MSPs reject Flower of Scotland anthem petition

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MSPs have rejected a petition calling for Flower of Scotland to be made the official national anthem.

The petition, by Aberdeen University student Chris Cromar, was closed by Holyrood’s public petitions committee with cross-party agreement after the Scottish Government indicated it has no current plans to adopt an official national anthem.

The popular Corries song, which recalls Scotland’s medieval wars of independence, is both “loved and loathed” by sections of Scottish society, according to Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw.

SNP MSP Angus MacDonald “reluctantly” agreed, insisting “the jury is still” out on the best anthem for Scotland.

Flower of Scotland is recognised as the unofficial national anthem and is used in the Commonwealth Games, football and rugby matches.

Other unofficial Scottish national anthems include Scotland the Brave, Highland Cathedral, and A Man’s a Man, but the petitioner argued none of these have the support of Flower of Scotland.

“This petition has sparked a limited national debate on the issue and it seems a little bit like Marmite in that this particular anthem is either loved or loathed”

Jackson Carlaw

Mr Carlaw acknowledged he has “something of a track record of commenting on the number of petitions we receive encouraging us ‘adopt a national this, that or the next thing’”.

“My understanding is a lack of enthusiasm was expressed by the Scottish Government on moving forward at this time,” he said.

“This petition has sparked a limited debate on the issue and it seems a little bit like Marmite in that this particular anthem is either loved or loathed. I think at this stage it would be inadvisable for a committee of MSPs to embrace any anthem.”

The Scottish Government said: “Scottish ministers believe consideration of whether Scotland should officially adopt a national anthem, and if so what that might be, should not be led by the Scottish Government or by any single political party.”

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