AN ENGLISHMAN has decided to turn his back on the St George’s Cross is trying to declare himself officially Scottish.
David Hingston, originally from Devonshire, said after living in the country for more than 20 years he is ready to honour the Saltire.
The 70-year-old admitted he has no Scottish relatives but said being a Scot is not about a person’s “blood” but their love of country.
He is now trying to find out if there’s a “Scottish test” and is even considering writing to Alex Salmond to make the change.
The Scottish Government said the pensioner is entitled to call himself “whatever he likes” but admitted they are not aware of any “official mechanism” to make such a change.
Mr Hingston lives with his Scottish wife Joy in Dunfermline, Fife and said he is ready to make “a commitment” to Scotland.
He said: “I’ve been trying to find out if it’s possible – whether there’s a test you can take – but no one seems to know.
“I’ve lived here for 20 years and feel a great affinity with Scotland – I regard myself as Scottish by marriage and was curious to see if I could somehow make a commitment to the country.
“I could probably write to Alex Salmond and see if he could fiddle it some way or another but as I’m not part of his party and never will be I don’t think he’ll do that.
“It’s more than a whim – I just wonder if it could be made official.”
Mr Hingston said his love of Scottish culture made him want to regard the country as his homeland.
He added: “What makes people Scottish is a cultural thing rather than a blood thing.
“Ancestry won’t work for me as I’ve got no Scottish relatives as far as I know.
“It sounds corny but my favourite food is haggis, neeps and tatties.”
Mr Hingston has his own ideas of what he thinks should be in a so-called Scottish test – but admitted he is not keen on the national language.
He said: “I think knowledge of the geography of the country, its history and background should be there.
“Knowledge of the food and language as well – not Gaelic, but everyday words and pronunciation.
“I like the country and the different Scottish expressions or idioms of the local language in each place – I’m especially interested in the history of Dunfermline.”
Mr Hingston – a former factory maintenance engineer – said he has “felt like a Scot” ever since he moved to Dunfermline after marrying wife Joy.
He said: “We met in London many moons ago at a Salvation Army conference.
“Joy was from Dunfermline and after we married I moved to Dunfermline – since then I have always felt like a Scot.
“I think that after a certain time of living in a country you can get citizenship but i don’t just want that – I want to be an official Scot.”
The former Englishman has now swapped his homeland in Devon – best known for its cream teas – for Dunfermline, famed for its fried food.
He added: “I’ve never eaten a deep-fried Mars bar – in our local chippy I saw a deep-fried pizza and that was enough to put me off.
“I also like some of Robert Burns’ work but it’s quite hard to understand when it’s written in old Scots tongue.
“I’ve had a chance to see a lot of Scotland since I’ve been here and I intend to see a whole lot more.
“My favourite place is Strathpeffer, a wee village near Dingwall up near Inverness – it’s the most beautiful place I have ever visited.
“Scottish people either don’t appreciate or overlook how beautiful their country is – the rolling hills, the lochs, the landscape and the culture.
“It’s not that there’s anything particularly wrong with England – apart from the government – but everything about Scotland just makes me want to be more a part of it.”
Mr Hingston – who has three children and six grandchildren – said his family support his decision to break away from his country of origin.
He added: “I have one son in the Highlands and three grandchildren that stay in Carnoustie who all support me.
“Joy supports my campaign as well – although when I tried to say ‘It’s a braw, bricht, moonlicht nicht the nicht’ I made a mess of it and she looked offended.
“But there must be others like me out there – maybe it’s time the Scottish Government introduced a way for people to take a Scottish test in order to become a citizen.”
Mr Hingston also voiced his thoughts on independence – he added: “I haven’t really made my mind up yet, but I suppose I’m leaning more to staying in the union.
“I just think the country would be better off in the long run.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Citizenship is currently reserved to the UK Government.
“However, in an independent Scotland we will offer dual citizenship, recognising our shared history with the UK and making it as easy as possible for those who wish it to hold Scottish citizenship alongside British citizenship.”