Fury as blacksmith ordered to remove saltire sculpture

The sculpture. Picture: Change.Org
The sculpture. Picture: Change.Org
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A blacksmith has been ordered to remove his patriotic sculpture of a silver figure clutching onto a St Andrew’s cross flag.

Over 2,000 furious supporters have signed a petition to save the steel sculpture, known as The Flag Bearer, from a rooftop in Kinghorn, Fife.

The eye-catching piece was erected on the top of Archway Metals five weeks ago and has become an instant hit amongst locals and visitors.

The six and a half feet tall piece is made up of over 5000 pieces of steel and took seven weeks to create.

But Fife Council has ordered Andy Davies, who created the piece of art and owns the blacksmiths, to remove the stunning creation within 28 days.

They claim the statue is “unauthorised” and is in a conservation area which affects a listed building nearby.

Thousands of Scots have now backed the Save Flag Holder petition with some even branding the council “disgusting”.

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John Mallin, who created the petition, wrote: “A local blacksmith made a statue to hold a Scottish flag and installed it above his workshop, council officials have told him he has 28 days to remove it.

“This is wrong as he send time and effort making it and many locals admire what has been done.”

Hundreds of people have left messages on the petition with some accusing the council of having an issue with the saltire.

June Graham said: “I am signing this as it is an excellent piece of work and on his own property. I think your objection is more about the saltire than the statue.”

Sharon Robinson wrote: “His land, Not causing a bother to anyone, Shame on you for cowing down to your imperialist masters Fife council. Disgusting!”

Margaret Marin wrote: “Every other country in the world is allowed to fly their flag...how dare they.”

Steven Macdonald said: “It is Scotland’s national flag and should be flown with pride.”

Patricia Reynolds wrote: “Because the flying of a nation’s flag is a way to show their pride in where they live.”

And George Kay said: “I will sign the petition as I feel to take this away would destroy much of the individuality of Kinghorn .

“As a former member of the planning committee I would stress that petitions are not the best way to tackle this . The planning officers receive hundreds of petitions and generally shrug them off.”

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Andy, owner of Archway Metals, shared his excitement over his new sculpture with a local newspaper two weeks ago

He said: “I really enjoyed working on The Flag Bearer - he was the first one I made and it was a labour of love.

“I needed a flagpole and had always wanted one so I decided just to make it.

“We put him up three weeks ago – he is looking out to sea and all you can see is the coast from the rooftop.

“He took seven weeks to make and it was a lot of cold nights during the winter and Saturday mornings, I worked on him in my spare time. He is made up of 5000 plus pieces of steel.

“Everybody was waiting on the head going on and people were asking me where he was going and I kept telling them ‘it’s a secret’. I just decided to put him up on the roof on a Thursday!

“You can see it clearly during the day but it is quite spectacular in the evening because there are LED blue lights inside so he lights up at night.”

Andy originally worked as an apprentice at Archway Metals and returned years later to buy the business.

He has owned the company for 14 years and has recently been working on another sculpture - unicorn called Brave.

Nicolas Lopez, lead officer development management at Fife Council, said: “The statue is an unauthorised building operation in a conservation area, affecting a listed building, which is an offence.

“The owner has been given 28 days to remove it and is currently seeking pre-application advice from the council.”