A PROPOSAL to remove the Scottish flag from council buildings is a deliberate plan to sideline the Saltire, one local SNP councillor claimed this week.
Councillor Sandy West attacked the idea, which would see the Saltire replaced with a flag based on Angus Council's own coat of arms, as being "an absolute disgrace" and "anti-Scottish".
The proposal was given the go-ahead at this week's strategic policy committee meeting.
The coat of arms incorporates elements of the arms of four of the holders of the Earldom of Angus, one of the most ancient earldoms on Scotland, which is currently held by the Duke of Hamilton's family.
Although the title dates back to the 10th Century, the arms depict devices from those of Gillebride, 2nd earl who held the title in the 12th Century; the D'Umfraville family who acquired the title in the 13th Century; Sir John Stewart of Bonkyl who was created earl in 1328 and the Douglas family who have been Earls of Angus since the late 1300s.
Administration leader Councillor Bob Myles said the thinking behind the idea was to give Angus its own identity and provide more of a focus on the county.
He said: "We've had this cross for a lot of years now but few people knew what it was about. This gives more individuality to Angus, giving it its own identity, and we can use it as an advertising tool. We would still fly the Saltire on relevant important occasions and the Union flag as necessary."
Mr Myles also said flying the Saltire in the first place could be construed as politically motivated which the administration wanted to avoid.
He added: "This takes the politics out of it. We're very proud of being Scots, proud of our heritage, but we don't want it to be seen as a political motive."
Mr West said: "I had a bet with an SNP colleague that within six months this anti-Scottish group would be making moves to take down Scotland's national flag. They've done it in four and it's an absolute disgrace."
"Every one of them is anti-Scottish, including the independents. They're unionists and their sole criteria is to wipe out the likes of the Saltire. The SNP introduced other things to mark our Scottish heritage, including Wallace House in Forfar and Bruce House in Arborath. Will they be next?"
"I haven't heard anything about the 'Scotland's Birthplace' slogan changing but I wouldn't be surprised, although the cost involved may make them think twice."
In his report to the committee, chief executive David Sawers said the only elements of the coat of arms which could be used were the four devices on the shield.
The cost of the replacement would be 4500, with 10 flags being supplied by a specialist maker.
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