Written by Roy Williamson of "The Corries"
Although "Flower of Scotland" is not a traditional song, it has been
adopted as Scotland's de facto national anthem, along with
"Scotland the Brave."
Approval for it's use as a Scottish anthem at international fixtures was
granted by Buckingham Palace, and it is now used at all Scottish football and
rugby international games.
HRH The Princes Royal, Princess Anne, joined in enthusiastically in the singing
at Murrayfield in 1990, and as patron of the Scottish Rugby Union has continued
to do so.
As with a number of other Scottish patriotic songs, the lyrics commemorate the
defeat of the English King Edward II at Bannockburn in 1314 by Rober the Bruce,
through which Scotland gained independence.
(See also Robert Burns Scots Wha Hae, and Fields of Bannockburn).
This is one of the two great historical events which seem to dominate Scottish
patriotic songs - the other being the Jacobite rebellions of the 18th century.
The Corries, a Scots folk group formed mid-1960s around Ronnie Brown (guitar,
vocals), Bill Smith (guitar, vocals) and Roy Williamson (guitar, vocals,
mandolin, kazoo, percussion); as the Corrie Folk Trio they recorded for
During the 1960s--70s they maintained a steady flow of albums and won a place in
the hearts of Scots everywhere. The Corries represent a Scots tradition that
dates back to the mid- 1700s; after the Battle of Culloden in April 1746 the
Jacobites inspired many songs and much poetry from Burns and Hogg among others,
and such themes, played out in the songs of the Corries and Andy Hunter, appeal
to the very real issues of Scottish nationhood, independence and cultural
identity. Roy Williamson's most famous song, 'Flower Of Scotland', is often
described as Scotland's unofficial national anthem, likened to 'Jerusalem' by
the poet, visionary and mystic William Blake (1757--1827) for the English.
('Flower Of Scotland' appears on Live From Scotland, Volume 1 and The
Compact Collection.) Williamson succumbed to cancer on 12 Aug. '90 and left a
yawning gap in the Scottish scene.