The National:

BRITISH nationalists are absolutely fuming at Nicola Sturgeon.

There’s little surprise there, but this may just be the most misguided backlash yet.

Unionists have been whipped into a frenzy on social media after it was “revealed” the First Minister had supposedly ordered the Union flag to be flown outside of government buildings on just one day a year.

“Nicola Sturgeon’s war with reality continues in earnest this week…” right-wing news site Guido Fawkes reported, “…as the First Minister has instructed that the Union Jack should now only be flown from government buildings on Remembrance Sunday. For the remaining 364 days of the year, it is to be replaced – of course – by the EU flag…”

The reports are based on updated Scottish Government guidance.

The scandalous revelation has outraged social media users, including Scottish Tory MSPs Rachael Hamilton and Jamie Greene.

Party colleague Annie Wells added: "Where to begin? The SNP are mired in corruption, dogged by complacency and would do anything to distract attention from their dreadful record in government."

There’s just one minor detail that’s being overlooked.

It turns out the decision to fly the Union flag exclusively on Remembrance Sunday was made 11 years ago.

That’s right, and we know this because of a very similar Unionist social media storm from January 2018, when Tories reacted furiously to reports that Sturgeon had ordered the Union flag be taken down from official government buildings.

Their rage was compounded when it was alleged the decision had been taken deliberately to coincide with the Queen’s birthday.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon slams flag-obsessed British nationalists over 'nonsense’ Union flag story

Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary, told the Daily Mail he thought the move was “churlish”.

He said: “It seems a swipe at Downing Street and at the Union rather than the monarchy as such. But I think it is a daft idea.’”

Murdo Fraser added: “Nicola Sturgeon’s always keen to stress that her civic nationalism is nothing to do with flags and banners. Yet here we have her trying to eradicate the Union Flag from government buildings in Scotland.

The National:

“This is just another example of the SNP government pushing its separatist agenda by stealth.

“Refusing to fly the Union Flag on the Queen’s birthday is something that may well appeal to the extreme elements of the nationalist movement. But ordinary members of the public will be altogether less convinced.”

But the Scottish Government pointed there had in fact been no change in policy since 2010, when an informal decision was taken to fly the Lion Rampant more often. And former First Minister Alex Salmond has revealed that the Queen herself approved the changes.

READ MORE: There's a glaring flaw with the new Unionist billboard attacking Nicola Sturgeon

What did change, the Government said, was that the practice to use the Union flag only on Remembrance Sunday had been formalised, with new written guidance prepared by a civil servant.

Before 2010, there were 15 occasions when the Union flag had been hoisted at key official and heritage sites, generally to mark royal birthdays and anniversaries.

Sturgeon explained on Twitter in 2017: “It has been practice to fly Lion Rampant on Royal occasions since 2010. I have not ordered, instructed, authorised any change – indeed there has been no change.

“Civil servants recently updated published guidance to reflect the long standing practice.

“This update was a straightforward administrative task. I did not ask for it to be done. Indeed, I was not even aware it had been done until media enquiries were made.”

That was not good enough for Scots Tory MSP boss Ruth Davidson, who tweeted: “The SNP government should be more concerned with raising standards, not lowering flags. Dismal stuff.”

Sturgeon later described Davidson’s tweet as “fake news”.

Responding to the latest Tory backlash about Union flags, a Scottish Government spokesman explained: “The EU flag is flown to reflect the overwhelming vote of the people of Scotland to remain in Europe, and as a mark of solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of EU citizens who continue to call Scotland home.

“The Union flag is not flown from Scottish Government buildings on a daily basis. It is flown to mark specific dates and occasions, and that will continue to be the case.”

It seems some Unionists never learn their lesson.