I’VE often heard Unionists complain that the Saltire is not the property of the SNP or the Yes movement. If that’s the case, why do so many Unionists seem so reluctant to be seen with the flag of their own nation?

A case in point is Ruth Davidson. Have a quick search on Google for images of Ruth Davidson. You can add on the terms Scotland or Saltire if you wish, the result will be the same: one solitary photo out of hundreds where Ruth and the flag of our nation appear together.

It’s a similar story with Labour’s soon to be ex-branch leader Kezia Dugdale. One solitary photo, and she’s probably gritting her teeth while it’s being taken. There are no photos of Willie Rennie with our national flag, but there is one of him being bopped on the nose by a spaniel.

It seems clear to me that for all their words to the contrary the three Unionist parties are not representing Scotland in the union – quite the reverse. They represent the union in Scotland. They are ambassadors for Britain, they sell Britishness to us.

They want us to be regionalised and marginalised. They are in effect “so-called Scots”, who will say they are Scottish while doing everything to the contrary. Their every utterance is to play down Scotland’s potential, to spread the message that we, among all the other nations on the planet are unfit to look after ourselves and that we need London to do that for us. They exemplify the “proud Scot but” mentality, where no matter what this country achieves it’s never quite good enough.

I initially asked why so many Unionists seem reluctant to be seen with the flag of their own nation. The fact is they aren’t. Their nation is Britain, and they will wrap themselves in the red, white and blue all day long. Stand them in front of a flagpole and hand them a Saltire and a union flag and ask them to choose one. They’ll hoist the union flag every time. So they shouldn’t be allowed to peddle the lie that they are representing Scotland’s best interests, when in reality they will always put Britain first.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about a piece of fabric. The Saltire will not feed us, it will not defend us, and it will not put a roof over our heads. But the unwillingness to be associated with the flag of Scotland must cast serious doubt over the intentions of the parties loyal to crown and union. Already companies sympathetic to the union are rebranding themselves to eradicate the Saltire from their brands. In the last few days we have seen “British Haggis” hit the shelves, no doubt appealing to the “so-called Scots” who feel guilty at eating unpatriotic Scottish haggis.

They can now wash this down with union flag wrapped British Whisky and top it off with a wee slice of British shortbread. An array of ethnically cleansed foodstuff awaits the British patriot. All they need is for the Daily Record to return to its name of the North British Daily Mail and they will be in heaven.

Another referendum is coming and we can’t allow them to peddle the “best of both worlds lie” unchallenged. Lose this referendum and we will have given up our nationhood once and for all. What is on offer is the choice between Scotland and Britain, and the question to the waverers must be: Are you a Scot or are you not?
James Cassidy

I WOULD never deride anyone who believes in a god, as many people, perhaps most, need some sort of crutch to get through life. Far better a religion than drugs or alcohol.

Your correspondent J Maclennan (Letters, The National, September 6) is right to point out that the human body is an amazing construction, as indeed are all animals. But we were not created overnight; it took billions of years and we are still evolving – our toes are becoming shorter and our jaws smaller.

J Maclennan states that his god has answered prayers and saved lives but produces no verifiable evidence, the very basis for any claim to a truth. As to his suggestion that atheists wish to see an end to Easter and Christmas: well not this atheist, for they supplanted pagan festivals and I shall continue to enjoy both.
Richard Walthew

J MACLENNAN seems to be somewhat confused.

He/she seems to think that its atheists that make the claim that life has a natural explanation. Actually it’s not – it’s the scientists in the life sciences who overwhelmingly make that claim. Scientists, J MacLennan, not atheists. You seem to be getting the two mixed up.

Even odder, is the fact that you somehow have got paganism and atheism mixed up. Pagans believe in supernatural deities therefore they can not possibly be atheists.

I’m an atheist, and I am as much against belief in Zeus or Thor as I am against the Abrahamic deity.

So what if millions of folk have “felt” that God has answered their prayers. According to recent surveys millions of folk have also felt they have been abducted by little green men. Do we take them seriously? No.

Mercifully J MacLennan’s letter is so odd and wrongly informed we need not take it seriously.

Atheism is the non-belief in supernatural deities, that’s it.
Peter McAllister
Address supplied

WITH reference to J Maclennan castigating atheists, he would benefit from reading some of the scientific works of Dawkins et al. For a start he would find that the eye can be clearly explained in evolutionary terms and does not need the invention of a “creator”.

Further he/she should understand that the “paganism” decried is simply an earlier religion and many of the beliefs, rites and celebrations were subsumed into later versions such as Christianity. The time is approaching when the civilised world will have developed beyond the need for fairy tales to explain natural phenomena.
Tony Williams

J MACLENNAN of Inverness cannot accept that anything as complex as the human body could have come about without a creator, but seems to have no trouble accepting that something infinitely more complex (his deity) can exist without one.
Neil Caple

MAY I publicly thank those supporters of the Scotland national football team, and others, who have donated to our organisation down through the years.

The Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal donates to a children’s charity in every country in which Scotland plays an international football match.

Since the first donation in Lithuania in 2003, not a single match has been played away from Scotland without the Sunshine Appeal donating to a local charity. Not for nothing is our motto “Everywhere We Go!”. On Saturday evening last, the Sunshine Appeal donated £5,000 to Puttinu Cares, an organisation in Malta which helps children suffering from cancer. This was the 60th consecutive donation – the Diamond Donation.

On Monday morning, the Sunshine Appeal donated three complete school uniforms to three sibling Syrian refugees who will start school this month. Completely unable to afford the uniforms, the children will now better blend in with their classmates and will be able to retain some dignity.

I reiterate my thanks to those who support us, from our first donation in 2003 until our most recent donation and, we hope, into the future. Here’s to our 70th!
John Daly
Chairman and Trustee – Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal