Letter to the Edinburgh Evening News 14/09/15 (unpublished)
While in Edinburgh on Sunday I watched the around 250 horses and riders take part in the Riding of the Marches which proceeded up the Royal Mile to the Mercat Cross, where a ceremonial handing over of the city’s colours took place. It was all very impressive, and if I understood it correctly from the commentary I heard, this dated back to the Battle of Flodden in the 1500’s and represents the good folk of the city ensuring that the boundaries were secure from English incursion. I was more than a little dismayed to see that in our capital city there was no Saltire flown among the colours displayed, yet a large union flag appeared front and centre, surrounded by a phalanx of what appeared to be English Redcoats who at one point shouted “Hurrah for King George!” This is probably the most historically confusing spectacle I have seen since a short Australian man played a tall Scottish warrior in Braveheart! On looking at footage of previous years events online I couldn’t fail to notice that the union flag was absent, and it is only in this post referendum year that it has made an appearance. Edinburgh is disappointingly the capital city that voted No to its own country’s independence, so it’s perhaps unsurprising to see these furtive attempts at ‘injocktrination’ in action. As our capital city it should be in the vanguard of promoting our nation, rather than surreptitiously undermining it from within.