Scotland's official national flag has a saltire cross on a blue background. Legend holds that the flag helped King Angus to victory against the Angles. According to the legend, the night before the battle St. Andrew (patron saint of Scotland who was martyred on a saltire cross) appeared to Angus and assured him of victory. The next day a white saltire against the blue background of the sky appeared to both sides. It inspired the Picts/Scots and disheartened the Angles leading to Angus's victory.
The historical record on this flag dates from 1165 A.D. when the flag is first mentioned vis a vis the 832 A.D. battle referred to in the legend. In 1385 the Scottish Parliament decreed that Scotland's soldiers incorporate the saltire into their uniforms. By 1540, the flag as it appears in the accompanying graphic became the universal national symbol of Scotland.
The unofficial flag of Scotland is the one with the Rampant Lion (rampant having to do with the standing posture of the lion). This flag was adopted around 1222 a.d. and used by the King of Scotland. These days its official use is for the "Great Offices of State". Although the Rampant Lion flag is officially reserved for royalty, in practice one sees this flag in many other places (e.g. waved by thousands at sporting events, etc.). Many consider it to be the real Scottish flag.
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