Flag of Scotland

The Flag of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: bratach na h-Alba;[1] Scots: Banner o Scotland, also known as St Andrew's Cross or the Saltire[2]) consist of a white saltire (X-shaped cross) in a blue field. As the national flag, the Saltire, rather than the Royal Standard of Scotland, is the correct flag for all individuals and corporate bodies to fly.[3] It is also, where possible, flown from Scottish Government buildings every day from 8am until sunset, with certain exceptions.[4]

Use of the flag is first recorded with the illustration of a heraldic flag in Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount's Register of Scottish Arms, circa 1542.[5] It is possible that this is based on a precedent of the late 15th century, the use of a white saltire in the canton of a blue flag reputedly made by Queen Margaret, wife of James III (1451–1488).[6]

Flag of Scotland
NameSt Andrew's Cross
The Saltire
UseCivil and state flag
Adopted16th century
DesignA blue field with a white diagonal cross that extends to the corners of the flag. In Blazon, Azure, a saltire Argent.


Flag of Scotland (traditional)
Saltire with sky blue field.
Flag of Scotland (navy blue)
Saltire with navy blue field.

The heraldic term for an X-shaped cross is a 'saltire', from the old French word saultoir or salteur (itself derived from the Latin saltatorium), a word for both a type of stile constructed from two cross pieces and a type of cross-shaped stirrup-cord.[7] In heraldic language, it may be blazoned azure, a saltire argent. The tincture of the Saltire can appear as either silver (argent) or white, however the term azure does not refer to a particular shade of blue.[8]

Throughout the history of fabric production natural dyes have been used to apply a form of colour,[9] with dyes from plants, including indigo from Woad, having dozens of compounds whose proportions may vary according to soil type and climate; therefore giving rise to variations in shade.[10] In the case of the Saltire, variations in shades of blue have resulted in the background of the flag ranging from sky blue to navy blue. When incorporated as part of the Union Flag during the 17th century, the dark blue applied to Union Flags destined for maritime use was possibly selected on the basis of the durability of darker dyes,[11] with this dark blue shade eventually becoming standard on Union Flags both at sea and on land. Some flag manufacturers selected the same navy blue colour trend of the Union Flag for the Saltire itself, leading to a variety of shades of blue being depicted on the flag of Scotland.[12]

These variations in shade eventually led to calls to standardise the colour of Scotland's national flag,[13] and in 2003 a committee of the Scottish Parliament met to examine a petition that the Scottish Executive adopt the Pantone 300 colour as a standard. (Note that this blue is of a lighter shade than the Pantone 280 of the Union Flag). Having taken advice from a number of sources, including the office of the Lord Lyon King of Arms, the committee recommended that the optimum shade of blue for the Saltire be Pantone 300.[14] Recent versions of the Saltire have therefore largely converged on this official recommendation. (Pantone 300 is #005EB8 as hexadecimal web colours.)[15][16][17]

The flag proportions are not fixed, but 3:5 is most commonly used, as with other flags of the countries of the United Kingdom. (Flag manufacturers themselves may adopt alternative ratios, including 1:2 or 2:3).[18] Lord Lyon King of Arms states that 5:4 is suitable.[3] The ratio of the width of the bars of the saltire in relation to the width of the field is specified in heraldry in relation to shield width rather than flag width. However, this ratio, though not rigid, is specified as one-third to one-fifth of the width of the field.[19]


Model of the 'Great Michael'
Model of the Great Michael
Unicorn and Thistle, heraldic panel of King James V at the gatehouse of Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh
Arms of King James V (r. 1513–1542)[20]

The tradition of Saint Andrew being the patron saint of Scotland develops in the 13th to 14th centuries. The 1320 Declaration of Arbroath cites Scotland's conversion to Christianity by Andrew, "the first to be an Apostle". Depiction of the saint being crucified on a decussate cross, an iconographic tradition that had become current by the late 12th century, is used on a seal of the Guardians of Scotland, dated 1286.[21] Bishop William de Lamberton (r. 1297–1328) also used the crucified figure of the saint in his seal.[22]

The saltire (decussate cross, diagonal cross) was used as a field sign in the medieval period without any connetion to Saint Andrew. The connection between the field sign and the legendary mode of crucifixion of the saint may originate in Scotland, in the late 14th century. The Parliament of Scotland decreed in 1385 that every Scottish and French soldier (fighting against the English under Richard II) "shall have a sign before and behind, namely a white St. Andrew's Cross".[23]

James Douglas, 2nd Earl of Douglas at the Battle of Otterburn (1388) reportedly used a pennon with a saltire at the hoist. Similarly, a white saltire was shown in the canton of the "Blue Blanket of the Trades of Edinburgh", reputedly made by Queen Margaret, wife of James III (1451–1488).[24] This is the flag of the Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh, and the focal point of the Riding of the Marches ceremony held in the city each year.

