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Flag Code for the Manufacture of the Scottish Flag

Last modified: 2006-12-23 by rob raeside
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Draft Proposal for a Flag Code for the Manufacture of the Scottish National Flag
Proposed by The Heraldry Society of Scotland

Manufacturing the Scottish National Flag
The Scottish National Flag will herein be referred to as the Flag Proportions

1.1 The Flag is rectangular and at manufacture is of a height to length ratio of four to five, (4:5), this being the true and correct proportion for the Flag for all national and international use, be the user governmental, commercial or private.

[Flag of Scotland]
[Click on flag for larger image.]

1.2 The field of the Flag at manufacture shall be Blue and of a hue compatible with Pantone(c) 300 unglazed. The saltire on the Flag shall be at manufacture, White.

The Saltire
1.3 The Flag has a single charge of a white saltire which runs to the corners of the flag. To produce a properly proportioned saltire, a square is drawn in each corner of the flag with sides one sixth the height of the flag. By joining the corners of diagonally opposite squares where they meet the edge of the flag a saltire of the correct thickness is produced.

[Flag of Scotland]
[Click on flag for larger image.]

Further Recommendations to Flag Manufacturers

2.1 Manufacturers of flags are discouraged from making the Scottish National Flag in proportions and colours other than those proposed herein.

2.2 This code accepts that there are special variations of the Flag, such as Gonfannons, Streamers (Vimpels) and other flags whose shape will not comply with this code. Whilst this code in no way discourages their manufacture, it seeks to have manufacturers apply the parts of the manufacturing code which are applicable to the making of these special flags and banners.

2.3 The Flag may be produced in other proportions when being made as part of a display of international flags of one size and proportion. The making of these flags should be the exception rather than the norm.

2.4 The Scottish National Flag is traditionally a component part of the Union Flag. It is not intended that the proportions and colours of the Scottish National Flag are carried into the making of the Union Flag which has a traditional manufacturing code of its own.

2.5 The importation of Scottish National Flags which do not comply with this code should be discouraged.

Legislation and The Scottish National Flag

3.1 The Scottish National Flag is the flag that is known severally as; the Scottish Flag, the Scottish Saltire, St Andrew's Flag, St Andrew's Cross, St Andrew's Saltire and other names.

3.2 The Scottish National Flag was recorded at the Lyon Office in 1672 during the reign of King Charles II, on the 20th page of Volume 1 of The Public Register of all Arms and Bearings in Scotland as one of His Majesty's Banners and that His Majesty's banner are there recorded as: Azure, a St Andrews Cross Argent.

3.3 The Scottish National Flag enjoys the protection afforded all Ensigns Armorial in Scotland under the Lord Lyon King of Arms Acts. 1592, C. 125; fol. edit. C. 29 (James VI) and 1672, c. 21; fol. edit. C. 47 (Charles II)

3.4 The Scottish National Flag may not be defaced or carry additional charges other than those granted by the Lord Lyon King of Arms and that are recorded in The Public Register of all Arms and Bearings in Scotland and that any violators could be at risk of prosecution by the Procurator Fiscal to the Court of the Lord Lyon.

3.5 The Scottish National Flag is the true Ensign of the Scottish Nation and her People and may be flown without let or hindrance by all.

3.6 This flag code does not apply to Flags and Ensigns used by H.M. Armed Forces in Scotland or Ensigns of the Merchant Marine in Scotland.

3.7 This flag code does not relate to items other than flags which depict the blue and white St Andrew's saltire nor graphic depictions of the Flag.

Recommendations for Flying of the Scottish National Flag

4.1 This code applies only to the Scottish National Flag when it is flown as a flag from a flag staff, pole or other hoist.

4.2 The Scottish National Flag does not take precedence over the Union Flag when the two are flown together in Scotland, however the Flag may be flown in 'equal standing' with the Union Flag.

4.3 The Scottish National Flag when flown in Scotland with flags other than the Union Flag should have precedence over or 'equal standing' with all other flags.

4.4 The Scottish National Flag may be flown day and night on every day of the year.

4.5 The Scottish National Flag may be flown 'at half mast' when appropriate.

4.6 There is no retrospective intention within this code and it will not affect any legal variants of the Scottish National Flag which were manufactured before the code's introduction.

