I can't speak for anyone else, indeed, sometimes I have trouble speaking for myself but when it comes to flags - I like the Saltire but I don't like the Union Jack. The reasons are simple, the Union Jack has been rammed down my throat enthusiastically where-as the Saltire has not.
The Saltire is just there, I would even go as far as to say, I'm indifferent about it. I don't for example fly one from my house (I don't actually have a house just now, if I did, I still wouldn't) I don't have one on my car although I do have a Lion Rampant on my motorcycle, I put it there to cover up the Union Jack on the number plate.
The Union Jack on the other hand is ubiquitous, its every where. The Jubilee, the - just mentioning this fills me with ennui - Olympics, you can't watch a program on telly without seeing it somewhere - on a tea towel, a cushion cover maybe or a mug held casually in a Coronation Street kitchen.
Mostly though, there is a double standard in play in the UK with flags, its OK to plaster the Union Jack all over every thing but if you try it with the Saltire - its wicked nationalism.
I always remember Aamer Anwar at last years independence rally:
|Found a picture, can't find a transcript.|
He's a prominent civil rights lawyer and supporter of Scottish independence. He said in his speech to the crowds at the Ross Band Stand at last year's march - and I wish I could find a transcript - something about the London Olympics and the tiresome over-use of the Union Flag on the streets of London, meanwhile, the crowd he faced looked like this:
Experiencing so many people feel just a wee bit awkward was very special.
I can detach my feelings about flags from the act of flying them, if I see a Union Jack flying, I don't vomit or have an urge to tear it down and replace it with a Saltire, I accept it - its not that important. Equally, if I see a Saltire, well, that's fine too - it is Scotland's flag after all or if you prefer - one of them as things stand at the moment.
So enter Stirling Council. They've decided to make their feelings known about independence and the Union and they're doing so via the medium of flags.
|Hat tip to wings over Scotland.|
I wouldn't mind if they decided to fly Margaret Curran's knickers from their HQ's flag Pole and in honour of Michael Carmichael's elevation to Secretary of State for Scotland, a pair of his probably ample boxers from the pole in the 'grounds of Old Viewforth'.
Is it not just the most petulant thing though, I mean, its normally unionists accusing nationalists of over-bearing mawkish nationalism isn't it?
Stirling Council is led by a Tory/Labour coalition, although there are more SNP councillors, it turns out even when they win, they don't actually win. But, that's how Local Councils work, coalitions are formed by parties with common purposes - in this case - hatred of nationalists.
There are things that leave me a bit gobsmacked (like seeing Libdem Jeremy Purvis on Newsnight Scotland last night and realising somehow, he is now Baron Purvis of Tweed - I mean seriously? How the fuck does a total nonperson like him manage to become ennobled?)
Stirling Council with its unionist councillors and their new flag policy - well - I can't help but think they're a bunch of small minded jobsworths.
I don't believe flying one flag instead of another is cause for hatred or revolution, but to actively seek to remove one flag and replace it with another to further your cause and do down those who oppose you seems churlish and a tad opportunistic.
Currently there's room & reason for both flags on top of council buildings, while I'm not quite sure what they meant in their second-to-last paragraph above, I assume they feel the Union Flag has been traduced in some way and the only way to restore balance is to remove the Saltire completely.
Or perhaps they've been listening to another ennobled bell end, Lord George Robertson of Port Ellen (ex of the Labour party) who said recently:
I like Scotland and while I'm not one of those people who love it unconditionally - I know its not perfect - I cannot understand why there are Scots who seek to do Scotland down with such avidity. From the baseless too wee/too poor/too stupid arguments to the removal of national symbols and the denial of national identity.
Supporters of the Union are getting hellishly desperate, we've moved way beyond getting what might be the positive case for the union and are now in uncharted territory where the tactics are becoming more and more desperate and not a little bizarre.