Last modified: 2006-12-23 by
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1.1 The Flag is rectangular and at manufacture is of a height to length ratio of four to five, (4:5), this being the true and correct proportion for the Flag for all national and international use, be the user governmental, commercial or private.
Manufacturing the Scottish National Flag
The Scottish National Flag will herein be referred to as the Flag Proportions
1.1 This proportion is based on historic references, contemporary recommendation and the flying characteristics of flags of different rectangular proportions.
1.2 The Pantone Colour Reference is an internationally renowned authority on colour systems for the selection and accurate communication of colour for the graphic design, printing, publishing, textile and plastics industries
1.3 The Scottish National Flag has regularly been produced with thin saltires which look weak on such an important flag. The practice of 'off setting the points' of the saltire in the corners with longer edges at the top and bottom of the flag looks wrong. The recommended method of setting the corners of the flag with squares keeps the saltire pointing directly at the corners of the flag and produces a broader, well proportioned saltire.
2.1 It is anticipated that when the Scottish National Flag has been produced in the proscribed proportion and colour in sufficient numbers, other less attractive and 'non-standard' flags will soon disappear leaving Scotland with a more regular ensign .
2.2 These special flags are becoming popular again as ceremony claws its way back into public life. Each of these unique flag forms have the ability to display the symbol of St Andrews cross in an attractive way and it is anticipated that flag makers will utilise the flag code when designing these decorative flags.
2.3 The practice of flying groups of multi national flags together often calls for the flags to be all of one size and proportion. This usually means that international flag codes are ignored in favour of a standardised display. Whilst not desirable, it is an option resorted to usually without strong opposition. The sale of these 'group display flags' should be restricted by manufacturers for this purpose.
2.4 The St Andrew's flag component of the Union flag has been corrupted over the years since the Union. The blue field has darkened to navy blue which is quite wrong for the Scottish National Flag. But it would be equally wrong for this flag code to try to turn back the time and undo the established colour palette of the Union flag.
2.5 An obvious danger to the acceptance of the code and the standardisation for the flag is if foreign manufacturers continue to make and send to Scotland non-compliant flags.
3.1 There are many names for the flag, all of them are quite proper but the promotion of the code should be established under one name.
3.2 to 3.4 This is the current law that surrounds the Flag. It is perfectly adequate to protect the ensign if the public are made aware of its existence by simple education and explanation.
3.5 The Scottish National Flag may be flown by any one in Scotland.
3.6 The armed forces and merchant marine have their own codes for flags and ensigns which are not affected by this code although it is anticipated that in time both the services and the merchant marine will adopt the code and encompass it into their individual codes when making flags containing the St Andrew's cross.
3.7 St Andrew's cross appears on a great many manufactured goods as a means of showing affiliation with Scotland. It is not possible to devise a code to cover these areas of manufacture. It can only be hoped that over a period of time, designers will start to use the symbol of the St Andrews cross in colour and proportions laid out in the flag code.
4.1 Irrespective of this flag code the irrepressible Scots will find ways of displaying their national fervour by wrapping themselves in or painting themselves with the Scottish National Flag. The code is designed to deal only with flying flags, the rest is left to personal consciousness and self dignity.
4.2 to 4.4 All self evident.
4.6 Flags have a flying life which varies according to the material from which they are made. But hopefully when the mishmash of different flags that currently fly throughout Scotland have flown their last they will be replaced by flags that comply with the code. Non-legal variants of the flag such as those that may fall foul of the Lord Lyon King of Arms Acts can still face seizure and destruction.
The Royal Standard
5.1 & 5.2 There is still a great deal of confusion in Scotland over the status of the Scottish Royal Arms. Many people still think that the 'rampant lion' is the national flag. Even flag manufacturers do not realise that it is illegal to make the banner for anyone other the H.M. the Queen. By encompassing this information in the code this grey area may be clarified.
Published for the Heraldry Society of Scotland by Envoy Printed Communications, Envoy House, 104 Park Road, Rosyth, Scotland.
Provided by Anthony Maxwell, author of the 2004 Scottish Flag Code, 26 November 2006