Use of the white "Sanct Androis cors" on blue as a naval flag is recorded for 1507, for the carrack Great Michael.[25] As a heraldic flag, the white saltire in a blue field is first shown in a 1542, in the armorial of David Lyndsay. Here, the royal arms are supported by two unicorns, each holding the saltire banner.[5]

Walter Bower in his Scotichronicon (1440s) supplies a legend according to which Saint Andrew appears to king Óengus II in 832, on the eve of a battle against the Angles. The saint advises the king to watch for the "sign of the Cross of Christ in the air". The "Cross of Christ" in this legend is later turned into the Saint Andrew's Cross or Saltire, in the account of George Buchanan (1506–1582), where "a miraculous white saltire appeared in the blue sky" during the battle.[24]


Use by the Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has ruled that the Saltire should, where possible, fly on all its buildings every day from 8am until sunset.[4] An exception is made for United Kingdom "national days", when on buildings where only one flagpole is present the Saltire shall be lowered and replaced with the Union Flag.[26] Such flag days are standard throughout the United Kingdom, with the exception of Merchant Navy Day, (3 September), which is a specific flag day in Scotland during which the Red Ensign of the Merchant Navy may be flown on land in place of either the Saltire or Union Flag.[4]

A further Scottish distinction from the UK flag days is that on Saint Andrew's Day, (30 November), the Union Flag will only be flown where a building has more than one flagpole; the Saltire will not be lowered to make way for the Union Flag where a single flagpole is present.[4] If there are two or more flagpoles present, the Saltire may be flown in addition to the Union Flag but not in a superior position.[26] This distinction arose after Members of the Scottish Parliament complained that Scotland was the only country in the world where the potential existed for the citizens of a country to be unable to fly their national flag on their country's national day.[27] In recent years, embassies of the United Kingdom have also flown the Saltire to mark St Andrew's Day.[28] Many bodies of the Scottish Government use the flag as a design basis for their logo; for example, Safer Scotland's emblem depicts a lighthouse shining beams in a saltire shape onto a blue sky.[29] Other Scottish bodies, both private and public, have also used the saltire in similar ways.[30]

Use by military institutions on land

Challenger Desert Storm 1
Challenger 1 tank of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards flying a Saltire from the whip antenna.

The seven British Army Infantry battalions of the Scottish Division, plus the Scots Guards and Royal Scots Dragoon Guards regiments, use the Saltire in a variety of forms. Combat and transport vehicles of these Army units may be adorned with a small, (130x80mm approx.), representation of the Saltire; such decals being displayed on the front and/or rear of the vehicle. (On tanks these may also be displayed on the vehicle turret).[31] In Iraq, during both Operation Granby and the subsequent Operation Telic, the Saltire was seen to be flown from the communications whip antenna of vehicles belonging to these units.[32][33] Funerals, conducted with full military honours, of casualties of these operations in Iraq, (plus those killed in operations in Afghanistan),[34] have also been seen to include the Saltire; the flag being draped over the coffin of the deceased on such occasions.[35]

In the battle for "hearts and minds" in Iraq, the Saltire was again used by the British Army as a means of distinguishing troops belonging to Scottish regiments from other coalition forces, in the hope of fostering better relations with the civilian population in the area south west of Baghdad. Leaflets were distributed to Iraqi civilians, by members of the Black Watch, depicting troops and vehicles set against a backdrop of the Saltire.[36]

Immediately prior to, and following, the merger in March 2006 of Scotland's historic infantry regiments to form a single Royal Regiment of Scotland, a multi-million-pound advertising campaign was launched in Scotland in an attempt to attract recruits to join the reorganised and simultaneously rebranded "Scottish Infantry". The recruitment campaign employed the Saltire in the form of a logo; the words "Scottish Infantry. Forward As One." being placed next to a stylised image of the Saltire. For the duration of the campaign, this logo was used in conjunction with the traditional Army recruiting logo; the words "Army. Be The Best." being placed beneath a stylised representation of the Union Flag.[37] Despite this multi-media campaign having had mixed results in terms of overall success,[38] the Saltire continues to appear on a variety of Army recruiting media used in Scotland.

Other uses of the Saltire by the Army include the cap badge design of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, which consists of a (silver) Saltire, surmounted by a (gilt) lion rampant and ensigned with a representation of the Crown of Scotland. (This same design, save for the Crown, is used on both the Regimental flag and tactical recognition flash of the Royal Regiment of Scotland).[39] The badge of the No. 679 (The Duke of Connaught's) Squadron Army Air Corps bears a Saltire between two wreaths ensigned 'Scottish Horse'; an honour they received in 1971 which originated through their links with the Royal Artillery.[40] The Officer Training Corps units attached to universities in Edinburgh and Glasgow, plus the Tayforth University OTC, all feature the Saltire in their cap badge designs.[41]

The Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy adorned three of their aircraft with the Saltire. Specifically, the Westland Sea King Mk5 aircraft of HMS Gannet, operating in the Search and Rescue (SAR) role from Royal Naval Air Station Prestwick, Ayrshire, displayed a Saltire decal on the nose of each aircraft.[42] (The SAR function was transferred from the Royal Navy to Bristow Helicopters, acting on behalf of HM Coastguard, part of the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency, with effect from 1 January 2016.)[43]

