This must be one of the most blogged topics in the UK this weekend, Gordon Brown wanting to reclaim the Union Jack from the far right and wanting us all to celebrate Britishness.
I think I am in the group with most Scots, that say we are Scottish first and foremost, then British and European.
The Union flag is a strange thing that is spread across the world, and in someways British colonialism can be looked on as having left a legacy of blood, domination and destruction across the globe; indigenous poplutions and cultures were destroyed in the name of empire. However we can also say that the legacy of colonialism did spread a degree of ‘good things’ around the world; democracy, education and justice.
I don’t know which side of the colonial debate I am on, perhaps there was more bad than good, but all these things are associated with the Union flag; a British arrogance that we are superior. I think that we cannot wrestle back the Union flag from this as it is not only the British people but a fair slice of the rest of the world that think this.
In this age of devolution within the UK I think we have to celebrate the diversity that defines four unique nations that are an economic and political union. It would be far better that on St Andrew’s Day Scotland promotes itself (people, place and culture) to the rest of the union, and the same with the others.
The problem with this idea is, to a lesser degree in Scotland and Wales and a greater degree in England, that the sense of national identity is not there and so how can we celebrate contemporary Britian when we can not celebrate contemporary Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you do think you are British first and foremost, try The BBC British Test so see how British you are!