Glasgow city centre has tonight seen scuffles and a tense stand-off involving around 200 pro-United Kingdom and independence supporters.

George Square, which had been taken over by Yes supporters in the run up to Thursday's poll, saw dozens of pro-UK supporters waving  Union flags converge on it.  Yes campaigners waved Saltires in response.

There were further scuffles outside Queen Street Railway Station. Police would not confirm reports of a stabbing.

The incident began at around tea-time after groups of young men were seen disembarking trains from Glasgow Central railway station in what appeared to be an organised protest.

Police initially described it as a 'few minor scuffles.'  A spokesman said there had been three arrests so far and the trouble has now eased off.

Shocked commuters and people enjoying a night out were caught up in the drama, which drove a wedge through hopes of a reconcilliation between the opposing camps in the campaign.

Some of the pro-UK campaigners, some of whom wore hoodies to disguise their identity, made Nazi salutes and others let off smoke flares as the situation turned ugly.

Others lit flares as they taunted their rivals for losing Thursday's referendum poll.

However, their actions were condemned by many users of Twitter

Paula Hughes tweeted: "Rioting in is nothing to do with the referendum. These people don't represent the 55% who voted no. They're thugs, pure and simple."

And the comedian, Brian Limond, said:" Imagine winning the referendum, and still being that unhappy, that angry, that upset." He said he couldn't wish a worse existence for them.

Flashpoints continued well into the night. There were further chaotic scenes, with flares being thrown and outbreaks of fighting and shouting between the two sides. Pro-union supporters can be heard chanting Rule Britannia while waving flags with "Scotland is British No Surrender" emblazoned across them. Many of the demonstrators are drunk and a lot of them are young people, some of school age. At one point a group of young girls with Yes saltires on their faces were chased across the square by a gang of heavy middle-aged men sporting Union Jack flags and shouting abuse at them. In another vicious scene, two men both with flags of the opposite persuasion began fighting and the crowds had to pull them apart. A car carrying a union flag was attacked as it stopped near the square, with the flag being grabbed and smashed through the back window. A female passenger said: "We were sitting at the lights and this guy came along, grabbed our flag and cracked it through the window. "He was calling us names, saying we should go back to England, then he ran off. I am really angry." Some of the demonstrators with Union Jack flags around their shoulders and holding bottles of alcohol shouted at the Yes supporters: "We won fair and square. Royal standard. God save the Queen." Many Scots have taken to Twitter to voice their disgust at the unfolding scenes. Rachel Murphy wrote: "What is happening in George Square just now is disgusting/sickening and heartbreaking. Everything that is wrong with this country." While Kenny Stewart Tweeted: "Describing what's going on at George Square as a Yes/No thing is nonsense - it's a bunch of bigoted thugs taking advantage of a situation." Samantha Hepburn added: "Such a shame that those loyalists in George Square are affiliated with the no campaign. I for one want nothing to do with them. Disgusting."

The unpleasant scenes come just 24 hours after the Yes campaigners staged a final triumphant rally in the hope that Scotland would become independent.

Police appeared to have penned back the pro-UK supporters into an area of the square near one of the main statues directly adjacent to the Glasgow City Council chambers.

A Police Scotland spokesman said there had been no arrests, but minor scuffles. He added: "There are around 100 people from each side of the campaign taking over the square and roads surrounding it have been closed off."

The force added on Facebook that in addition to the arrests, 'retrospective' inquiries will take place. This would involve checking closed circuit TV footage to identify the alleged ringleaders.In a statement, it added: "Officers continue to manage situation and prevent further disruption. Most have now dispersed. Small group remains with police in attendance."