Although not represented in the form of a flag, the No. 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force uses the Saltire surmounted by a lion rampant as the device shown on the squadron crest.[44] The station crest of the former RAF Leuchars, Fife, also showed the Saltire, in this case surmounted by a sword. The crest of the former RAF East Fortune, East Lothian, also showed a sword surmounting the Saltire, however unlike Leuchars this sword was shown inverted,[45] and the station crest of the former RAF Turnhouse, Edinburgh, showed a Saltire surmounted by an eagle's head.[46] The East of Scotland Universities Air Squadron crest features a Saltire surmounted by an open book; the book itself being supported by red lions rampant.[47]

General use

In Scotland, the Saltire can be flown at any time by any individual, company, local authority, hospital or school without obtaining express consent.[3][4] Many local authorities in Scotland fly the Saltire from Council Buildings, however in 2007 Angus Council approved a proposal to replace the Saltire on Council Buildings with a new Angus flag, based on the council's coat of arms. This move led to public outcry across Scotland with more than 7,000 people signing a petition opposing the council's move, leading to a compromise whereby the Angus flag would not replace but be flown alongside the Saltire on council buildings.[48]

In the United Kingdom, owners of vehicles registered in Great Britain have the option of displaying the Saltire on the vehicle registration plate, in conjunction with the letters "SCO" or alternatively the word "Scotland".[49] In 1999, the Royal Mail issued a series of pictorial stamps for Scotland, with the '2nd' value stamp depicting the Flag of Scotland.[50] In Northern Ireland, sections of the Protestant community routinely employ the Saltire as a means of demonstrating and celebrating their Ulster-Scots heritage.[51]

Use of the Saltire at sea as a Jack or courtesy flag has been observed, including as a Jack on the Scottish Government's Marine Partrol Vessel (MPV) Jura.[52] The ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne routinely flies the Saltire as a Jack on vessels which have a bow staff, including when such vessels are underway.[53] This practice has also been observed on the Paddle Steamer Waverley when operating in and around the Firth of Clyde.[54] The practice of maritime vessels adopting the Saltire, for use as a jack or courtesy flag, may lead to possible confusion in that the Saltire closely resembles the maritime signal flag M, "MIKE", which is used to indicate "My vessel is stopped; making no way."[55] For the benefit of Scottish seafarers wishing to display a Scottish flag other than the Saltire, thereby avoiding confusion and a possible fine, a campaign was launched in November 2007 seeking official recognition for the historic Scottish Red Ensign.[56] Despite having last been used officially by the pre-Union Royal Scots Navy and merchant marine fleets in the 18th century,[57] the flag continues to be produced by flag manufacturers[58][59] and its unofficial use by private citizens on water has been observed.[60]

In 2017 the Unicode Consortium approved emoji support for the Flag of Scotland[61] following a proposal from Jeremy Burge of Emojipedia and Owen Williams of BBC Wales[62] in 2016.[63] This was added to major smartphone platforms alongside the flags of England and Wales in the same year.[64] Prior to this update, The Telegraph reported that users had "been able to send emojis of the Union Flag, but not of the individual nations".[65]

Incorporation into the Union Flag

Scottish Union Flag depicted in the 1704 edition of The Present State of the Universe.

The Saltire is one of the key components of the Union Flag[66] which, since its creation in 1606, has appeared in various forms[67] following the Flag of Scotland and Flag of England first being merged to mark the Union of the Crowns.[68] (The Union of the Crowns having occurred three years earlier, in 1603, when James VI, King of Scots, acceded to the thrones of both England and Ireland upon the death of Elizabeth I of England). The proclamation by King James, made on 12 April 1606, which led to the creation of the Union Flag states:

By the King: Whereas, some differences hath arisen between Our subjects of South and North Britaine travelling by Seas, about the bearing of their Flagges: For the avoiding of all contentions hereafter. We have, with the advice of our Council, ordered: That from henceforth all our Subjects of this Isle and Kingdome of Great Britaine, and all our members thereof, shall beare in their main-toppe the Red Crosse, commonly called St. George’s Crosse, and the White Crosse, commonly called St. Andrew’s Crosse, joyned together according to the forme made by our heralds, and sent by Us to our Admerall to be published to our Subjects: and in their fore-toppe our Subjects of South Britaine shall weare the Red Crosse onely as they were wont, and our Subjects of North Britaine in their fore-toppe the White Crosse onely as they were accustomed. – 1606.

