Debate on national anthem still divides Scots

Scots are divided over the choice of any future national anthem for the nation, a Scotsman poll has found.

Just 35 per cent of people voted for sporting favourite Flower of Scotland yesterday, the anthem of Scotland’s rugby and football teams, with bagpipe tune Highland Cathedral second choice at 13 per cent and Scotland the Brave a narrow third, with 11 per cent of votes.

In total, 385 people had taken part in the vote on The Scotsman’s website as the newspaper went to press last night, choosing from twelve different songs.

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The findings may add fuel to the arguments of piper Donald Glass, who argued in yesterday’s edition that the “backward-looking and depressing” song should be abandoned before the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Glasgow. Mr Glass has previously led Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities Officers’ Training Corps to victory in the World Pipe Band Championships.

The poll also revealed a number of unionists who propelled God Save The Queen to a fifth place with 9 per cent of the vote, despite its references to “Rebellious Scots to crush”.

Caledonia, the Scottish folk ballad, took 10 per cent of votes, placing it in fourth position.

Mr Glass told The Scotsman: “A new anthem should be a quicker 4/4 march composed first and foremost on the pipes and have words that people can easily sing along to and have a melody which is easily remembered.”

He was joined by Robert Wallace, principal of the College of Piping in Glasgow, who branded the song “politically embarrassing” because of its celebration of “Proud Edward’s armies”.

Flower of Scotland was written by Roy Williamson of The Corries in 1967 about the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.