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Great Britain

While James VI and I was titled King of Great Britain, the nations of
Scotland and England were not truly "United" until the Union of Parliaments
in 1707.  The song "Parcel of Rogues" which was written in response to the
Act of Union reflected an anxiety about the loss of Scotland as a name:

"Fareweel to all our Scottish fame
fareweel our ancient glory
fareweel even tae our Scottish Name
sae famed in martial story
Now sack runs o'er the Solway Sand
Tweed runs tae the ocean
tae mark where England's province stands
such a parcel of rogues in the Nation

What force or guile could not subdue
through many warlike ages
is rocked now by the coward few
for hireling trade or wages
the English steel we could disdain
secure in valour stationned
but English gold has been our bane
such a parcel of rogues in the Nation

Oh would or I had seen the day
that treason thus could sell us
my old grey heid had lain in clay
wi' Bruce and loyal Wallace
but pith and power till my last hour
I'll mak' this declaration
we are bought and sold for English gold
such a parcel of rogues in the Nation"

There was an attempt to refer to the whole Kingdom as Great Britain, and
Scotland was referred to as North Britain. (Until relatively recently the
hotel on Princes Street in Edinburg was "The North British".  Now we tend to
refer to our country as the "United Kingdom" or "UK", but still call
ourselves British.  "GB" is now largely confined to car stickers when we
travel abroad.

Now we have a Scottish Parliament, a Welsh Assembly, and Northern Ireland
has always had its own chamber.  It is becoming more common to refer to
ourselves as Scots, English, Welsh or Irish.  The Union Flag has too often
been associated with negative elements such as soccer hooligans, and it is
becoming more common to see the Saltire and Cross of St George used on their
own.  (The cross of St Patrick is rarely seen).  The Union Flag is coming

How far we have come in 400 years!
Yours aye



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