Restore the birthplace of Scotland's flag

Battle scene - battle of Athelstaneford

You can help restore this nationally important historic site, so we can continue to share the story of Scotland's flag with the world.

Tradition has it that the Saltire, Scotland's National flag, originated in a battle fought in East Lothian, near the village of Athelstaneford in the Dark Ages. Today the flag flies proudly all year round from the floodlit Saltire Memorial in Athelstaneford Parish Church to celebrate this special connection. The Flag Heritage Centre at the back of the churchyard tells the story of the Battle of Athelstaneford.

  • The restoration and renewal project will see a new accessible pathway with interpretive timeline, telling the history and adoption of Scotland's national flag from 834AD to the present.
  • New landscaping and engraved paving around the Saltire Memorial will tell the story of St Andrew's and Scot's societies across the globe.
  • A new immersive audiovisual experience telling the story of the Battle of Athelstaneford and the creation and adoption of Scotland's national flag.
  • Restoration of the 16th Century lectern doocot which houses the Flag Heritage Centre will maintain this important historic building and keep it safe for the future.

Support the restoration

Our supporters

Cllr John McMillan

Lord Provost of East Lothian

I want to invite anyone and everyone with an interest in our country’s history and culture to support the work of the Trust, and to visit the place which is the birthplace of the Saltire, Scotland’s national flag. I hope to welcome you to East Lothian, and look forward to seeing you in Athelstaneford to enjoy and learn about a unique place in our nation’s story.

Prof. Sir Tom Devine


It is essential that the memorial to the origins of Scotland's national flag is suitably preserved for posterity. I therefore warmly commend this fundraising campaign to Scots both at home and abroad and indeed to all who have a love of Scotland.

Dr Joe Morrow

Lord Lyon King of Arms

I was delighted to be asked by the Trustees a year or so ago to deliver a lecture on the Saltire within Heraldry. The Saltire is one of the most powerful symbols within heraldry representing our nation of Scotland. I have been privileged to address St Andrews Societies and Highland Games across the world as Lord Lyon, and the diaspora have a tremendous attachment to Scotland’s flag and its birthplace – Athelstaneford.

David Hayman


I was in Athelstaneford in 2016 while filming in East Lothian for a series of STV programmes entitled Hayman’s Way. It was the first time I had visited this historic site, and I was delighted we were able to bring the story of the origins of Scotland’s national flag to a television audience.


Restoration & Renewal

The Saltire is a welcoming symbol for all Scots whether they are Scots by birth, by choice or through their family roots. The Saltire memorial and Flag Heritage Centre celebrate the connection Athelstaneford and East Lothian has as the birthplace of the Saltire, Scotland's national flag.

Our new fundraising programme aims to restore and renew this unique visitor attraction so that more people can learn about the history of Scotland’s national flag.

David Williamson
Chair Scottish Flag Trust
© 2020- The Scottish Flag Trust