— Proclamation of James VI, King of Scots: Orders in Council – 12 April 1606.[69]

However, in objecting strongly to the form and pattern of Union Flag designed by the College of Arms and approved by King James, whereby the cross of Saint George surmounted that of Saint Andrew, (regarded in Scotland as a slight upon the Scottish nation), a great number of shipmasters and ship-owners in Scotland took up the matter with John Erskine, 19th Earl of Mar, and encouraged him to send a letter of complaint, dated 7 August 1606, to James VI, via the Privy Council of Scotland, stating:

Most sacred Soverayne. A greate nomber of the maisteris and awnaris of the schippis of this your Majesteis kingdome hes verie havelie compleint to your Majesteis Counsell that the form and patrone of the flaggis of schippis, send doun heir and commandit to be ressavit and used be the subjectis of boith kingdomes, is very prejudiciall to the fredome and dignitie of this Estate and will gif occasioun of reprotche to this natioun quhairevir the said flage sal happin to be worne beyond sea becaus, as your sacred majestie may persave, the Scottis Croce, callit Sanctandrois Croce is twyse divydit, and the Inglishe Croce, callit Sanct George, haldin haill and drawne through the Scottis Croce, whiche is thairby obscurit and no takin nor merk to be seen of the Scottis Armes. This will breid some heit and miscontentment betwix your Majesteis subjectis, and it is to be ferit that some inconvenientis sall fall out betwix thame, for oure seyfairing men cannot be inducit to ressave that flag as it is set doun. They haif drawne two new drauchtis and patronis as most indifferent for boith kingdomes which they present to the Counsell, and craved our approbatioun of the same; bot we haif reserved that to you Majesteis princelie determination.

— Letter from the Privy Council of Scotland to James VI, King of Scots – 7 August 1606.[70]
Edinburgh Castle John Slezer
Slezer's Edinburgh Castle c.1693 showing the Scottish Union Flag being flown above the Royal apartments.[71]

Despite the drawings described in this letter as showing drafts of the two new patterns, together with any royal response to the complaint which may have accompanied them, having been lost, (possibly in the 1834 Burning of Parliament), other evidence exists, at least on paper, of a Scottish variant whereby the Scottish cross appears uppermost. Whilst, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, this design is considered by most vexillologists to have been unofficial, there is reason to believe that such flags were employed during the 17th century for use on Scottish vessels at sea.[72][73][74] This flag's design is also described in the 1704 edition of The Present State of the Universe by John Beaumont, Junior, which contains as an appendix The Ensigns, Colours or Flags of the Ships at Sea: Belonging to The several Princes and States in the World.[75]

On land, evidence suggesting use of this flag appears in the depiction of Edinburgh Castle by John Slezer, in his series of engravings entitled Theatrum Scotiae, c. 1693. Appearing in later editions of Theatrum Scotiae, the North East View of Edinburgh Castle engraving depicts the Scotch (to use the appropriate adjective of that period) version of the Union Flag flying from the Castle Clock Tower.[76][77] A reduced view of this engraving, with the flag similarly detailed, also appears on the Plan of Edenburgh, Exactly Done.[78] However, on the engraving entitled North Prospect of the City of Edenburgh the detail of the flag, when compared to the aforementioned engravings, appears indistinct and lacks any element resembling a saltire.[79] (The reduced version of the North Prospect ..., as shown on the Plan of Edenburgh, Exactly Done, does however display the undivided arm of a saltire and is thereby suggestive of the Scottish variant).[78]

Union Jack 1606 Scotland
"Scots union flag as said to be used by the Scots."[80]

On 17 April 1707, just two weeks prior to the Acts of Union coming into effect, Sir Henry St George, Garter King of Arms, presented several designs to Queen Anne and her Privy Council for consideration as the flag of the soon to be unified Kingdom of Great Britain. At the request of the Scots representatives, the designs for consideration included that version of Union Flag showing the Cross of Saint Andrew uppermost; identified as being the "Scots union flagg as said to be used by the Scots".[80] However, Queen Anne and her Privy Council approved Sir Henry's original effort, (pattern "one"), showing the Cross of Saint George uppermost.[80]

From 1801, in order to symbolise the union of the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland a new design, which included the St Patrick's Cross, was adopted for the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.[81] A manuscript compiled from 1785 by William Fox, and in possession of the Flag Research Center, includes a full plate showing "the scoth [sic] union" flag with the addition of the cross of St. Patrick. This could imply that there was still some insistence on a Scottish variant after 1801.[82]

Despite its unofficial and historic status the Scottish Union Flag continues to be produced by flag manufacturers,[83] and its unofficial use by private citizens on land has been observed.[84] In 2006 historian David R. Ross called for Scotland to once again adopt this design in order to "reflect separate national identities across the UK",[85] however the 1801 design of Union Flag remains the official flag of the entire United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.[86]

Scottish Union Flag - detail

Scottish Union Flag. An unofficial variant used in the Kingdom of Scotland during the 17th century, following the Union of the Crowns.

Châté Lîzabé Couleu d'la Grande Brétangne c (reverse)

Union Flag used in the Kingdom of England from 1606 and, following the Acts of Union, the flag of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707–1800.

Union flag

Union Flag since 1801, including the Cross of Saint Patrick, following the Act of Union between the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland.

Union Flag and St Georges Cross

Flag of the United Kingdom, (Union Flag since 1801), flying alongside the Flag of England; the Cross of Saint George.

