Letters: Separation will signal end of the Union flag

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September 18, 2014 is the day of the Scottish referendum, the day when the Scottish people may decide to separate from the Union established in 1603.

If the vote is ‘Yes’, then from that day on or at least until the separation is fully in place, the Union Jack which has been a symbol of the United Kingdom for nigh on 400 years, appearing also in the flags and ensigns of many other countries, will no longer exist .

This flag so proudly flown at Trafalgar, the Battle of Waterloo, El Alemain, Port Stanley, at coronations and many other state occasions and at sporting events, including everywhere on the tour de France route, will, were we to see a ‘Yes’ vote in Scotland, be re-assigned to history, would be no more. In effect Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England would each be on their own, behind their own flags, for better or for worse.

Does this matter? Yes I think it does. A flag is perhaps the single most iconic symbol of nationhood at its birth and at the coming together of nations in a common bond.

I do know that I have yet to be convinced by the notion of Scottish

Independence but I do know that I support Scotland having a much greater say in its affairs and not just Scotland. I would like to keep the union flag but under a redefined union whereby each of` the four` have a greater devolvement but under a federation much like the united states, within a new alliance with a common loyalty and with a joint constitution.

The loss of the Union flag may not seem important in Scotland to the ‘Yes’ camp, but for the ‘No’ voters and the undecided and the rest of the United Kingdom where national identity does still remain solid, it is and will be important .

Les Howson, Gilmore Place, Edinburgh

Council’s gardeners are leaving a mess

I have to agree with David Ramsay (Letters, July 7) regarding the mess left by the council grass cutters.

Apart from the fact that it looks awful, the newly cut grass gets carried on to the pavements and becomes dangerous when wet. The dead grass is blown all over the place creating more mess and is then carried into the house.

A friend who works for the council said that at one time the cutters were fitted with a box to catch the cut grass but that they were done away with.

The public path that runs between Magdalene Drive and Magdalene Avenue is overgrown with weeds, mainly nettles, which children then brush against and end up being stung.

Does the council care how the city looks? I sometimes think it doesn’t.

Charmaine Lamont, Magdalene Avenue, Edinburgh

Rod Laver was the greatest tennis ace

In reply to Mr Sillars’ suggestion that Roger Federer is the ‘Greatest Tennis Player Ever’, (News, July 8), I would suggest that he reads the foreword to Rod Laver’s recently published autobiography written by one Mr Roger Federer.

In 1962 Rod Laver became only the second player to win the Grand Slam of amateur tennis (ie he won the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US tennis championships) in the same calendar year.

Thereafter, he joined the professional circuit where he played such names as Jack Kramer, Lew Hoad (his hero), Ken Rosewall and Pancho Gonzales, took a few beatings and learned a few lessons.

When the open era in tennis began in 1968, Laver returned and promptly did the Grand Slam again, thereby becoming the only man to win the Grand Slam twice. No man since then has even come close to winning it.

Rod Laver is the greatest tennis player still alive and, as Roger Federer states in that foreword, Laver is still the “greatest tennis player ever”!

Ian Haggarty, Innnerleithen, Edinburgh

Independent Scotland can lead on fairness

Barry Turner (Letters, 9 July) portrays a ‘Yes’ vote as Scotland turning its back on people in the rest of the UK. I see a ‘Yes’ vote as an opportunity to show the rest of the UK that another way is possible and help colleagues south of the border build a case for change.

Mr Turner talks of an inward looking agenda. A ‘Yes’ vote is a chance for Scotland to look outwards, gain a voice in the world, promote peace and show leadership. Westminster instead stokes the politics of aggression and division, pitting the unemployed and low paid against each other, using EU migrants as scapegoats and blowing £100bn on weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Turner talks of the need to tackle inequality. Hasn’t he noticed the Conservatives dismantling the welfare state, the LibDems cheerleading austerity and Labour offering to help Britons make their first million?

By moving responsibility from the House of Commons and House of Lords to the Scottish Parliament we have a much better chance of showing how to build an economy that works for all.

Jason Rose , High Street, Musselburgh

Are Darling and Brown heading for Lords?

in the event of the ‘No’ vote winning the referendum in September, how soon afterwards can we expect Brown and Darling to be elevated to the House of Lords and start collecting their daily £300 signing on fee?

Mr K Wilson, Middle Norton, Edinburgh