Over the last few years it feels like our Scottish identity has been stolen by the nationalists in what seems like a cultural war of attrition. They have selfishly draped themselves in the Saltire, have misappropriated national symbols that belong to all of us and have promoted a false idea of ‘Scottishness’ to further their aim of political, economic and cultural separation from the rest of the United Kingdom.
There are huge swathes of the nation where you won’t see a British flag and you could be mistaken for believing that we no longer live in the UK at times, such has been the success of this ceaseless campaign ably assisted by over a decade of nationalist government at Holyrood.
However, the Saltire and our culture belong to all the people of Scotland not just the vocal minority or a political party. In a statement that will be anathema to any nationalist, it belongs to the entire United Kingdom as well.
Scottishness is another important element of overall British identity. Why choose one identity for yourself when you can have one that encompasses England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. No one who travels the UK can genuinely feel like a stranger. There are regional variations, different accents, sometimes different architecture (often within each nation) but there is far more that unites than separates.
Why would I just limit myself to the poetry of Burns or the literature of Walter Scott, when, as someone who is British, I can also stake a claim to Shakespeare, Tennyson, Dickens and Thomas.
Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities to visit. So are Durham and Bath. Being British means that I belong to all of them, no questions asked.
And despite what many nationalists insist, you can have dual identity quite comfortably.
Why limit yourself to the achievements and culture of one nation when you can draw upon the combined achievements and history of all four that encompass the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
By David Bone
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