“Racist” song to soundtrack Scots athletes at 2010 Commonwealth Games


By Oliver Farrimond

A SONG that has been branded “racist” and “a dirge” has been selected as Scotland’s anthem for the Commonwealth Games.

Team Scotland will be going for gold in Delhi this summer to the sound of “Flower of Scotland” after the anthem was voted in ahead of “Scotland the Brave” by athletes.

The rousing anthem already features at Scots football and rugby matches, and famously celebrates Scotland’s bloody defeat of England at the Battle of Bannockburn at 1314.

However the song is widely perceived to be anti-English and many prominent Scots sportsmen have, in the past, criticized the song.

Two years ago George Peat, president of the Scottish football association, labeled the song a “dirge”.

He said: “At Hampden it is reasonable, but when we go abroad, it is embarrassing.

“It is played at about a third of the speed it should be, and the fans end up four or five bars ahead.”

And last summer, Scots rugby legend Finlay Calder slammed the anthem, branding it “appalling”.

He said: “It is embarrassing, the anti-English stuff has to stop.

“It is appalling the way we host our English competitors – before we can go forward we have to grow up a bit.”

The tune replaces “Scotland the Brave”, which has accompanied Scots athletes to the Commonwealth Games for more than 50 years.

Team Scotland voted for the change during training camp at Stirling University, with “Flower of Scotland” the overwhelming choice, taking 211 of the 226 votes.

A spokesman for Team Scotland said: “Everyone watched a sporting montage before the vote to envisage how the song will sound when played at medal ceremonies.


“We are delighted there was such an overwhelming result – it’s clear the athletes wanted change.”

And Tam Ferry, spokesman for the Association of Tartan Army Clubs, welcomed the move.

He said: “It is good to see the athletes have chosen a song the majority of people consider to be the country’s national anthem anyway.

“I think this goes to show just how well thought-out the song is, and how much it means to us.”

The controversial decision to adopt the anthem comes largely as a result of Scotland not having her own official national anthem, meaning that individual sports teams must choose their own.

In 2006, serving First Minister Jack McConnell called for a public debate on a Scottish national anthem, but MSPs rejected the plan.

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  1. I take it Finlay Calder was happy enough to have the Scots fans singing it at Murrayfield when his team were winning?

    • Here, here!
      Also, take a look at the circumstances of the introduction of the ENGLISH national anthem ‘God Save the Queen’. It came about after the defeat of the Jacobites in 1745. So, we SCOTS have had to endure an anti-Scots ENGLISH anthem – that has been pretending to be the UK anthem -for more than a couple of centuries. High time we turned the tables!!

      • Lord grant that Marshal Wade
        May by thy mighty aid
        Victory bring
        May he sedition hush
        And like a torrent rush
        Rebellious Scots to crush
        God save the Queen

        That’s not racist or a dirge is it?? it’s played every time a Scots athlete wins an Olympic medal and nobody gets a vote on it.

        As an Englishman living in Scotland i think Flower of Scotland is an excellent choice!

  2. I think its high time we all changed our tunes and i mean that literally! Both the national anthem and flower of scotland are “anti” . Why should we have songs that hark back to a time when the English and Scots were enemies and slaughtering one another….surely there is a better alternative.

  3. Why should the Scots have to change it? The English have caused enough havoc wherever they’ve gone in the world. An awful lot of the world’s major geo-political problems today originate from English greed and interference.

    By the way, it can’t be ‘racist’, as the English are the same race as the Scots. Xenophobic is the correct term.

  4. Oh get over it. The song is racist and an embarrasment. As for the UK national anthem that verse has not been sung for decades now given that it is offensive so you can’t use that for a comparison. Scotland the Brave is a much better and apt song.

    Once some of you Scots get the chip off your shoulder then we can all move on in peace.

    “An awful lot of the world’s major geo-political problems today originate from English greed and interference. ” Codswallop, the English weren’t the only ones at it and ironically some of the leading colonisers conquering the world for England oops, sorry Great Britain were Scottish. So put that in your bagpipe and smoke it.

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