IF you are going to fly the flag for your team, it might as well be one of the biggest ever seen.
Hearts fans have clubbed together to assemble extravagant party armoury for their big day at Hampden in an effort to spur their heroes on.
An online campaign to rack up a stockpile of streamers, balloons and giant flag saw almost £4500 raised in just three days.
The 15-metre by 10-metre banner – likely to cover two sections of Hampden – is inscribed with an image of club legend John Cumming and his 1956 cup final quote “Blood doesn’t show on a maroon jersey”, across pictures of former cup heroes Paul Hartley, Rudi Skacel, John Robertson and Dave Mackay.
The stirring message is also stamped above the tunnel at Tynecastle.
One of the flag designers, Gavin Riley, 22, said members of the Jambos Kickback forum had surpassed all expectations.
“I’m not sure how this flag compares with ones we have had before, but I would say it’s among the biggest we have ever had,” said the supporter from Sighthill.
“It will be pretty poignant because that quote is plastered above the tunnel at Tynecastle, like Liverpool’s ‘This is Anfield’ sign. I think it will look pretty special.”
He added: “We were expecting £1000 but to get so much money in such a short period of time is unbelievable. At one point, we were averaging about £150 per hour.”
One Hearts fan living in China who made a £1050 payment to the fund confessed he had donated twice by accident, but refused to take back any of the cash.
Jay Laing, 35, is originally from Armadale but emigrated to Hong Kong in 2007 and now owns a bar in mainland China.
He said: “It’s horrible being this far away and I’d love to be there on a daily basis.
“From a financial aspect, the chances of me getting a ticket for the final would have been very slim. Flying across and booking a hotel for me and my partner only to end up watching it in a bar – I wanted to donate that amount of money to do my bit.”
The flag will be unfurled behind the goals in the West Stand before kick-off on May 19.
Any surplus money may be donated to a Hearts youth development programme.
A Hearts spokesman said: “This represents a great effort from everyone involved.”