Many years ago I pointed out in your newspaper that while we dolefully warble on, ad nauseam, with a singular lack of inspiration or spirit, about our hills and glens, the French and the Welsh, to name but two, have chosen stirring anthems to represent their countries at all occasions.
The fact that we have, in the Torridon range of mountains, the oldest geological rock in the world and we are proud inheritors of all the benefits of the Scottish Enlightenment, a movement far ahead of its time, seems to have successfully eluded most people in their choice of Flower of Scotland as a national anthem.
I have long advocated that The Scottish Enlightenment: The Scots’ Invention of the Modern World by Arthur Herman should be required reading in all secondary schools in Scotland for staff and pupils alike.
In addition, we can boast of writers of the calibre of Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns, and far too many brilliant musicians to name. The worldwide fame and longevity of the Edinburgh Festival is surely testament to our capacity for hosting the very best of music and drama.
The vast majority of Scots chose to remain in the United Kingdom last September and the number would have been significantly greater had the Scottish diaspora been included in the vote.
Therefore, to sing about sending the English homeward to think again is somewhat outdated to say the very least and quite unacceptable and intolerant.
I have always felt that the Scots were a dignified, well-educated, literate race, although sadly this can no longer be asserted with the confidence with which it once was.
Surely the way forward to choose a national anthem to do justice to our beloved country is to launch a national competition for the music and verse to be heard in public, upon which we can all adjudicate.
I implore you to follow this avenue and not be dictated to by any single body, no matter how large.
Elma J Crighton
Flower of Scotland is a good folk song but I do not believe that it is in any way suitable to be a national anthem.
Its theme of gloating over an ancient victory over our nearest neighbour is inward looking and small-minded. To me, the obvious choice of a national anthem would be Auld Lang Syne.
This song rejoices in past traditions but also celebrates fellowship and friendship. It is known throughout the world and always associated with Scotland.
Both the familiar tune and the older version can be readily sung by most people with any degree of solemnity but each can be played briskly as a rousing march.
We should not leave the choice of an anthem just to the people who attend rugby matches, even if they associate a song nostalgically with an occasion when their team won a game over the neighbour referred to in that song.
Flower of Scotland has a good tune and is fine as a contemporary sporting anthem. I believe the words to be copyright, which could cause problems if it were adopted as a national anthem.
We already have an excellent and historic anthem in Scots Wha Hae. The words were written by Robert Burns on the basis of the reported speech by Robert Bruce at Bannockburn in 1314.
That our army used the tune in 1314 is supported by its continued use by the French military, on ceremonial occasions, as the Marche des Soldats de Robert Bruce.
This probably arises from the recorded fact, in French military records, that the ceremonial entry of Joan of Arc to Orleans on 8 May, 1429 was to that tune.
Scots had taken part in the defence and relief of the city when it was besieged.
The debate about a national anthem emerges every couple of years or so without any resolution.
The SNP government promised to address the topic if independence for Scotland was forthcoming. The idea of some kind of competition open to the public to submit composition entries was suggested. Whatever happens this time round is unlikely to go any further than the other attempts unless our government takes the lead.
Whatever happens, I repeat what I have said before. Flower of Scotland, however popular it is, does not align musically with the tonal scale of the Highland bagpipe. It is unthinkable for us to have a national anthem which cannot be played properly on the pipes.
Links Road Longniddry