The Flag Heritage Centre
This 4-star visitor attraction, is open to the public daily and tells the story of how the The Saltire or St Andrew’s Cross came to be Scotland’s national flag and the oldest flag in Europe and the Commonwealth.
According to popular legend, it originated in Athelstaneford. On the eve of a battle between an army of the Picts and invading Angles from Northumbria in 832AD, Saint Andrew (who had been crucified on a diagonal cross), appeared to the Pictish King Óengus II (Angus). In a vision he promised them victory. The following morning in the sky above the Picts, the saw a white cross formed by clouds. As legends would have it, they won the battle and attributed their victory to the blessing of Saint Andrew, and henceforth adopted him as their patron saint and his cross as their flag. Athelstan, the leader of the retreating Angles, was slain nearby at river ford, hence the town is named Athelstaneford.
The Flag Heritage Centre lies to the rear of Athelstaneford Kirk and occupies a lectern doocot built in 1583 and restored in 1996. Inside the Kirk there is an exhibition of Nigel Tranter’s memorabilia including his old typewriter and a collection of manuscripts, books and some personal items.
Admission is Free
Open Daily: April – October, 9.00am to 6.00pm.
and 30th November (St Andrew’s Day)
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