Should Flower of Scotland be kept not so much for our sake but for all the others Great Britain has invaded?

In the Murder two days ago:

Former Scotland coach Jim Tefler is still adamant his nation should “show maturity” by ditching their national anthem. The Scots will blast out Flower of Scotland loud and proud at Twickenham before their blockbuster Six Nations Calcutta Cup clash against England on Saturday.

But Tefler, 82, believes it is time for the anthem to be shelved because of its anti-English connotations. He has long vocalised his desire for change for the song that was first adopted by the Scottish rugby team when he was forwards coach back in 1990.

The anthem fired the Scots up before their famous victory over the Red Rose to seal the Grand Slam 23 years ago, and has since been used by the national football side and at the Commonwealth Games.

“We need to stop defining ourselves through England, and it would be a sign of maturity if we got ourselves a decent national anthem,” Tefler said in 2010. “We should change it and have something that reflects us as a mature nation, instead of talking about another country. It would show us in a better light.”

But down the page:

Scotland boss Gregor Townsend opposes Tefler’s view, however, insisting Flower of Scotland is well loved in Test rugby across the world.

“I love it. It’s one of the unique occasions in sport, maybe more so at Murrayfield when the second verse is played without the accompaniment of music,” Townsend said.

“Whenever I played a few places outside of Scotland and they always wanted to play Flower of Scotland, whether it was Australia or France, they loved the anthem so it means a lot to our supporters. They also seem to want to continue.”

That last bit tells us everything.

Britain or ‘England’ as it was widely referred to until recent times, has a bit of ‘previous.’

A map of all the countries invaded by Britain over history, from this set of maps:

200 of the world’s countries, in one shape or form; Great Britain has invaded all but 22 of them. That amounts to about 90 percent of the world’s countries.

I’m not that fussed about the song myself but maybe if it annoys a few Tories then…


20 thoughts on “Should Flower of Scotland be kept not so much for our sake but for all the others Great Britain has invaded?

  1. Rather than question the Scottish Anthem , perhaps Mr Telfer should ask why England does not have a National Anthem but has continued to use the Anthem of the UK for all of its international sporting events ?
    This MAY cause confusion around the World where others may conflate the UK with England !!!
    Have they considered this ?

    Or , are they too Wee , too Poor or too Stupid to have one of their own ?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Increasingly, crowds at Twickenham, while they sing ‘God Save the King’ with gusto are also giving vent to ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’. They also use the flag of St George rather than the union flag. So, maybe more of them are beginning to realise that England is not Britain/UK. And, with that should come ideas about why England does not have its own parliament.


  2. I was at a Platinum Jubilee celebration last year (my excuse – it was a duty visit to a care home). At the end of what was in fact a lovely afternoon, the entertainers wondered if we should mark the occasion with the ‘national’ anthem. I heard someone near by saying, “O please, not ‘God Save the Queen'”. Luckily the entertainers settled on ‘Flower of Scotland’ which was sung with gusto by visitors and residents (all of them, pensioners) alike.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like “Flower of Scotland” as a song.
    I do not think it anti-English as Edward 11 spoke Norman French and his army was composed of English, Breton, Gascon, Norman, Irish, Welsh (and yes), Scottish troops.
    I do think we need a national anthem, however.

    I envy and admire the French, Italian and Welsh anthems as “rousing”, though the sentiments tend to be somewhat bloodthirsty.

    Can we fit a tune among all the tunes that Scotland has, to words that are patriotic and do not offend (not so easy among all the Britnats, wimps, and “looking to be upset” brigade?

    The most innocuous song would be ripped to shreds by the BEEB Scotland “Banshees of Specific Key”, the Hootsmon, Toryfraf, Dail Heil, Supress and Times.
    No doubt a wee preposterous knocking copy article from McKenna and Chums.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I not sure that a song that doesn’t have the word English in it can be condemned for being anti English. The song reminds us that once we were a proud and martial nation, that we beat our closest neighbour 29 times out of the 51 battles fought on mainland Britain, that our military prowess was appreciated and commemerated and sought after by France, Prusia, Sweden, Austria, Russia, providing both men and commanders. Perhaps more to the point it reminds ‘them’ of the devastation inflicted on Scotland by ‘ them’ when the union was created. The hills wouldn’t be bare now if it wasn’t for them, nor should stop reminding ‘ them ‘ and ourselves how badly this union has served Scotland.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agreed Golfnut, although I’m not sold on the melody or the time signature. The melody falls well short of stirring and the waltz time signature likewise. It’s more of a pub sing-along thing, whereas the Welsh and French anthems are unmistakably stirring when sung en masse. Scots Hae is marginally better but is too often sung too slowly, which makes it sound like a dirge. Could Creative Scotland find the money to fund a competition, open to all, to write a suitably stirring new anthem? No, I didn’t think so either!

      Also I didn’t know about the 57% victory ratio against a vastly larger foe!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. God point – England or English do not appear in the song.

      King Edward II is mentioned. He was the son of Edward I, aka Edward Longshanks, or Edward Plantagenet, who was of Norman descent. The fact that on Longshanks tomb in Westminster Abbey is inscribed ‘The Hammer of the Scots” cannot be considered as offensive to Scottish people, surely?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wikipedia actually. Had a difference of opinion some yrs ago with an Oxford history Prof who wrote an article for a Scottish history blog on Bannockburn. What annoyed me was the statement that winning against the English was very unusual for the Scots, I was a bit annoyed so did a bit of research and believe it or wiki listed every battle. Needless to say I was banned from the site after listing every battle and date, no change was made to the article.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the invite John, problem is, as I said, I was banned, probably excised, and have no access to an exchange that’s nigh on 8 yrs old even if it still exists.
        It was perhaps a perfect example of how our perceptions, how we ( Scots ) and those from elsewhere interested in your history, are mislead, misinformed intentionally or otherwise.







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  7. Must say I agree with Telfer on this occasion there are many more ‘inspiring’ songs designed to instil some national pride which is the intention. Indeed the day after the Referendum in my anger and frustration I concocted my own version for family, friends and Yes voters to the extent ”O co’er of Scotland we did not stand against them” as a nation we capitulated.


  8. If I remember correctly Princess Anne used to sing Flower of Scotland with gusto when she attended the rugby at Murrayfield. Wasn’t she President of Scottish Rugby at the time?


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