November 30 is a bank holiday in Scotland to celebrate St Andrew, and a good day to wonder: why is the Scottish flag blue?
The oldest European flag‘s story is linked to Scotland’s history and patron saint, Andrew, one of the 12 Apostles, who died as a martyr on a cross. Most people think a crucifixion cross is always T frame (vertical/horizontal bars) because of Jesus’ crucifix, but back then, diagonal crosses where mostly used (X frame).
According to the legend, in 832 AD, the Scots prayed the saint to help them fight the Saxons, and won.
A word from Visit-Scotland.com:
‘An army of Picts and Scots under King Angus invaded the Lothians (at that time still Northumbrian territory), and found itself surrounded by a larger force of Saxons led by Athelstan.
Fearing the outcome, King Angus led prayers for deliverance and was rewarded by seeing a cloud formation of a white Saltire against the blue sky.’
So the answer is?
The Scottish flag is blue, for it represents the sky.
In 2003, the Scottish Parliament adopted an official hue for the Saltire: the color code is International Pantone 300 for Azure (sky blue).
Want to know more about Saint Andrew’s Cross and the Scottish flag? There is an entire website dedicated to the Saltire: ScottishFlagTrust.com
Did you know?
The Scottish flag is also one of the 3 flags composing the Union Jack, and the reason why the UK flag is blue.
Back in 1999, color communications company Pantone declared Cerulean Blue the official color of the Millennium.