A flag at the Manse for Decision Day in Scotland

Scottish flag at the Manse

Raymond hoists the Scottish flag – the St. Andrew’s Cross, or Saltire as it’s officially called – at the Manse this evening. (Note how his shirt matches it. That wasn’t planned.)

Now don’t get the wrong idea about this: just because Raymond and I have a Scottish flag flying from the front of the Manse as you read this (if you’re reading it this evening, Sept. 17, or tomorrow, Sept. 18), it doesn’t mean we’re plumping for the Scottish-independence side in tomorrow’s referendum.

No, we’re just celebrating all things Scottish on a day when the whole world seems to be looking toward that country. And I guess also seizing the chance to fly the Saltire (which I’ve just learned – here – is what it’s officially called), which Raymond bought a while back because of our connection to the very Scots-oriented Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul (Presbyterian) in Montreal. We were married there!

I’ve written before (like here and here and here) about the charge we get about mixing it up with different flags at the Manse on significant national days; and Raymond has been having fun acquiring those flags. (Just wait till Oct. 14, and see if you can guess what the flag is that’ll be flying outside the Manse that day!)

As for Scotland’s independence referendum, it strikes a little close to the bone for us, two longtime Montreal journalists and veterans of the independence wars in Quebec. My prediction (for what it’s worth): the vote will be very close, but in the end the majority of people will decide to stick with the United Kingdom. For better or worse.

But whether the Scots stay or go, their country is a place Raymond and I would love to visit one of these times. We dream of experiencing the raw, stark beauty of the Outer Hebrides and the Orkneys and the Shetlands; the history in Edinburgh and the lively cultural scene in Glasgow; and of course the peaty scotch whisky!

Until then, we offer up our own little celebration of all things Scottish – today at the Manse.

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