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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 November, 2004, 12:18 GMT
Anthem demand falls on deaf ears
Robert Burns
The Greens say a Burns song would be a fitting national anthem
Calls for Scotland to have a new national anthem have received a cool response from MSPs.

Edinburgh pensioner George Reid asked Holyrood to organise a competition for a new specially-written song.

Green MSP Chris Ballance supported calls for a new anthem when the subject was considered by the public petitions committee on Wednesday.

But MSPs passed on the request to the Scottish Executive and said it was not one of the committee's priorities.

The Scottish Greens have already called for Robert Burns song A Man's A Man For A' That to replace God Save the Queen.

There is a tremendous value in having a song which exemplifies Scotland, both to ourselves and to the world
Chris Ballance
Green MSP
The Burns song, which pays tribute to the virtues of the common man, was sung by folk artist Sheena Wellington at the Scottish Parliament's opening ceremony in July 1999.

Mr Ballance, the Greens' arts and culture spokesperson and a regional MSP for Ayrshire, said: "There is a tremendous value in having a song which exemplifies Scotland, both to ourselves and to the world.

"It helps forge a sense of identity, community and belonging among ourselves, and it could provide an extra way of identifying Scotland when selling her abroad. We have a national parliament, we have a flag, it is appropriate to have a national anthem."

'Celebrate our tongue'

He argued that the issue should be discussed by the enterprise committee with a view to conducting an anthem selection process.

"Personally I would prefer to see something in Scots, which surely means Burns," he said.

"There are Burns clubs from Moscow to New York so I think we should celebrate his work much more.

"Burns gives us in Scotland huge capital across the world, and we do not build sufficiently on it. Choosing a Burns song would raise the interest in reading Burns in our schools, celebrate our own tongue, and build on existing positive images of Scotland across the world."

The Scottish Greens will also propose Hogmanay favourite Auld Lang Syne as a possible alternative.

Here is a selection of your views on what the anthem should be.

Flower of Scotland is our national anthem. God Save the Queen has anti-Scottish sentiment. For all the genius in Burns' work, and it's 'proud' Scottish roots, it can't be forgotten that he was a drunk, a womaniser and a member of the masonic lodge. His work has no place representing a multi-cultural Scotland.
Brian Reilly, Motherwell, Scotland

Hamish Henderson's "Freedom Come All Ye" , without a doubt.
MK, Dundee

Something Scottish and uplifting? The theme tune to Balamory perhaps? Is this really what we didn't vote for the Scottish Parliament for? Can this bunch of overpaid cooncilers not do something useful with all our money? I would love to get Rabbie's opinion on this bunch.
Chris Robinson, Kilmarnock

What kind of Scotland should our anthem promote to the world: the negative, small-minded, anti-English sentiments of Flower of Scotland or the positive, broad-minded, egalitarian values of A Man's A Man For A' That? It's got to be Burns and the SFA should lead the way and use it as our anthem at Scotland matches.
Martin, Glasgow

During the 80s at any given sporting event there seemed to be a policy adopted by the British authorities of either playing "Scotland the Brave" or simply playing "God Save the Queen" as a British national anthem covering both playing teams. This was ignored by the majority of Scotland fans who continued to sing "Flower of Scotland". This I am sure will no doubt happen again until this stupid almost yearly call for a new national anthem dies a death and Flower of Scotland is made in name what it has truly become... the National Anthem of Scotland.
R.L. McGee, Edinburgh, Scotland

I agree with Neil Browne. We also can't forget the anti-Scots rhetoric in later verses of Goad Save the Queen although principally aimed at Jacobites. The people chose Flower of Scotland first through singing it at international sporting events and then by making it our anthem. It was not imposed by dictat unlike most national songs. Flower of Scotland is a stirring evocation of nationhood and liberty.
Alisdair Matheson, Glasgow, Scotland

We already have a national anthem, well known and sung by Scots everywhere. The Flower of Scotland.
Tom Fox, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Surely Flower of Scotland is the obvious choice?
Victoria, London

A Man's A Man For A' That is a classic Burns work but does not reflect the modern parliament that Scotland has (or wants). Okay so Flower of Scotland dwells in the past but it also looks forward and it is a great rousing tune. I think any government would have a hard time convincing people to sing anything other than FoS.
Bob Blainey, Weston-super-mare

Nicola Fraser, Aberdeen, Scotland

I thought we always had God Save the Queen as our anthem as Britain but what about when we play sport? It is always Flower Of Scotland. When this is sung at Murrayfield or abroad it is always such a rousing anthem where we all rise and sing together. The bagpipes make Flower of Scotland - without them it wouldn't be much and that I fear is what it would be like to adopt a poem as an anthem. Make Flower Of Scotland our anthem as it does us Scots proud, even in foreign countries. When I hear the Flower of Scotland played before the rugby I feel proud to be a Scot.
Simon Fox, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Flower of Scotland.
John Linden, London England

It's totally irrelevant if God Save the Queen is meant to be our anthem because we never sing it. We already have a national anthem and it shows just how out of touch politicians are when they can't see that Flower of Scotland is what every Scotsman knows as their anthem.
David Sandilands, Edinburgh

I think the national anthem should be Scotland the Brave. Flower of Scotland is so backward looking and I'm afraid I haven't heard a Burns poem or song since I left school nine years ago and wouldn't want to again.
AJ, Edinburgh, Scotland

I can't believe some of the dirge that people are suggesting for the national anthem. What about something cool and contemporary instead - I suggest 'Sing' by Travis or something by Idlewild.
Jacq Kelly, Edinburgh, Scotland

We already have a national anthem. No-one I know in any generation sings God Save the Queen up here. Everybody knows our national anthem is Flower of Scotland and it is fitting, emotional and I am proud to sing it and hear it in its rightful place. I disagree with these people who abuse it and make it a bigot thing.
Neil Browne, Stonehaven, Scotland




SEE ALSO:
Greens call for new Scots anthem
03 Oct 04 |  Scotland
Remembering an historic day
01 Jul 00 |  Scotland
In tune with the people
01 Jul 99 |  Scottish Parliament opening


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