Alex Massie

Flodden vs Culloden

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Further to this post, it's not a fair fight. Commenter Ben G asks:

But isn't Culloden more significant? The effective end of a Scottish claim to the throne. Remember, after that you became 'North Britain'.

This is a common misperception. Unlike Flodden, Culloden was not a fight between England and Scotland. As many, and perhaps more, Scots fought against the Young Pretender on Drumossie Moor as fought for him. The '45 was as much a Highland vs Lowland conflict as a Scotland vs England affair.

Which is one reason why, from a Unionist perspective, Culloden is less important than Bannockburn. The latter prevented Scotland from becoming a northern Wales and so, in turn, permitted a Union in place of an annexation.

The doomed tragedy of the Jacobite enterprise accounts for its romance and its enduring appeal but it was a rotten enterprise to begin with and had it succeeded it would have produced a rotten outcome too.

And that's why, in the end, Culloden is stuff for folk songs but not real regret. Whereas Flodden was an entirely unecessary, in fact voluntary, fiasco and tragedy.

Meanwhile, commenter Gadgie wins the prize for Paranoia of the Week for this:

They have Ridings of the Bounds South of the Border but any incidence of the English proclaiming their border is frowned upon and ignored by the MSM.

Damn that MSM conspiracy!

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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