I was sitting in the Edinburgh airport, my heart sinking at the fact that I had to take leave of Scotland yet again. It was also the morning after a football match between Wales and Scotland, sadly Wales won 4-0, and Scotsmen were returning from Cardiff. On their faces remnants of blue and white painted Saltires, jerseys or jumpers paired with swaying kilts and regardless of the loss the collective bravado and resulting ‘sigh factor’ was certainly intact. For some odd reason these returning ‘warriors’ reminded me of five Royal Scots Dragoon Guards I had met outside Edinburgh Castle on my very first trip to Scotland in November 2002. In extending a compliment to them about their dress blue uniforms resplendent with chain mail epaulets gleaming in the winter sunshine brought forth this reply... "Aye lass 'tis nay the uniform bu' ta man in it." Perhaps Brian, but at moments such as these how could any woman fail to fall under the spell of such a country or Scottish men?
One of the most incredibly moving places I have ever visited is the Scottish National War Memorial. Designed by Sir Robert Stodart Lorimer (d. 1929) shortly after the First World War and located within the fortress of Edinburgh Castle, the reverent architecture and sanctity of the environment evokes awe. Within the Hall of Honour, bound in red leather books, corresponding with the war in which they served is the name of each of Scotland's fallen heroes. In another gallery, as close to the Heavens as might be possible, the highest point of the ancient volcanic rock of Castle Hill which makes up the foundation of the fortress rests a steel casket and contained within are the Rolls of Honour of the regiments. The Archangel St. Michael carved of Scottish Oak hangs above the casket recalling Righteousness over Evil, breathtaking bronze plaques and stained glass surround the walls depict the four seasons, the various Scottish Regiments and service units of WWI. If you are lucky, a gentleman named Jim Crew of Historic Scotland will explain each detail with proper weight given to the sacrifices and achievements of the Scottish people for several hundred years. It will be an hour you will cherish forever. Yes, you will be humbled. Yes, you will weep. No pictures allowed. Some things are meant to leave an imprinteur on your psyche forever.
Scotland’s is the oldest continuously used national flag, since 832 AD. Ever wafting in the air atop Edinburgh Castle there is absolutely nothing as reassuring as seeing the azure and white of St. Andrew's Cross against the Scottish sky regardless of where you might stand in Edinburgh. With Scottish Parliament making decisions for the governance of Scotland for the first time in 300 years the design of our exclusive St. Andrew’s Cross, Adapted throw was thus inspired. To celebrate this auspicious occasion, a Saltire one for each of the 32 constituency (political) districts, at the time of development, and to represent Scotland bound together as a nation a selvage edge border of checkerboards borrowed from the ribbon of police caps. A bold graphic statement of national pride, thick, snuggly warmth offered by either lush 100% cashmere (not some wimpy but still startlingly expensive blend but, truly, 100% cashmere) or soft as a kitten 100% lambswool and twisted fringe ends. Thistle & Broom’s exclusive St. Andrew’s Cross, Adapted is made in northern Scotland in Elgin by Johnstons, the oldest continuously operated mill in Scotland (seemed a fitting choice).
For wearing your Scottish heart on your sleeve and honouring men such as Monty, Ross, Dean, Brian and Kevin, as well as the bravery of all those who have gone before. A bold statement of Scottish nationalism, 8% of the profits from your purchase of each St. Andrew's Cross, Adapted will be benefit equally The Scottish National War Memorial and to ensure the continuation of the Gaelic language, Fèisean nan Gàidheal.