Birthplace of Scotland's National Flag

by Scottish Flag Trust in Athelstaneford, Scotland, United Kingdom

Birthplace of Scotland's National Flag

£1,445

raised of £60,000 target
27
supporters
2% 42 days left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by January 25th 2020 at 10:21am

Restore the birthplace of the Saltire, Scotland's national flag.

by Scottish Flag Trust in Athelstaneford, Scotland, United Kingdom

The birthplace of Scotland's national flag

The St Andrew’s Cross or Saltire is Scotland’s national flag. Tradition has it that the flag, the white saltire on a blue background, the oldest flag in Europe originated in a battle fought in East Lothian, near the village of Athelstaneford in the Dark Ages.

Today the flag flies proudly all year round from the Saltire Memorial in Athelstaneford parish church to celebrate this special connection.

Restoration and renewal

The Scottish Flag Trust is a registered Scottish charity which maintains the Saltire Memorial and the Flag Heritage Centre at Athelstaneford and promotes the proper use of the Saltire. 

The restoration and renewal project will see a new accessible pathway with interpretive timeline, telling the history and adoption of Scotland's national flag from 834AD to the present. 

New landscaping and engraved paving around the Saltire Memorial will tell the story of St Andrew's and Scot's societies across the globe. 

A new immersive audiovisual experience telling the story of the Battle of Athelstaneford and the creation and adoption of Scotland's national flag.

Restoration of the 16th Century lectern doocot which houses the Flag Heritage Centre will maintain this important historic building and keep it safe for the future. 

Legend of the Saltire

It is believed that the battle took place in the year 832AD. An army of Picts under Angus mac Fergus, High King of Alba, and aided by a contingent of Scots led by Eochaidh (Kenneth mac Alpin’s grandfather) had been on a punitive raid into Lothian (then and for long afterwards Northumbrian territory), and were being pursued by a larger force of Angles and Saxons under one Athelstan.

The Albannach/Scots were caught and stood to face their pursuers in the area of Markle, near East Linton. This is to the north of the modern village of Athelstaneford (which was resited on higher ground in the 18th century), where the Peffer, which flows into the Firth of Forth at Aberlady, forms a wide vale. Being then wholly undrained, the Peffer presented a major obstacle to crossing, and the two armies came together at the ford near the present day farm of Prora (one of the field names there is still the Bloody Lands).

Fearing the outcome of the encounter, King Angus led prayers for deliverance and was rewarded by seeing a cloud formation of a white saltire (the diagonal cross on which St Andrew had been martyred) against a blue sky. The king vowed that if, with the saint’s help, he gained the victory, then Andrew would thereafter be the patron saint of Scotland. The Scots did win, and the Saltire became the flag of Scotland.

When Kenneth mac Alpin, who may have been present with his grandfather at the battle, later united Picts and Scots and named the entity Scotland, Andrew did indeed become the patron saint of the united realm. Kenneth mac Alpin, King of Scots and Picts, Ard-righ Albainn, was laid to rest on Iona in 860AD.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£1,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Special St Andrew's Day Saltire

Own the official saltire used in the annual St Andrew Service on Sunday 24 November 2019 at Athelstaneford parish church. At the close of the service, the flag was piped to the Saltire Memorial and blessed by the Minister, before being hoisted on the flagpole. The flag flew continuously including St Andrew's day itself. Certificated.

£25 or more

£25 - Become a friend of the Scottish Flag Trust

Subscription as a Friend of the Scottish Flag Trust for 2020. Your name added to the 'friends list' in addition you will receive the Flag Trust News Letter.

£50 or more

Greetings Cards

A pack of ten greetings cards with envelopes

£100 or more

Book of the Saltire

Your donation will be recorded in the richly decorated Book of the Saltire which is on display in the Flag Heritage Centre. Includes a subscription as a Friend of the Flag Trust for 1 year.

£250 or more

Donor walk - individuals

Add your name, your family or gift to a friend. Your name engraved in the pathway as a donor.

£500 or more

Donor walk - Societies and orgnaisations

Add the name of your organisation or clan society engraved in the pathway as a donor.


Let's make 'Birthplace of Scotland's National Flag' happen

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