Concerning the Royal Arms of Scotland

5.1 In Scotland, the flying of a flag or banner depicting the Royal Arms of Scotland, (commonly known as the Rampant Lion) has become commonplace in the last one hundred years. It is improper under the Lord Lyon King of Arms acts of 1595 and 1672 for anyone other than H.M. the Queen and certain representative members of H.M. Household to fly a flag depicting the Royal Arms of Scotland. It is however allowed that the public may wave hand flags depicting the Royal Arms of Scotland as a sign of loyalty to H.M. the Queen.

5.2 Manufacturers of flags should not make flags of the Royal Arms of Scotland other than small hand flags except under order of H.M. Household or Government. The importation of flags depicting the Royal Arms of Scotland should be discouraged.

Notes on the Flag Code.

Manufacture 1
1.1 This proportion is based on historic references, contemporary recommendation and the flying characteristics of flags of different rectangular proportions.

1.2 The Pantone Colour Reference is an internationally renowned authority on colour systems for the selection and accurate communication of colour for the graphic design, printing, publishing, textile and plastics industries

1.3 The Scottish National Flag has regularly been produced with thin saltires which look weak on such an important flag. The practice of 'off setting the points' of the saltire in the corners with longer edges at the top and bottom of the flag looks wrong. The recommended method of setting the corners of the flag with squares keeps the saltire pointing directly at the corners of the flag and produces a broader, well proportioned saltire.

Manufacture 2
2.1 It is anticipated that when the Scottish National Flag has been produced in the proscribed proportion and colour in sufficient numbers, other less attractive and 'non-standard' flags will soon disappear leaving Scotland with a more regular ensign .

2.2 These special flags are becoming popular again as ceremony claws its way back into public life. Each of these unique flag forms have the ability to display the symbol of St Andrews cross in an attractive way and it is anticipated that flag makers will utilise the flag code when designing these decorative flags.

2.3 The practice of flying groups of multi national flags together often calls for the flags to be all of one size and proportion. This usually means that international flag codes are ignored in favour of a standardised display. Whilst not desirable, it is an option resorted to usually without strong opposition. The sale of these 'group display flags' should be restricted by manufacturers for this purpose.

2.4 The St Andrew's flag component of the Union flag has been corrupted over the years since the Union. The blue field has darkened to navy blue which is quite wrong for the Scottish National Flag. But it would be equally wrong for this flag code to try to turn back the time and undo the established colour palette of the Union flag.

2.5 An obvious danger to the acceptance of the code and the standardisation for the flag is if foreign manufacturers continue to make and send to Scotland non-compliant flags.

3.1 There are many names for the flag, all of them are quite proper but the promotion of the code should be established under one name.

3.2 to 3.4 This is the current law that surrounds the Flag. It is perfectly adequate to protect the ensign if the public are made aware of its existence by simple education and explanation.

3.5 The Scottish National Flag may be flown by any one in Scotland.

3.6 The armed forces and merchant marine have their own codes for flags and ensigns which are not affected by this code although it is anticipated that in time both the services and the merchant marine will adopt the code and encompass it into their individual codes when making flags containing the St Andrew's cross.

3.7 St Andrew's cross appears on a great many manufactured goods as a means of showing affiliation with Scotland. It is not possible to devise a code to cover these areas of manufacture. It can only be hoped that over a period of time, designers will start to use the symbol of the St Andrews cross in colour and proportions laid out in the flag code.

4.1 Irrespective of this flag code the irrepressible Scots will find ways of displaying their national fervour by wrapping themselves in or painting themselves with the Scottish National Flag. The code is designed to deal only with flying flags, the rest is left to personal consciousness and self dignity.

4.2 to 4.4 All self evident.

4.6 Flags have a flying life which varies according to the material from which they are made. But hopefully when the mishmash of different flags that currently fly throughout Scotland have flown their last they will be replaced by flags that comply with the code. Non-legal variants of the flag such as those that may fall foul of the Lord Lyon King of Arms Acts can still face seizure and destruction.

The Royal Standard
5.1 & 5.2 There is still a great deal of confusion in Scotland over the status of the Scottish Royal Arms. Many people still think that the 'rampant lion' is the national flag. Even flag manufacturers do not realise that it is illegal to make the banner for anyone other the H.M. the Queen. By encompassing this information in the code this grey area may be clarified.

Published for the Heraldry Society of Scotland by Envoy Printed Communications, Envoy House, 104 Park Road, Rosyth, Scotland.

Provided by Anthony Maxwell, author of the 2004 Scottish Flag Code, 26 November 2006

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