Shining Saltire

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I fully support William Spicer’s call to rationalise the blue of the Saltire according to the Scottish Parliament’s recommendation of Pantone 300 (Letters, 7 August), but history is often messy.

During the 1950s I recall 
vividly that the Scottish Rugby team wore dark blue jerseys. The earliest written record of the colour of the Saltire dates from 1 July, 1385, in a treaty between the kings of Scotland and of France agreeing that every soldier should wear a white St Andrew’s cross on his chest and back. If his jacket was white the cross had to have a black background.

Whatever the precise colour of the Saltire’s background, the point I am trying to make is that the white of the Saltire cross is based on a light-feature via Constantine and King Angus. The earliest accounts do not specify colours, merely that the illuminated Cross of Christ or St Andrew was seen in the sky.

The result is that the white of the Saltire does not need to be rendered as flat colour but can be interpreted as light – by the use of materials that flash or flicker as an athlete moves.

This has applications for the strips to be worn at the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

Michael TRB Turnbull

Longniddry