Related flags

Several flags outside of the United Kingdom are based on the Scottish saltire. In Canada, an inverse representation of the flag (i.e. a blue saltire on a white field), combined with the shield from the royal arms of the Kingdom of Scotland, forms the modern flag of the province of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia (Latin for "New Scotland") was the first colonial venture of the Kingdom of Scotland in the Americas.[87]

The Dutch municipality of Sint-Oedenrode, named after the Scottish princess Saint Oda, uses a version of the flag of Scotland, defaced with a gold castle having on both sides a battlement.[88]

Australian Scottish-heritage flag

Flag of the Scottish Australian Heritage Council, Australia

Royal Regiment of Scotland Flag

Regimental flag of the Royal Regiment of Scotland

Sint-Oedenrode vlag

Flag of Sint-Oedenrode, Netherlands

Royal Standard of Scotland

The Royal Standard of Scotland, also known as the Banner of the King of Scots[89] or more commonly the Lion Rampant of Scotland,[90] is the Scottish Royal Banner of Arms.[91] Used historically by the King of Scots, the Royal Standard of Scotland differs from Scotland's national flag, The Saltire, in that its correct use is restricted by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland to only a few Great Officers of State who officially represent The Sovereign in Scotland.[91] It is also used in an official capacity at Royal residences in Scotland when the Sovereign is not present.[92]


Flag of Scotland

The Saltire, the national flag of Scotland: A white (argent) saltire on a blue (azure) field.

Slag om Grolle 2008-1 - Linie van Staatse troepen vuurt

The Scottish Red Ensign at a historical reenactment of the Battle for Grolle.

The Saltire - geograph.org.uk - 718800

A variety of Saltires at Murrayfield Stadium; the national stadium of Rugby Union in Scotland.

Welcome to Scotland - geograph.org.uk - 931197

The Flag(s) of Scotland marking the Anglo-Scottish Border.

Highland Games-Opening ceremonies in Canmore

The Flag of Scotland and Flag of Canada at the Canmore Highland Games.

Hampden Park WP EN

The Flag of Scotland seating design at Hampden Park Stadium; the national stadium of Football in Scotland.

Replica Covenanter flag, National Museum of Scotland

A replica 17th-century Covenanters' flag.

The flag at North Berwick Golf Course - geograph.org.uk - 1523656

A defaced Saltire belonging to the Bass Rock golf club, North Berwick.

Carrying the Royal Burgh Flag on Peat Hill - geograph.org.uk - 1354482

The defaced Saltire of the Royal Burgh of Selkirk leading the Common Riding.

Scottish Flag

The Flag of Scotland; Proportions: 2:3.


The Flag of Scotland; Proportions: 1:2.

See also


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External links

Andrew the Apostle

Andrew the Apostle (Greek: Ἀνδρέας Andreas), also known as Saint Andrew, was a Christian Apostle and the brother of Saint Peter. He is referred to in the Orthodox tradition as the First-Called (Greek: Πρωτόκλητος, Prōtoklētos).

According to Orthodox tradition, the apostolic successor to Saint Andrew is the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Bearer of the National Flag of Scotland

The Bearer of the National Flag of Scotland is one of the Great Officers in the Royal Household of Scotland. The bearer participates in royal, state, or other ceremonial events when needed.

By charter of novodamus of 1676, later ratified by the Parliament of Scotland, Charles II granted Charles Maitland "the office of bearing our insignia within our said realm of Scotland". Maitland's descendant, James Maitland, 8th Earl of Lauderdale, matriculated arms in the character of Hereditary Standard Bearer of Scotland. In 1952 the Lord Lyon decided that the Earl of Lauderdale's right was to bear the saltire, whereas the Earl of Dundee as Bearer of the Royal Banner bears the Royal Banner of Scotland, the "Lion Rampant".

Bearer of the Royal Banner

The Bearer of the Royal Banner is one of the Great Officers of the Royal Household in Scotland. The bearer participates in royal, state, and other ceremonial events when needed.

In 1298 Alexander Scrymgeour was granted the office of Constable of Dundee for the service of carrying the royal banner in the army of Scotland, and in 1324 Robert I granted Alexander's son, Nicholas Scrymgeour, and his heirs the heritable office of Banner-Bearer. His descendants retained the office until the death in 1668 of John Scrymgeour, Earl of Dundee, whose estates and heritable offices, deemed to have fallen to the king as ultimus haeres, were regranted to Charles Maitland, later 3rd Earl of Lauderdale. In 1821 the 8th Earl officiated at the Coronation of George IV, but in the following year Henry Scrymgeour-Wedderburn carried the royal banner at Holyroodhouse during the King's visit. The respective rights of the Earls of Lauderdale and the Scrymgeour-Wedderburns, as representatives of the Scrymgeours, remained unresolved until 1902 when in view of the forthcoming coronation the Court of Claims found in favour of Henry Scrymgeour-Wedderburn. Henry's son proved his claim as heir to the Viscountcy of Dudhope in 1952 and the Earldom of Dundee in 1953.

The Earl of Lauderdale holds the separate office of Bearer of the National Flag of Scotland.

East Lothian

East Lothian (; Scottish Gaelic: Lodainn an Ear) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, a historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area. The county was also known as Haddingtonshire.

