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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 October, 2003, 15:17 GMT
Scots anthem call rejected
Girl with saltire
Mr Reid said Scotland deserved an inspiring anthem
A call for the Scottish Parliament to commission an official Scottish national anthem has been turned down.

Petitioner George Reid told MSPs that Scotland needed a "proper" national anthem.

Mr Reid, who earlier this year won his fight to have a specific shade of blue identified for the Saltire, told MSPs that present anthems were an "embarrassment" to Scots.

But the petitions committee told him it did not have such powers, and that it was a matter for the Home Office in London.

Mr Reid, from Edinburgh, described the song "Scots Wha Hae" as "aggressive", and Flower of Scotland as "vindictive".

We've much to be proud of and we need an anthem to say so to others
George Reid
He said Scotland deserved to have a more inspiring song such as the Marseillaise or the Star-Spangled Banner.

He told MSPs: "This country has a long and distinguished history, rich traditions and a distinctive culture.

"We've much to be proud of and we need an anthem to say so to others and to remind ourselves, something we can sing with pride on important ocassions."

'Distinctly Scottish'

He earlier called on MSPs to run a competition to compose a new anthem, and have it made official.

He said it should not replace God Save the Queen, but that there was a need for a distinctly Scottish anthem which could be used at sporting events or at schools.

But a number of MSPs argued that people would simply sing what they wanted to anyway.

Glasgow SNP MSP Sandra White disagreed with Mr Reid insisting that Flower of Scotland, regularly sung before Scotland football and rugby matches, "stirs my blood".

Convener of the petitions committee, Michael McMahon, told Mr Reid that if he wished to pursue his request, he would have to take up the issue with Westminster.

BBC Scotland's John Knox
"Perhaps it's a case of he who pays the piper calls the tune"

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