Scotland’s history, culture and symbols belong to all Scots, and all of those with an affinity for Scotland. Yet, they have been hijacked by pro-independence campaigners, most prominently shown by the use of the Saltire.
Let’s be clear, no political campaign has a monopoly on our culture.
And what better opportunity to fortify our Scottish patriotism than our national day, St Andrew’s Day. Our supporters are celebrating throughout Scotland and beyond. It’s perfectly correct to be proud of your country and still seeing our union as the best way forward for the people who live here.
As part of our #EveryonesFlag campaign, we are holding events in different parts of the country and encouraging supporters to get involved through social media, by using our hashtag, our Twibbon or even taking selfies with our Saltire poster.
In the white heat, rancour and bitterness of Scotland’s referendum debate, there was little scope to apply the nuances of French philosophy, but for those of us who resented having our patriotism questioned for voting to stay in the UK, the famous words of Albert Camus have a particular resonance:
“I love my country too much to be a nationalist.”
The old trope of accusing anyone who questioned the wisdom of independence of talking Scotland down wore thin very quickly during the referendum. The doubting of someone’s loyalty to their country was abominable.
It was a desperate tactic to use emotional blackmail as a tool to persuade proud Scots to overcome their valid scepticism of separatism and make the referendum a choice between Scotland and the UK.
For many of us, our Scottish and British identities sit perfectly comfortably with each other and we recognise that being in the UK is best for Scotland.
That’s why it’s important for us to assert our Scottish identity whenever it feels appropriate and not cede this to the narrow nationalists who can see it as their own preserve.
Have a Happy St Andrew’s Day, and be sure to send us your photos and share your celebrations with us.
Pamela Nash, Chief Executive of Scotland in Union