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> St. andrew's day & bonnie blue flag, Backgroud on st. andrew's day
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  Posted: 02-Dec-2001, 09:41 PM
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Interesting article. While I knew trhe story behind the flag itself I wasn't aware of the origin of the name of it that being St.Adrews Flag. Very interesting indeed.  (s)  (s)  (s)
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Posted: 02-Dec-2001, 08:58 PM
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What exactly is St. Andrew's Day?

Considering that we just passed another St. Andrew's Day on November 30th, I thought it would be appropriate to post a little background on St. Andrew and how he became the patron Saint of Scotland. I ran across this wonderful article over at ScotsIndependent that I thought was really well done.

Please note that full credit for this goes to ScotsIndependent.org!!

"Ask any Irish person when St Patrick?s Day is, and you would be told "17th March" (ask half of the Americans in New York and they would tell you the same), and ask any English person when St George?s Day was and you would probably get a better result; as far as St George is concerned, of course, he was booted off the Calendar of Saints in 1969 because he became a saint by custom and practice, and there was even some doubt if he existed at all.

Certainly, Andrew existed, and he was the first apostle called by Jesus, and then went and brought his brother Peter; he was martyred in Patras in Greece about 70 AD, by the Roman Proconsul Aegeates. He was crucified on a diagonal cross for preaching Christianity, and in some accounts he asked for this, as he felt he was too unworthy to be crucified like Jesus; we are not sure if there was such a thing as freedom of choice for executions. He was buried at Patras, and the story has it that the Emperor Constantine was going to move the saint?s bones, and a monk was warned in a dream to take them to the "ends of the earth". Scotland was as near to this as you could get in the ancient Greek world, and the monk, St Regulus, or St Rule as he is sometimes called, was shipwrecked off the coast of Fife and came ashore at a Pictish settlement which is now called St Andrews; there is still a St Rule?s Tower among the ruins of St Andrews Cathedral.

Scotland?s Flag, the Saltire, or St Andrew?s Cross, was adopted after the Battle of Athelstaneford around either 736 AD or 832 AD (historians disagree). According to the legend, an army of Picts under Angus mac Fergus, High King of Alba, and aided by a contingent of Scots, were confronted by a larger force of Angles and Saxons, under Athelstan; defeat was almost certain, but while Angus and his men prayed for deliverance, a white diagonal cross appeared in the blue sky. Angus vowed that if they were successful that day, then St Andrew would thereafter be their patron saint. They were victorious and St Andrew became our patron saint and his cross our flag, making it the oldest flag in the world; before that Scotland had St Columba, and then St Peter as a patron saint. He is also the patron saint of Russia, and Greece; he shares the latter country with St George and St Nicholas, to my recollection, the Greeks liking to keep their options open."

Ok, now everyone get those bonnie blue flags out!!

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Posted: 02-Dec-2001, 10:00 PM
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That's a great story. I never did know how the blue flag became the 'official' flag of Scotland. I do have a neat little story to share concerning flags of the UK.

At one dance competition I go to, indoors, they hoist up the flags of St. George, St. Andrews and the Rampant Lion.
For the past two years I've gone, the piper starts warming his pipes and as the sound echoes through the building, with vaulted ceilings, (as everyone intially holds their ears!) the St. George flag falls to the ground. Ironically, the St.George flag that falls is the only St. George flag and is always placed in the middle of the balcony where it hangs. Also, it always falls just after the announcer states the Highland Dancing will soon begin.
Ironic, isn't it? ;)

Dance Life to the Fullest.
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