If this story is true then it’s a sad day for anyone with any national pride – and I’m not just talking about Scotland!
A firefighter is claiming that Grampian Fire & Rescue Service (GFRS) chiefs have removed the Saltire from the front grille of two new appliances after just 2 complaints (one internal and the other from a member of the public) which branded the use of the national flag as “offensive”. It is understood the complaints centred around the Saltire’s link to the SNP and fears the flag could be viewed as a sign of support for Scottish independence, but Grampian Fire and Rescue said the move was simply to bring the two appliances into line with the rest of the fleet.
The new engines, which cost just over £200,000 each, were given the Saltire logo in advance of Scotland’s eight fire brigades being merged into one unitary authority next spring and when they were unveiled in August, Grampian’s fleet manager Raymond Cheyne said: “The badging for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is needed because of the new single Scottish service coming into being next April. We wanted to celebrate the new Scottish Service coming into place so chose to use the Saltire. We’ve used high-visibility striping to make it part of the functional design of the appliance.” However, when contacted by the press over the removal of the Saltires, Mr Cheyne stated: “I don’t want to comment.”
And there was me thinking that the Saltire is the national flag for ALL Scots and as such should not cause offence to anyone living in Scotland. And, surely 2 complaints are not a reflection of true public opinion – that can hardly be called “public outrage”! What is the world coming to?