I was speaking to a guy I met in the pub the other day, three years after his last trip back, for the referendum, from the North Island of New Zealand, about his trip home, a visit principally to see his Mam, who is ill.
He was telling me that he had taken a jaunt along the Fife coast last week, and couldn’t believe the number of times he came across a Union flag, atop buildings, memorials, in the gardens of private residences, and even heavily marketed on the packaging in his local supermarket. The only saltire he found on display was aloft above his local links golf club.
Is this a new trend he wondered? Were these flags always there, but prior to the last few years weren’t considered by some to be contentious, and therefore invisible? Neither he, nor I, could remember.
Is there a growing need arising in Scots who identify themselves more as British than Scottish to feel they have to publicly display that identity? I don’t know.
We debated the point over a pint, moving on to discuss our thoughts on the news media, and in our alcohol soaked haze decided that we both agreed that there is a lot of messaging, both up front and subliminally, going on to help to ensure that the people of Scotland keep on metaphorically tugging those forelocks, and ‘pooling and sharing’ their resources.’
Mind you, we didnae need the drink to be able to recognise that.