St. Andrew’s Day and the waving of the flag

Today is St. Andrew’s Day where Scots all over the globe stare wistfully at shortbread, watch Highlander, and down enough drink to down a small horse. It’s also the first one I’ve been in Scotland for since 1987 and I have to say, it isn’t that much different to the ones I’ve had over the last 28 years in England.

But being back is odd in one respect and that’s the fact I’m noticing how the Union Jack is a loaded political symbol compared to the Saltire. Essentially it can be best summed up in this classic picture from a few years ago.


There’s lots of talk of ‘flag-waving nationalism’ in the London-based press aimed at supporters of Scottish independence, but the Union Jack/Flag is a powerfully loaded symbol being waved around by the sort of people who complain about ‘flag-waving nationalists’. It’s weird basically. It’s also a distraction from actually discussing issues, but that’s the level the UK establishment seems to want us to take as after all, if we’re all arguing about flags we can’t be pointing out how the Tories are destroying all that’s decent about the UK.

So happy St. Andrew’s Day and let’s all be agreed that the Tories can fuck off.


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