a bit bemused last night following the debate about the missing St. Andrews Cross (Saltire) from COP26. It appears that some people do see this as a slight on Scotland, that it is a failure of the First Minster to do all she can to promote Scotland and independence, while others just don’t see the issue and try to explain it in their own either SNP or British way. 

For some the whole lack of the flag is pathetic and for others Nicola Sturgeon has played a blinder, is it really that important, are we like the Americans who swear allegiance to the flag? The potential new Scotland will swear allegiance to the flag rather than a head of state? 

I will admit I personally find it all a bit silly, actually laughable, I always snigger when I see Tories wrapped in the butcher’s apron, surrounded by it at press conferences or they all appear to have huge flags in their homes when being zoomed or appearing remotely. It is all so very sad as well but there is a sinister side I suppose with the whole stick a jack on every food label, even food from Spain and especially food from Scotland. That side of the flag debate is about overt colonialism in all it’s glory or past glories, but it is a deliberate political message from the unionists, as is the missing Saltire from COP26. 

I must admit I did like the UN statement from Scottie Stob, I can only assume she is either in denial about who sets the rules in the UK, or just avoids all the news at all costs. Soar points out what many have been saying on social media that Nicola Sturgeon has just failed yet again to promote independence during COP26 and is dancing to the four nation, unionist mantra of Boris Johnson, some implied she was a coward and a unionist in hiding. 

To be honest I have never gotten the flag thing at all, either in Scotland or when I lived in the USA, it is a distraction to bigger issues but while I find it a silliness, for some it is denial of Scotland’s nationhood, some see it as a cunning plan from Nicola Sturgeon and there is little doubt that the English Government see as a way to reinforce colonialism but the debate was interesting last night and does beggar the question also that these kinds of debates are maybe what Johnson and Sturgeon want as they allow them both to avoid the elephant in the room, a referendum. 


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12 Responses to Silliness, Nationhood, or Colonialism?

  1. Applying the Butcher’s Flag to all produce, regardless of origin, is hardly “overt” colonialism. It could reasonably be described as “putting the boot in”.

    • Jan

      It is putting the boot and overt in that they just don’t give a crap how much they insult Scotland and how some Scots may feel about that, they do it anyway as they know we will do nothing about it in meaningful way.

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. duncanio says:

    I do hate the Union Jackery as it is all about propagandising the population and telling Uppity Jocks to know their place i.e. it’s in ‘Britain’.

    The solution is not, however, to replace your Butcher-Aproned Aberdeen Angus mince packaging in Waitrose with Saltire adorned.

    That’s trivial.

    The solution is the restoration of Scotland’s full self government.

    As some comic strip cartoons emanating from your neck of the woods, Bruce, didn’t quite say:

    “I’m flagged oot!”

    • Duncanio

      I have never been a fan of the Union Jackboot that is for sure but I have never really gotten the flag thing at all but do understand why so many feel differently about it all. I get the feeling of symbol, of how it looks, of nationhood but I am more in line with your thinking and that being independent is more important and will send a powerful message, the flag is just a flag.

      Thanks for commenting.

  3. Stuart MacKay says:

    Well you could argue that since the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is made up of 3 countries and one province there’s a reasonable case to be made of at least flying the flag of the host country, particularly since every mention of COP26 I’ve seen in the international media refers to it being held in the Scottish city of Glasgow.

    However let’s stretch the point a little. What if only English speakers from south of the border were chosen as hosts as visitors to the conference might have trouble understanding Scottish accents. Doesn’t seem so far-fetched to raise the issue over the flag.

    Either the UK embraces it’s multi-national origins or get rid of it (I prefer the latter). England as Britain needs to actively killed off. But of course, that’s never going to happen.

    • Stuart

      The whole flag thing has never meant anything to me and I have never been someone who got worked up about it at all and that was one of the reasons I decided to write about it and to see what others thought. It has had a fair response on social media and again it has been interesting from a symbol of independence to a declaration of our nationhood etc, all of the opinions are valid and should be respected and I can see why people feel the way they do. An interesting debate.

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. lorncal says:

    Have to admit, I’m not a great flag waver either, but I can see its usefulness on a march or at a rally or even just at election time because it makes an instant visual statement. Basically, the Saltire has been appropriated by the nationalist cause, and, frankly, so it should be until the day we have independence, then it can return to being our national flag. I have no patience with those who claim the Saltire is theirs, too, then betray what it represents at every opportunity – that is, it represents Scotland. Especially when you think how it became the national flag of Scotland. The Onion Jack, as that very funny lady called it, represents Unionism in the minds of the vast majority of people, so it is appropriate for Unionists to embrace it. Once we have our independence, it will disappear except in the history books, which is where it belongs. The Americans salute their flag because it does, as you say, represent America, from coast to shining coast, and is not representative of any head of state, but transcends that office. I agree, though, that flag waving can get silly, melodramatic and intensely nationalistic. I look forward to independence and the understated use of the Saltire as and when appropriate.

    • Lorncal

      Totally agree, for me it is just a flag but I find the debate interesting and the blog has stirred up a wee debate on social media with a lot of different opinions which is good. I think we can get trapped in these debates, or some people can, and allows certain people to avoid the bigger issues that need addressing now.

      Thanks for commenting.

  5. 100%Yes says:

    Hi Bruce, thanks for posting my tweet SaorAlba5. This all started because AUOB had stated the SG was going to hold a referendum guaranteed in 2023 and they’d hold it with or with WM aproval, so I tweeted “What happened to Gold Standard and the only route is a section 30 order and that Scotland can’t be Independent without a legal and binding referendum and without the UK consent, all these are statements from Sturgeon. This is a trap by the New SNP we should use a plebiscite.”. How can a party, it’s leader and FM now state all the things she had previously stated about a referendum to the MSM, party members and the Scots was a lie. If she can now hold a referendum without the gold standard, section 30 order, why hasnt she doen this before and why not safeguard us against Brexit? And why in 2023, whats so important about that year? Is she taking us on the wrong path by holding this referendum, to keep us a permenant captive of the British state?

    • 100%YES

      I certainly feel like I have been played for a fool since Sturgeon took over and formed her cult. I think the AS issue was all about ruining the man and by default a huge part of the danger to the state of Scottish Independence with Sturgeon being front and centre. That raises a lot of questions in and of themselves I think. I’m not saying she is a plant but she is soft Indy for me and you raise a lot of very important questions that the sheep need to answer but of course they won’t, they will remain loyal to devolution. It’s like the flag thing, I get how people feel about it, but it’s a distraction from the really issue and that being independence and I agree with you a plebiscite election but Sturgeon will never ever agree to that. Any referendum should only be on an independent agreement with the rest of the UK not before.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • nallyanders says:

      My opinion only but Sturgeon is using Cop26 as a high profile CV event.
      As such 2023 is important because she won’t be here and Independence will be someone else’s problem. Alba’s probably.
      Sturgeon is toeing the official Westminster line hence no little rebellions in allowing Saltires to be visible. (Would Alex Salmond have gone along with this)?
      We need to remember Bojo needs to approve any UN job offer. As far as I can see that is her ( 4 nation approach) payback.
      Many of my Indy friends are furious that Sturgeon is not using this International ‘occasion’ to at least ‘nip’ or annoy Boris and Westminster. We’ll never have a better chance to influence international opinion regarding Scottish Sovereignty.
      Its not reallyabout the flag itself, its about defiance.
      Another opportunity lost. Why?
      She seems content to be the cloakroom attendent, subordinate in every single way.
      Personally, I can’t wait for this woman to get out of Scotland.

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