The Saltire is the national flag of Scotland and, with a white diagonal cross on a blue background, it represents the crucifixion of the apostle St Andrew, Scotland’s patron saint.
Believed to be the oldest flag in Europe, the origin of the flag comes from an old legend. Tradition has it that the flag originated in a battle fought near the East Lothian village of Athelstaneford in AD 832.
An army of Picts and Scots under King Angus invaded the Lothians (at that time still Northumbrian territory), and found itself surrounded by a larger force of Saxons led by Athelstan. Fearing the outcome, King Angus led prayers for deliverance and was rewarded by seeing a cloud formation of a white Saltire against the blue sky.
The king vowed that if, with the saint’s help, he gained victory, then Andrew would thereafter be the patron saint of Scotland. The Scots did win, and the Saltire eventually became the flag of Scotland.
In 2003 the Scottish Parliament specified the official colour of the flag using the international colour coding system and it was decided that the white St Andrew’s Cross should appear on an azure background known as Pantone 300.
Me – I have been scribbling and doodling.
I was locked out of my flat on Tuesday evening and for unspoken and complicated reasons while waiting to be let in, I ended up in the Slug and Lettuce, nursing my ‘foolishness/forgetfulness’ with a glass of ginger beer.
I starting thinking which meant that I needed to write – I had 12% battery power in my phone – so it meant resorting to those underused commodities – pen and paper.
I had this crazy idea to make chocolate cake with coconut icing and blueberries to recreate the Scottish flag. Yes – crazy – I know.
I am not sure I can even begin to understand the intricacies of the arguments for ‘no’ or ‘yes’. I am a British born Nigerian, who struggles to sit comfortably in either ‘camp’ so I clearly have my own issues should I chose to take them up! Actually my main battles are travelling from East to West London in under 2 hours…
But I listen with interest and wait with bated breath for the outcome of today’s vote. In the meantime I continue to spend quality time in my North East London 2nd floor kitchen.