A councillor who spent 34 years in the Armed Services has condemned what he described as “the vandalism of the Shieldhill War Memorial” after the flagpole holding the Saltire was deliberately lowered.

Coming on the same day that former Tory Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian Lang, provoked outrage with his claim that a Yes vote would dishonour the Scottish War Dead, politically motivated vandals have damaged a war memorial in Shieldhill.

Overnight a section of one of the twin flagpoles that flank the memorial was deliberately lowered.  The act left the Scottish Saltire significantly reduced in both height and status.

Councillor Sandy Turner, who he represents Bo’ness within Falkirk Council, said: “Any attempt to score political points by defacing a war memorial is just not acceptable and insults the memories of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Service personnel are no different from any other section of the Scottish community in that they hold a range of political views and to seek to bundle them together under one political philosophy or stance is insulting.

“What is also rather sad is the lack of respect shown towards the Scottish National Flag, the Cross of St Andrew by the perpetrators of this politically motivated vandalism.”

Calling for an end to acts which seek to politicise the war dead, which he said was harming the independence debate, Cllr Turner added:

“The concentration on symbolism and attempt to stir up emotions based on the past is depressing.

“What they should be addressing is why many local families have to rely on food banks.  Why in Europe’s oil capital local pensioners can’t afford to turn their heating up or why they want to live in the fourth most uneven society in the developed world.”


2014-02-04 08:55

Precisely the point I have been making about BBC Scotland always showing images of the Saltire subservient to the Union Flag.
They use an image, multipule times of the flags above the former Bank of Scotland HQ on the Mound where a large Union flag flies above a smaller Saltire so the whichever way you view the image, the Saltire is always wee’er than the Union Flag. Hardly sublte to me but sending a powerful subliminal message to those not as cynical as myself.
2014-02-05 15:24

The irony is, if Scotland was to become an independent country, I fully expect the Union flag would likely remain there out of respect for the non-Scottish comrades who fell beside our own.
2014-02-05 18:37

I wasn’t really surprised when I read it happened in Shieldhill, it’s pretty well known as a Loyalist/Orange hotspot and that leaked BNP member list had a lot of the locals on it. Do they still have the kerbstones painted red, white and blue up there?
Ben Power
2014-02-06 01:37

Not all people in Shieldhill are unionists. The funny bit was that shortly after the Saltire pole was shortened, someone shortened the union jack pole.

The Loyalist/Orange people have their fun with their band and marches, it is important to them, and in an inclusive Scotland that is OK too.
2014-02-06 13:05

When I was a teenager, I got job in a filling station. I was still at school, but it was good money at the weekends.
One day a customer came in and asked if I was ready for the Orangemen, who were having a march somewhere.
I swear, and I was 16 or 17, that I hadn’t a clue what an Orange man was. I didn’t know whether they would turn up wearing orange make up and ginger wigs or whatever – I genuinely didn’t know, nor want to show my ignorance by asking. A couple of buses pulled in for fuel, and these were the orangemen. I still didn’t know what they were, but from the drums and uniforms in the bus window, I thought they were some kind of American type marching band.

I picked my moment and discreetly asked WTF? And it was all explained. Am I better for knowing? Nope. Not really.

But yes, thanks Dad, it is possible to grow up in Scotland and protect your children from sectarianism.
2014-02-16 15:46

Sorry but our local SNP got it entirely wrong on this occasion. The pole bearing the Saltire was damaged and required to be reduced in size. Eventually both poles were reduced to the same size and await replacement.

It must also be remembered that the local lodge put up both in the first place.

Councillor Turner was used badly by his group and his MSP both of whom should have checked their facts first.

The YES campaign needs to be better at these things to avoid losing support.

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