East Lothian lies south of the Firth of Forth in the eastern central Lowlands of Scotland, east of the City of Edinburgh and also bordering Midlothian and the Scottish Borders. Its administrative centre and county town is Haddington and the largest town is Musselburgh. In 1975, the historic county was incorporated for local government purposes into the Lothian region as East Lothian District. The Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 created East Lothian as one of 32 council areas.

Haddingtonshire has ancient origins and is named in a charter of 1139 as Hadintunschira and in another of 1141 as Hadintunshire. Three of the county's towns were designated as royal burghs: Haddington, Dunbar, and North Berwick.

As with the rest of Lothian, it formed part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Bernicia and later the Kingdom of Northumbria. Popular legend suggests that it was at a battle between the Picts and Angles in the East Lothian village of Athelstaneford in 823 that the flag of Scotland was conceived. From the 10th century, Lothian transferred from the Kingdom of England to the authority of the monarchs of Scotland. It was a cross-point in battles between England and Scotland and later the site of a significant Jacobite victory against Government forces in the Battle of Prestonpans. In the 19th century, the county is mentioned in the Gazetteer for Scotland as chiefly agricultural, with farming, fishing and coal-mining forming significant parts of the local economy.

Flag of England

The flag of England is derived from Saint George's Cross (heraldic blazon: Argent, a cross gules). The association of the red cross as an emblem of England can be traced back to the Middle Ages, and it was used as a component in the design of the Union Flag in 1606. Since the 1990s it has been in increasingly wide use, particularly at national sporting events.

Flag of Great Britain

The flag of Great Britain, commonly known as King's Colours, the Union Jack, or the British flag, was used at sea from 1606 and more generally from 1707 to 1801.The design was ordered by King James VI and I to be used on ships on the high seas, and it subsequently came into use as a national flag following the Treaty of Union and Acts of Union 1707, gaining the status of "the Ensign armorial of Great Britain", the newly created state. It was later adopted by land forces, although the blue of the field used on land-based versions more closely resembled that of the blue of the flag of Scotland.

The flag consists of the red cross of Saint George, patron saint of England, superimposed on the Saltire of Saint Andrew, patron saint of Scotland. Its correct proportions are 3:5.

The flag's official use came to an end in 1801 with the creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. At that time Saint Patrick's Flag was added to the flag of Great Britain to create the present-day Union Flag.

Flag of Kaliningrad Oblast

The flag of the exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast is a rectangle with a ratio of 2:3 divided into three horizontal stripes. The upper stripe is red having in the canton a silver-and-black stylized medieval castle with open gates and the monogram of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna (under which reign parts of the region were shortly under Russian control during the Seven Years' War), a thin (1/3 of the upper strip) yellow stripe in the middle and a dark blue stripe of the same size as the red bar.

The law does not state what the colours stand for. In the Russian press it was stated that the silver fortress with open gates stands for hospitality, the dark blue for the Baltic Sea and tranquility, the yellow for the wealth of amber and the red for active man principle ("цвет активного мужского начала"). (Other sources state that red stands for the bellicose past of Prussia, the Red Army, the Hanseatic League, or the historical connections with Brandenburg and Poland.)

The law about the flag and the coat of arms went into effect on 9 June 2006. Previously this westernmost Russian region had no flag. When plans were made to adopt a flag another proposal was a tricolour with 3 horizontal stripes in green, white and dark blue similar to the flag of Sierra Leone. Another proposal was similar to the flag of Scotland, but with a yellow St. Andrew's Cross.

Flag of Nova Scotia

Created in 1858, the flag of Nova Scotia is a banner of the coat of arms of Nova Scotia, which were granted to the Scottish colony by King Charles I in 1625.

The flag of the modern Canadian province, a blue saltire on a white field (background), is a simple figure-ground reversal of the flag of Scotland (a white saltire, Saint Andrew's cross, on a blue field), charged with an inescutcheon bearing the royal arms of Scotland, a gold shield with a red lion rampant surrounded by a loyal double tressure (a double border decorated with fleurs de lis).

The similarity to the Scottish flag reflects the province's name, which is Latin for "New Scotland". Nova Scotia was one of the few British colonies to be granted its own coat of arms, and the flag is the only one of the original Canadian provinces dating back to before confederation.

Despite continuous usage of the flag to represent Nova Scotia since 1858, the flag was only recognized by the provincial government of Nova Scotia as the official provincial flag in May 2013, through the Provincial Flag Act, after an eleven-year-old girl researching a project realized that no one had recognized the flag officially in 155 years of usage.The flag is ranked #12 in the North American Vexillological Association's survey of North American state and provincial flags.

Flag of Orkney

The Flag of Orkney was the winner of a public flag consultation in February and March 2007. In the flag consultation the people of Orkney were asked for their preferred design from a short list of 5, all of which had been approved by the Court of the Lord Lyon. The chosen design was that of Duncan Tullock of Birsay, which polled 53% of the 200 votes cast by the public.The colours red and yellow are from the Scottish and Norwegian royal coats of arms, which both use yellow and red, with a lion rampant. The flag symbolises the islands' Scottish and Norwegian heritage. The blue is taken from the flag of Scotland and also represents the sea and the maritime heritage of the islands.

