A BIT OF HISTORY (AND WE GET RID OF IDS's UGLY COUPON)
The unlikeable face of the unpleasant Iain Duncan Smith has unfortunately been staring out of the blog for too long, so although I'm a bit pressed for time at the moment, I thought I should put something up in its place. Here's a little piece on our flag (with credit, below, to the author). The Flag of Scotland or the Saltire or St Andrew’s Cross, is the oldest continuously used sovereign flag in the world, having been in use for nearly 1200 years.
Legend has it that in 832 AD, a Pictish army under King Angus MacFergus, High King of Alba, along with a force of Scots under Eochaidh, King of Dalriada (and grandfather of Kenneth MacAlpin), came up against a Northumbrian force under King Aethelstan of East Anglia in Lothian. The Pictish army were surrounded by superior numbers and prayed for assistance. That night Saint Andrew who was martyred on a saltire shaped cross appeared to Angus and assured him of victory.
As both armies prepared for battle the following morning an image appeared in the sky of a white cross. The image encouraged the Picts and frightened the Northumbrian army who fled in panic. The site of the battle is known as Athelstanford after the Northumbrian leader who was killed in the battle. From then onwards the Saltire has been used as Scotland’s national flag. Traditionally the saltire is blue (some say to represent the sky in the vision) but some versions have existed which have the white cross on a black background (due to the shortage of vegetable dyes that could reproduce the colour) and even green or red.