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Celtic-End Singer Origin: Flower of Scotland (Roy Williamson) (104* d) RE: Flower of Scotland 27 Jul 99

Any allegation that "Flower Of Scotland" is about a football match is a damn lie! It's about the battle that won independence for our country. The only reason there is a connection with sport is that it was one of the few public places where the Scottish nation exists in a recognised form, as opposed to Britain, the United Kingdom or England.

It started to be played at Scottish rugby internationals sometime in the late eighties. Up until that point "God Save The Queen" had been sung. The Scotland Rugby Union, (Patroness Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, The Princess Royal)had to change it because in the dark days of Tory rule (which the Scots didn't vote for, by the way!)it was booed and whistled out by 65,000 people at Murrayfield stadium among other things in protest at the Poll-Tax. To avoid the SRU embarrassment they decided to play "Flower Of Scotland" in its stead. This song (which was written sometime in the sixties, by the way) became hugely popular. The sound of 65,000 Scots belting it out gives you a real lump in your throat and is said to greatly inspire the players before each game. Later the Scottish Football Association began to play the song as oppossed to "Scotland The Brave" at Scottish football (soccer) matches.

The Poll-Tax was the most violently opposseed government policy this century, (There were riots in Trafalgar Square in London, just a mile from Parliament) had been levied on Scottish people one year earlier than everyone else in the UK. This racism was not too popular as you can imagine with the Scots, hence the protests. In 1988 at The Scottish Football (soccer in American) Association Cup Final Margaret Thatcher decided she wanted to present the Trophy to the winning side. Prior to the game activists from the hard-left wing Socialist Workers' Party handed out 80,000 red cards. (In football if the referee waves a red card at you it means you have been ejected from the game.)When "The Iron Lady" took her seat 80,000 fans waved the red cards at her and launched into a 15 minute chorus of "If you hate the fuckin' Tories clap your hands!! (Much applause)" "If you hate the fuckin' Tories clap your hands!! (Much applause)" etc, etc.

It was bloody marvellous.

Glasgow Celtic won the game 2-1 beating Dundee United. Afterwards Roy Aitken, captain of the Celtic side went up to collect the trophy from Thatcher. Celtic are a team supported mostly by Catholics and Irish Immigrants and are nearly always Labour voters. After he shook hands with Thatcher he turned around to face the crowd and wiped his hand on his shirt as if he had just cleaned his toilet. The crowd cheered and cheered.

A glorious day full of gloroius events I witnessed from the terraces of Hampden park, which I will remember for ever!

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