Labour/Tory council to consider ditching saltire for Union flag

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   By a Newsnet reporter

A local authority which is run by a Labour/Tory alliance is considering removing the saltire from the main council building and replacing it with the Union flag.

Stirling council, which has traditionally flown a saltire which commemorates the Battle of Bannockburn over the council HQ, is to consider a motion jointly proposed by Labour and Tory councillors which calls for the flag to be removed.

The proposal, which was revealed by online site Wings over Scotland, calls on fellow councillors to deplore “the debasing of our symbols” and to “stand up for the symbols of our country by flying the Union flag.

In 2012, the council’s largest party – the SNP – was kept from power by an alliance of the Conservatives and Labour.  The councillors who proposed the motion are Tory Callum Campbell and for Labour Danny Gibson.

The motion refers to “symbols that the men and women of Stirling have fought and died under for 300 years”.

However the proposal has caused outrage with critics accusing the councillors of insulting their own heritage and the Scottish flag.  The local authority includes the site of the Battle of Bannockburn, which the council’s saltire flag also commemorates.

Stirling Council SNP group leader Graham Houston said: “We’re having to save £24 million and we’re going through a labour dispute with bins on the streets unemptied and the ­administration wants to debate flags.

“I’m more than happy to discuss the referendum but to use their majority to fly a flag as part of their No campaign is a ridiculous position to take.”

Last night, Cllr Campbell defended the motion calling criticism  “online hysteria” which

had been ­generated by “hotheads”.

 

He added: “I’m not exactly sure what the council’s policy is on flying the Union flag. It flies sometimes. But I see no reason why we shouldn’t be the same as Holyrood.”