Could Scottish Ensign replace Union Jack on ships?

A PETITION has being lodged in a bid to boost the number of boats flying a Scottish Ensign flag with a St Andrew’s Cross in place of the Union Jack on the traditional “Red Duster”.

Scottish Ensign was original flag of Scotlands fleet. Picture: Contributed

Isle of Bute resident George MacKenzie has asked the Scottish Parliament’s petitions committee to urge the Scottish ­Government to take the necessary steps to ensure that the flag can be flown more widely.

The Scottish Ensign is the original maritime flag of Scotland, shown in paintings in Dutch maritime museums and in the offices of the Commissioners of Northern Lights in Edinburgh.

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It was believed to have come into existence early in the 14th century and was still being used in the 18th century.

The move to popularise the naval flag won support from Argyll and Bute MSP Mike Russell.

Mr Russell revealed that his constituent – a retired lieutenant commander of the Royal Naval Reserve and a former local government officer – was a long-time supporter of the flag.

He said: “His desire to see authorised use of the Scottish Ensign is not only because of his enthusiasm for all things Scottish, but also because he wants to ensure more conformity and consistency in the identification and promotion of vessels around our coast.

“He believes that flying the Scottish Ensign would become very popular if people knew that it was officially approved by the Scottish Government.

The petition is currently being discussed with parliamentary clerks and is soon expected to go live on the Scottish Parliament website.