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The Flag of Scotland, also known as the Saint Andrew's Cross or more commonly The Saltire, is the national flag of Scotland. As the national flag, the Saltire differs from the Royal Standard of Scotland in that it is the Saltire which is the correct flag for all individuals and corporate bodies to fly in order to demonstrate both their loyalty and Scottish nationality. It is also, where possible, flown from Scottish Government buildings every day from 8am until sunset, with certain exceptions.
The earliest reference to the Saint Andrew's Cross as a flag is to be found in the Vienna Book of Hours, circa 1503, where a white saltire is depicted with a red background. In the case of Scotland, use of a blue background for the Saint Andrew's Cross is said to date from at least the 15th century, with the first certain illustration of a flag depicting such appearing in Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount's Register of Scottish Arms, circa 1542.
The legend surrounding Scotland's association with the Saint Andrew's Cross dates from a C9th battle, where Óengus II led a combined force of Picts and Scots to victory over the Angles, led by Æthelstan. Consisting of a blue background over which is placed a white representation of an X-shaped cross, the Saltire is one of Scotland's most recognisable symbols.
Courtesy of ... former times required that when entering the home of a friend or casual acquaintance, no weapons should remain concealed. Some say that when the armpit dagger was removed, the top of the mens hose was a convenient place to display it, securely held by the garter (or flashes). Displaying it thus, showed that the Scot had no dark intentions at the gathering.