ALL Under One Banner’s new grassroots Yes campaign is at the centre of a major row after taking the name of an existing Gaelic-speaking group.

The new organisation is known as Yes Alba, and was set up to “build bonds of respect and common purpose” among independence supporters. 

However, Yes Alba already exists. It was created in the run up to the 2014 independence referendum as a Gaelic-language grassroots group. Their Facebook page has more than 31,000 likes. 

READ MORE: Yes Alba: Top indy activists and SNP MP elected to lead new organisation

Responding to criticism on social media last night, AUOB said: “Yes Alba is a, perfectly feasible, working name for the new National membership organisation – subject to the decision making of the National committee, which has only just been elected and so hasn't met yet.”

The organisation added: “Alba is a name for Scotland. There are great opportunities for the language if the National Yes membership org uses it. The defensiveness over the name doesn't seem respective, as Alba is a Scottish name, and Gaelic a Native language of Scotland. 

“Do please reflect that Gaelic speakers don't own Gaelic words. Alba is not owned by anyone. Gaelic is a Native language of Scotland, there is not a separate country here.”

The Daily Gael twitter account posted: “Trying not to overreact here, but telling a people they don't own their words is next level colonialist narrative, from a group that supposedly wants to see a better country.”

Eoghan Mhic said the unwillingness to back down meant that the group’s name was a misnomer: “All under one banner unless you speak Gaelic, then it's shut up Gael and know your place in English speaking Scotland.”

Cruithneach tweeted: "What AUOB is doing is unilaterally declaring, from a majority, English-speaking perspective, that Gaelic's place in the national movement is to be a decoration, a symbol, something to be used superficially and not substantively."

An Tuiseal Ginideach said it was "Impiriúlachas cultúrtha" – cultural imperialism.

"This lot stole the name of a Gàidhlig-language pro-independence group, and refuse to give it back.

"Is this any better than Westminster?"

Robbie Anndra MacLeòid said: "When it comes to the next IndyRef, Gaels should have access to the space YesAlba created for them in 2014. They shouldn't have to make a new one, put all that work in again to establish themselves, or rename, just because AUOB fancy pinching the name."

Both AUOB and the Gaelic speaking Yes Alba have been approached for comment.

Earlier this week, AUOB unveiled the results of elections to their new committee. Among the successful candidates was National columnist and former SNP MSP George Kerevan, blogger and former ambassador Craig Murray and SNP MP Angus MacNeil.

A statement from AUOB read: “Many congratulations to those who were successful. Together you will shoulder the task of establishing good governance for a new organisation and of achieving that quickly. Now progress demands discussion, hard work and compromise. This is surely progress for the Yes movement.

“It’s vital that this group meets urgently to build bonds of respect and common purpose and to get on with the most pressing tasks of establishing the organisation towards the 1st January 2021 launch."