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The Legend of the Saltire

The Saltire, Scotland's National Flag is so-called because its cross resembles the simplest form of horse jump of crossed poles, and comes from the French, "sauteur".  However its origins are much older.  Picture by Eddie Ramsay eddieramsay@msn.comThe village of Athelstaneford in East Lothian   flies a Saltire with its explanation: it was during a battle there in 832 AD between the Picts and Scots against the invading Angles lead by Athelstan of Northumbria.   The odds were against the defenders.  Their King,  Angus mac Fergus, High King of Alba (the ancient name for Scotland) prayed for victory.  At that moment two clouds made the form of the cross on which  Saint Andrew was crucified.  Despite their Picture by Eddie Ramsay eddieramsay@msn.comsmaller number, victory went to the Picts and Scots, and so, Saint Andrew was adopted as Scotland's Patron Saint, and his cross as Scotland's Flag, just as it was seen that day, a white Cross against a sky blue background.


471 years later the Saltire would deliver another Scots victory at the Battle of Roslin, 24th February 1303, when 8,000 Scots defeated a superior English army in three separate engagements.  The Scots were encouraged by the sight of a Saltire erected by Monks at the highest point is the Pentlands, celebrated in the "Ballad of the Battle of Roslin".

See also  Parliament to set standard colour for Saltire

Make the Saltire your Screen Saver.