MSP backs Bute bid to revive Scots ensign

A CAMPAIGN, begun on Bute, to permit the official use of the Scottish red ensign flag on the country’s ships has received the support of Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell.

The flag – which is similar to the UK red ensign, but has the Saltire in place of the Union flag – was flown by Scots merchant ships and the Royal Scots Navy until the Treaty of Union in 1707, but has been in limbo for the last three hundred years.

Island resident George McKenzie, a keen sailor who spent 14 years as an executive officer with the Royal Naval Reserve, has written to authorities as Scottish and UK level seeking official recognition for the use of the flag.Mr Russell said: “I first discussed this with George in the early part of 2011, and I have since written to ministers about it and encouraged George to take it forward as I know there is a lot of support amongst those who sail.

“I am now trying to get the cross party sailing group in the Scottish Parliament involved and I will be happy to go on supporting George’s initiative in any way I can.”

* More on this story in the new issue of The Buteman, on sale on Thursday, January 12.