AS we promised from the outset, the Yes DIY Hub pages in The National are about spreading news of local initiatives by groups supporting independence and encouraging best practice in the run up to the second indy referendum.

Today the National is revealing a remarkable new project by Dumfries and Gallow ay Pensioners for Independence (DGPI) and we have no hesitation in asking the whole Yes movement to support it right across the nation.

At 11pm on March 29, the Article 50 withdrawal triggered two years ago by Prime Minister Theresa May will take effect and despite 62% of Scottish voters choosing to Remain, against 38% voting Leave, Scotland will be out of the EU. According to DGPI, independence supporters and all those of whichever party or none who believe in democracy should mount a protest the following day, Saturday, March 30, which will be our first day outside the EU.

The “death of Scottish democracy”, says DGPI, should be marked by the wearing of a white Scottish rose, Scotland’s other national flower and the symbol of Bonnie Prince Charlie among others, the flower being immortalised in a brief but powerful poem by Hugh MacDiarmid.

Ian Richmond of DGPI told The National: “As things stand, March 29 will see Scotland dragged out of the EU against its wishes. To many this marks the end of any pretence of Scottish democracy. It would be an opportunity missed not to mark this day in some way.

“We in Dumfries and Galloway intend to hold our own small commemorations, but we hope to gain maximum national effect with nationwide publicity.

“The idea is for a simple and adaptable commemoration borrowing on the symbolism of the white rose of Prince Charlie and the funereal wreath. To make it as simple as possible lets call it White Flower of Scotland Day so that we are not limited to roses but still with that background imagery.

“People could wear a white flower in their lapel, even a plastic one or a badge; people could leave a single white flower or a wreath of white roses in prominent localities around the country. I personally am planning to throw a wreath of white roses into the River Sark at Gretna.”

Other ideas include the printing of leaflets or cards emblazoned with MacDiarmid’s poem and a message about the protest.

A florist told The National that, given sufficient notice, most professional florists could work up a white rose wreath or lapel corsage or brooch-type attachment such as a boutonniere. It could also be worn as a cockade on a bonnet, as Jacobites did in the 18th century.

Wearing such a flower strikes the right note of poignancy given it is the day of our democratic “death” but the white rose is also a symbol of positivity and DGPI and The National hope the whole Yes movement and true Scottish democrats of every shade can support this symbolic protest on March 30.

Even if Brexit is postponed, the White Flower Day should still go ahead on March 30 as a hugely symbolic protest to show that Scotland is still massively opposed to leaving the EU.

As Richmond said: “We at Dumfries and Galloway Pensioners for Independence want to do this because it is about our Scottish democracy being ignored, first and foremost, and that is something surely people of all shades of opinion can agree on.”


by Hamish MacPherson

THE little white rose of Scotland was indeed a Jacobite symbol, worn either on lapels or as a white cockade on headgear. Legend has it that Bonnie Prince Charlie picked a white rose and put it on his hat on his way from Glenfinnan at the start of the Jacobite Rising of 1745.

As First Minister Alex Salmond made clear back then, however, it was MacDiarmid’s poem about the little white rose which inspired the 69 SNP members of the Scottish Parliament to wear white roses at the swearing-in ceremony at Holyrood in 2011. The gesture was repeated when the 56 SNP MPs elected in 2015 wore them when they arrived in the House of Commons.

MacDiarmid’s words: “The rose of all the world is not for me/ I want for my part/Only the little white rose of Scotland/That smells sharp and sweet – and breaks the heart.”