Flag of Shetland

The flag of Shetland is a white or silver Nordic cross on a blue background. The flag uses the colours of the flag of Scotland, but in the form of the Nordic cross in order to symbolise Shetland's historical and cultural ties with Scandinavia. As with all Scottish flags, its proportions and colour shades are not fixed. It was created by Roy Grønneberg and Bill Adams in 1969, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the transfer of the islands from Norway in the Kalmar Union to Scotland and the 500 years before as part of Norway.The flag is widely used privately by Shetlanders both on land and sea and is now seen as a symbol of the Shetland identity. In 2007 a "Shetland Flag Day" was introduced by the Council, who hope the day will be used to "celebrate all things Shetland". After almost forty years of unofficial use, the flag was formally granted by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, the heraldic authority of Scotland, on 1 February 2005, in time for the Island Games in July 2005 in Shetland.The flag is practically identical to the former unofficial national flag of Iceland (the Hvítbláinn) in use by Icelandic nationalist activists from 1897 until 1915, when it was in part abandoned due to its similarity to the Greek jack and the Swedish flag, which critics reasoned would be hard to tell apart at sea, a major issue in a time of war. The white and blue is still used by the Icelandic Youth Association.

Ian Maitland, 18th Earl of Lauderdale

Ian Maitland, 18th Earl of Lauderdale (born 4 November 1937 in Belgrade), styled Viscount Maitland from 1968 to 2008, is a Scottish peer.

Maitland is the son of Patrick Maitland, 17th Earl of Lauderdale and his wife Stanka Losanitch. He was educated at Radley College and took an MA from Brasenose College, Oxford. He married Anne Paule Clark on 27 April 1963, by whom he has one son and one daughter:

Lady Sarah Caroline Maitland (b. 1964), married Stuart G. Parks in 1988 and has issue

John Douglas Maitland, Viscount Maitland, Master of Lauderdale (b. 1965), married Rosamund Bennett in 2001, marriage dissolved in 2006, without issueFrom 1963 to 1973, he served as a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve. In 1974, he joined National Westminster Bank, rising to become a senior regional manager when he left their employ in 1995. He was director of Maitland Consultancy Services, Ltd. from 1995 to 2007 and a marketing advisor to the London School of Economics from 1995 to 2001.In 1986, he was appointed a member of the Royal Company of Archers, and in 1998 became a freeman of the City of London and a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers. Maitland succeeded his father in the earldom in 2008, also becoming chief of Clan Maitland and hereditary bearer of the National Flag of Scotland. In 2012, he was appointed a Vice-President of the Royal Stuart Society.

List of Scottish flags

This is a list of flags that are used exclusively in Scotland. Other flags used in Scotland, as well as the rest of the United Kingdom can be found at list of British flags.

Royal Banner of Scotland

The Royal Banner of the Royal Arms of Scotland, also known as the Royal Banner of Scotland, or more commonly the Lion Rampant of Scotland, and historically as the Royal Standard of Scotland, (Scottish Gaelic: Bratach rìoghail na h-Alba, Scots: Ryal banner o Scotland) or Banner of the King of Scots, is the Royal Banner of Scotland, and historically, the Royal Standard of the Kingdom of Scotland. Used historically by the Scottish monarchs, the banner differs from Scotland's national flag, the Saltire, in that its correct use is restricted by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland to only a few Great Officers of State who officially represent the Monarchy in Scotland. It is also used in an official capacity at royal residences in Scotland when the Head of State is not present.The earliest recorded use of the Lion rampant as a royal emblem in Scotland was by Alexander II in 1222; with the additional embellishment of a double border set with lilies occurring during the reign of Alexander III (1249–1286). This emblem occupied the shield of the royal coat of arms of the ancient Kingdom of Scotland which, together with a royal banner displaying the same, was used by the King of Scots until the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when James VI acceded to the thrones of the kingdoms of England and Ireland. Since 1603, the Lion rampant of Scotland has been incorporated into both the royal arms and royal banners of successive Scottish then British monarchs in order to symbolise Scotland; as can be seen today in the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom. Although now officially restricted to use by representatives of the Monarch and at royal residences, the Royal Banner continues to be one of Scotland's most recognisable symbols.


See X mark for the use of diagonal crosses outside of heraldry or vexillology.A saltire, also called Saint Andrew's Cross or the crux decussata, is a heraldic symbol in the form of a diagonal cross, like the shape of the letter X in Roman type. The word comes from the Middle French sautoir, Middle Latin saltatoria ("stirrup").From its use as field sign, the saltire came to be used in a number of flags, in the 16th century for Scotland and Burgundy, in the 18th century also as the ensign of the Russian Navy, and for Ireland. Notable 19th-century usage includes some of the flags of the Confederate States of America. It is also used on seals, and as a heraldic charge in coats of arms.

The term saltirewise or in saltire refers to heraldic charges arranged as a diagonal cross. The shield may also be divided per saltire, i.e. diagonally.

A warning sign in the shape of a saltire is also used to indicate the point at which a railway line intersects a road at a level crossing. In Unicode, a decussate cross is encoded at U+2613 ☓ SALTIRE (HTML ☓). See X mark for similar symbols that might be more accessible.

Saltire Prize

The Saltire Prize, named after the flag of Scotland, is the national award for advances in the commercial development of marine energy.

To be considered for the £10 million award teams must demonstrate, in Scottish waters, a commercially viable wave or tidal stream energy technology "that achieves the greatest volume of electrical output over the set minimum hurdle of 100GWh over a continuous 2 year period using only the power of the sea."

The Saltire Prize is open to any individual, team or organisation from across the world who believes they have wave or tidal energy technology capable of fulfilling the challenge. Applications can be submitted between March 2010 and January 2015. Already there are five competitors registered.

Scottish nationalism

Scottish nationalism promotes the idea that the Scottish people form a cohesive nation and national identity and is closely linked to the cause of Scottish home rule and Scottish independence, the ideology of the Scottish National Party, the party forming the Scottish Government. Scottish nationalism is characterised as civic nationalism rather than ethnic nationalism in that the Scottish people are defined as those living in the country, regardless of race or culture.

The Acts of Union merged the independent kingdoms of Scotland and England into Great Britain in 1707, but a separate legal system and distinct Scottish institutions continued to exist.Linguistic independence was an important part of the twentieth-century Scottish Renaissance, associated with the nationalist impetus provided by Hugh MacDiarmid.

Tags (Unicode block)

Tags is a Unicode block containing formatting tag characters (language tag and ASCII character tags).

U+E0001, U+E0020–U+E007F were originally intended for invisibly tagging texts by language but that use is no longer recommended.

All of those characters were deprecated in Unicode 5.1.

With the release of Unicode 8.0, U+E0020–U+E007E are no longer deprecated characters.

The change was made "to clear the way for the potential future use of tag characters for a purpose other than to represent language tags".

Unicode states that "the use of tag characters to represent language tags in a plain text stream is still a deprecated mechanism for conveying language information about text".With the release of Unicode 9.0, U+E007F is no longer a deprecated character. (U+E0001 LANGUAGE TAG remains deprecated.) The release of Emoji 5.0 in March 2017 considers these characters to be emojis for use as modifiers in special sequences. The only usage specified is for representing the flags of regions, alongside the use of Regional Indicator Symbols for national flags. These sequences consist of U+1F3F4 🏴 WAVING BLACK FLAG followed by a sequence of tags corresponding to the region as coded in the CLDR, then U+E007F CANCEL TAG. For example, using the tags for "gbeng" (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿) will cause some systems to display the flag of England, those for "gbsct" (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿) the flag of Scotland, and those for "gbwls" (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿) the flag of Wales. Sequences representing other subnational flags (for examples US states) are also possible using this mechanism, but as of Unicode version 12.0 only the three flag sequences listed above are "Recommended for General Interchange" by the Unicode Consortium, meaning they are "most likely to be widely supported across multiple platforms".

Union Jack

The Union Jack, or Union Flag, is the national flag of the United Kingdom. The flag also has official status in Canada, by parliamentary resolution, where it is known as the Royal Union Flag. Additionally, it is used as an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas territories. The Union Flag also appears in the canton (upper flagstaff-side quarter) of the flags of several nations and territories that are former British possessions or dominions, as well as the state flag of Hawaii.

The claim that the term Union Jack properly refers only to naval usage has been disputed, following historical investigations by the Flag Institute in 2013.The origins of the earlier flag of Great Britain date back to 1606. James VI of Scotland had inherited the English and Irish thrones in 1603 as James I, thereby uniting the crowns of England, Scotland, and Ireland in a personal union, although the three kingdoms remained separate states. On 12 April 1606, a new flag to represent this regal union between England and Scotland was specified in a royal decree, according to which the flag of England (a red cross on a white background, known as St George's Cross), and the flag of Scotland (a white saltire on a blue background, known as the Saltire or St Andrew's Cross), would be joined together, forming the flag of England and Scotland for maritime purposes. King James also began to refer to a "Kingdom of Great Britaine", although the union remained a personal one.

The present design of the Union Flag dates from a Royal proclamation following the union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. The flag combines aspects of three older national flags: the red cross of St George for the Kingdom of England, the white saltire of St Andrew for Scotland (which two were united in the first Union Flag), and the red saltire of St Patrick to represent Ireland.

Notably, the home country of Wales is not represented separately in the Union Flag, as the flag was designed after the invasion of Wales in 1282. Hence Wales as a home country today has no representation on the flag; it appears under the cross of St George, which represents the former Kingdom of England (which included Wales).

Óengus mac Fergusa

Óengus mac Fergusa may refer to:

Óengus I (before 700–761), monarch a/k/a Onuist, anglicised as Angus son of Fergus, who, from 732 to 761, reigned as king of Pictland, also referenced as Pictavia, located in northeastern region of land later unified as Scotland

Óengus II (before 780–834), king of Picts, a/k/a Onuist, Hungus or Angus, from 820 until 834, traditionally associated with cult of Saint Andrew and flag of Scotland; included in Duan Albanach's praise poem from reign of Máel Coluim

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