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Saltire Games ban 'ridiculous'

Olympic organisers have been criticised for a "completely ridiculous" ban on the saltire being flown over Scotland's national stadium during the Games.

Under Olympic rules, Scottish athletes represent Great Britain, meaning only the Union flag should officially be flown at venues.

Alyn Smith, an SNP member of the European Parliament, has complained to Lord Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organising committee.

Mr Smith also complained that the rule could stop fans bringing the national symbol into the stadium when events are held at Hampden this summer.

However the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games said that people have always been allowed to bring in flags and wave them provided they are not too big or on poles.

Mr Smith criticised the ban on the saltire being flown above the stadium.

He said: "It's still completely ridiculous and unacceptable that Scotland's national flag is going to be pulled down from its iconic place flying over Scotland's national stadium.

"The saltire normally - and quite properly - flies above Hampden 365 days of the year.

"Forcing it to be taken down in this way will not only anger many home-based supporters, but also disrespects our history and nationhood."

The rule hit the headlines during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games in 2002. Skier Alain Baxter, from Aviemore, was ordered to cover up a blue and white saltire he had dyed into his hair before competing.


From Belfast Telegraph