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Flower of Scotland is first choice in RSNO anthem poll

FLOWER of Scotland has been declared the "people's choice" for a national anthem, according to a poll unveiled yesterday.

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The song netted 41per cent of the vote in an online survey launched last month by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO).

It was a clear favourite, beating Scotland the Brave into second place with 29per cent. Highland Cathedral, a favourite of First Minister Jack McConnell, won 17per cent of the vote. A Man's a Man for a' That polled 7per cent and Scots'Wha Hae netted 6per cent.

More than 10,000 people responded after having the chance to listen to RSNO recordings of the five contenders on the orchestra's website.

Votes were cast from across the world, with the majority from the UK. A significant number responded from the US, Canada, and from remote locations such as Mongolia, New Caledonia and Christmas Island.

The winner, written by the late Roy Williamson of The Corries, was announced at the Last Night of the RSNO Proms at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall. Simon Woods, chief executive of RSNO, said: "I am thrilled that the RSNO has been able to use its position as Scotland's national orchestra to propel forward the debate on a new national anthem for Scotland."

The orchestra ran the poll amid the ongoing debate about what the country's national anthem should be. It has been prompted by different sports playing different songs before Scotland matches.

Flower of Scotland is regularly played at football and rugby grounds, while athletes have traditionally celebrated medals with Scotland the Brave.

In March, Mr McConnell called for a public debate on the issue. However, after consideration, MSPs on the enterprise and culture committee of the Scottish Parliament dismissed the idea that Holyrood should launch that debate.

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