THE Scottish Government has dashed hopes of “Flower of Scotland” being officially recognised as the country’s national anthem.
The Scotsman has learned that ministers have ruled out instigating a single anthem - despite Scottish football supporters voting narrowly for such a move last week.
Although nearly 56 per cent of those who took part in a Scottish Football Association poll were in favour of the move, 60 per cent of Scotland Supporters Club members were against.
The government believes there is not enough wider public support for Flower of Scotland, which is inspired by the Battle of Bannockburn, to become an official anthem.
It is content to let the Corries song, which has played before international rugby and football matches for the last two decades, be used for sporting occasions, but is not willing to give it official status at the “exclusion of all others.”
More than 35,000 supporters took part in the SFA’s survey, which was conducted through its supporters club and its social media channels.
It was launched weeks after MSPs were petitioned to give Flower of Scotland, which was writted by the late Roy Williamson in 1965, official anthem status.
The second most popular option with the Tartan Army was Dougie MacLean’s iconic “homecoming” song Caledonia, which has been covered by the likes of Frankie Miller, Paolo Nutini, Amy Macdonald and Ronan Keating. The SFA said its survey had also thrown up strong support for alternatives like Scotland the Brave, which used to be played before international matches at Hampden, and terracing favourite I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by the Proclaimers.
And the sports body said its survey had revealed there was “clearly an appetite” among a section of the supporters of the national team for a brand new anthem.
A spokeswoman for the government said: “A national anthem is an important part of a nation’s culture and heritage. Any choice should have wide public support.
“It is clear that different songs or anthems are enthusiastically adopted at different sporting occasions, but that is not the same as a country or a nation determining to have a single designated song or anthem to the exclusion of all others.
“The government currently has no plans to designate a national anthem and any such move would require wider political support.”