Bute sailor ‘open minded’ over flag campaign

George McKenzie's yacht Queen B with the Scottish Ensign flying proudly from her stern.
George McKenzie's yacht Queen B with the Scottish Ensign flying proudly from her stern.

A Rothesay man who hopes to secure royal approval for Scottish-owned vessels to fly the ‘Scottish Ensign’ says he has no intention of denigrating the Merchant Navy’s famous Red Ensign flag.

George McKenzie’s petition to the Scottish Parliament is expected to go live on the website of Holyrood’s public petitions committee this week - after which it will be open for public comment for six weeks.

Flying the Scottish Ensign is technically illegal under the Merchant Shipping Act of 1995, though Mr McKenzie - a keen amateur sailor and former officer in the Royal Naval Reserve - says he can find no record of anyone being prosecuted for doing so.

“I’m open minded as to whether people’s comments are positive or negative,” he said.

“I have nothing but the highest respect for the Red Ensign and for the vessels and crews of the Merchant Navy - I just want the owners of Scottish vessels to have the option to fly the Scottish ensign legally if they choose to do so.”

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