“What a load of complete piffle from The Mail, the Express, the Telegraph, Iain Duncan Smith, Sky News, Ian Dale, Liam Fox and Jacob Rees-Mogg. The hoisting of The Lion Rampant had nothing whatsoever to do with Nicola Sturgeon.

“I changed the policy on flag flying back in 2010 after an audience with Her Majesty the Queen at Balmoral the previous year.

“It seemed obvious to me that the appropriate flag to be flown on the occasion of royal birthdays is the Royal Standard or The Lion Rampant. The only people who can order that to be done are the Queen herself and the First Minister as her representative.

“I remember the occasion very well. Her Majesty asked me if The Lion Rampant was a popular flag in Scotland. I was able to assure her that it was and indeed much beloved of Scottish football and rugby fans. Thus I brought the new policy into effect and left the union flag flying,as appropriate, at armed forces day and Remembrance Sunday.

“This leads to two questions. Firstly given that this has been the policy for eight years with The Lion Rampant flying proudly on royal occasions, including jubilees and new royal births and weddings as well as birthdays, why have none of these Tory politicians and newspapers even noticed the flags flying in front of their eyes for the best part of a decade!

“Secondly, since this change of policy was good enough for the Her Majesty the Queen then why is it being questioned by these ridiculous newspapers and political ignoramuses. In any case why do they resent the flying of The Lion Rampant? One has to ask are they harbouring closet republican tendencies that they object to the Scottish Royal Standard being flown high and proud?”



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