Scottish island of South Uist proudly hoists its flag

South Uist (Scottish Gaelic: Uibhist a Deas) is an island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. There are a number of sites of archaeological interest on the island, including chambered tombs, Beaker sites, a Bronze Age hoard, roundhouses, brochs, cairns, ogham inscriptions and  Viking settlements. South Uist is also the only location in Scotland where prehistoric mummies have been found. They were found under the prehistoric village at Cladh Hallan (Scottish Gaelic: Cladh Hàlainn). Excavations were carried out there between 1988 and 2002, that indicated the site had been occupied from 2000 BC. A team of archaeologists found four skeletons in 2001, showing deliberate mummification. One a male who had died c. 1600 BC, and another a female who had died c. 1300 BC, this would place her death at about the same time as King Tutankhamun of Egypt.

An island with such a rich and unique history desrves its own flag. So this week the people of South Uist are celebrating winning approval for the first officially recognised community flag in the Outer Hebrides. The design will now be entered into the official records of the Court of the Lord Lyon (the Lyon Court), a public body that is the heraldic authority for Scotland. The design is a blue Nordic cross edged with white on a green background. As with many other such flags it is similar to the Norwegian flag in recognition of Norse influences and Viking settlement in significant areas of Scotland. Local campaigners for recognition of the flag were backed by the local authority and Alasdair Allan SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Na h-Eileanan an Iar. The recognition of the flag is planned to be celebrated at the South Uist Games on July 19, when a flag raising ceremony is to be held. However, the flag is already widely used on the island.

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