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However, when Mr Murphy asked for one, they debated whether to hand it over.
Arguing that "it's our flag too", the Scottish Secretary drew parallels with the 1980s when Labour "allowed Margaret Thatcher to claim the mantle of patriotism and wrap herself in the Union flag."The party had made a similar mistake in the 1990s in Scotland with the saltire, he said."We allowed our national symbol - St Andrew's Cross - to be co-opted as an image of nationalism," Mr Murphy argued."Patriotism and nationalism are not the same thing. But not all patriots are nationalist."While Scotland has many of its own institutions, including separate legal and education systems, Mr Murphy said Britain is "woven so far into the fabric of Scottish life".
Asked at a press conference about the removal of the Saltire, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: 'Perhaps we should reflect and wonder what the response might be if this story was in reverse and the Union Jack was removed from packaging because of complaints in Scotland.
He made the comments as an ICM opinion poll showed support for independence has plummeted to 28 per cent after a decade of devolution.
"That this was an Englishe and not an Irishe action, and the colours contended for the fflagg of St George and not of St Patericke, which hee intimated to himselfe being a Baron of England much auntient to my Lord Cromwell (whoe alsoe is a Baron of that Realme) to bee more proper and worthie to carry then anie Irish Viscount whatsoever" And the said Badge shall be of Gold surrounded with a Wreath of Shamrock or Trefoil, within which shall be a Circle of Gold, containing the Motto of our said Order in Letters of Gold Viz. together with the date 1783, being the year in which our said Order was founded, and encircling the Cross of St Patrick Gules, surmounted with a Trefoil Vert each of its leaves charged with an Imperial Crown Or upon a field of Argent.
Ten years ago a survey conducted by the same company put the figure at 47 per cent.
"Patriotism, national pride and the Saltire belong to all Scots.
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