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Background Info

‘Flower of Scotland’ also known as ‘Flùr na h-Alba’ in Scottish Gaelic and ‘Flouer o Scotland’ in Scots is widely recognised as Scotland’s unofficial national anthem. The song is used as Scotland’s national anthem in the Commonwealth Games and also for Scotland’s football, rugby union and rugby league teams and was sung at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

‘Flower of Scotland’ was written by the late Roy Williamson of The Corries in 1965 and became the official anthem of the Scotland rugby union team in 1990, the national football team in 1997 and the Commonwealth Games team in 2010. Many famous singers have sung ‘Flower of Scotland’ before Scotland national football team matches at Hampden Park, including Ronnie Browne of The Corries, Julie Fowlis, Amy Macdonald and Donnie Munro, amongst others.

Other unofficial Scottish national anthems include ‘Scotland the Brave’, ‘Highland Cathedral’, Scots Wha Hae’ and ‘A Man’s a Man’. However, none of these have the support that ‘Flower of Scotland’ has in becoming Scotland’s official national anthem. In 2006, a poll conducted by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) showed that the people’s choice for the national anthem of Scotland is ‘Flower of Scotland’, as the song topped the list. It came first with 41% of the 10,000 votes, ahead of ‘Scotland the Brave’ on 29%, and ‘Highland Cathedral’ on 16%.

In March, 2006, the then First Minister, Jack McConnell said that the issue over Scotland’s national anthem may have to be resolved to strengthen Scotland’s global brand. Also in March, 2006, MSP Michael Matheson said: “We must be one of the few nations in the world without a specified anthem.”

In May, 2011, the BBC had an article titled ‘Will Scotland ever have a national anthem?’ This looked at the prospects of Scotland getting its own official national anthem. One commenter, dundonian lad summed it up perfectly by commenting: “I think ‘Flower of Scotland’ is a perfect national anthem for Scotland. Every Scot knows it, 9 out of 10 love it, and it does stir up emotions in everyone I know. I think that the song is a top class choice and should be named ‘the official national anthem of Scotland’.”

The Scottish Parliament has the powers to legislate on choosing a national anthem for Scotland as this was confirmed by the Scottish Parliament’s lawyers in November, 2004. ‘Flower of Scotland’ was performed with passion by gold medal winning athletes and spectators at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and this showed just how popular that the song is.

I believe that ‘Flower of Scotland’ is a perfect choice for Scotland’s official national anthem and this was summed up perfectly by Scotland football fan Ian Pow, who said: “There is nothing like hearing 50,000 people sing this song. The No vote in the referendum has nothing to do with it and I read the lyrics as meaning we can rise up and be a better nation, be more successful and victorious.” This comment shows that this song is about Scotland and brings people together regardless of their political beliefs or backgrounds. A spokesman for the Scottish Football Association (SFA) said: “The Scotland fans have shown a fondness for ‘Flower of Scotland’ in football, rugby and other sports and it is the established national anthem.”

At this time in Scotland’s history, it is vital that we have a song to pull us all together and I believe that there is none better than ‘Flower of Scotland’ to do this. Therefore, I call on the Scottish Parliament to legislate to ensure that ‘Flower of Scotland’ becomes Scotland’s official national anthem.

NOTES: This is not asking to replace ‘God Save the Queen’ which will still remain the national anthem of the United Kingdom.