Six people have been arrested after trouble flared in Glasgow city centre following the referendum result.

Crowds gathered in George Square last night as police separated rival supporters of the union and independence.

Earlier in the evening, hundreds of people had crowded into the square, with union supporters and rivals sporting Yes badges arguing over the referendum result, while a chorus of Rule Britannia was countered by the Scottish anthem, Flower of Scotland.

While social media reports indicated that trouble continued into the early hours of the morning, a Police Scotland spokesman said groups had dwindled to sets of two and three people by around 1am.

He said: "Six people have been arrested so far in relation to the incident in George Square. Retrospective inquiries will be carried out which may lead to further arrests."

BBC journalist Andrew Neil used Twitter to criticise people he said were posting images from the London riots in a bid to pass them off as Glasgow.

"Some dishonest numpties using pics from Tottenham riots to claim this is Glasgow tonight. Yes and No should unite to condemn," he wrote.

Channel Four reporter Alex Thomson described the scene as pro-Union supporters made their voices heard.

"Chants of 'Ten German Bombers', 'Rule Britannia' and 'God Save The Queen' (the latter with what many would interpret as a Nazi-style salute) rang out to the utter bemusement of onlookers."

Earlier police officers, some mounted on horses, lined up to divide the groups.

A number of people draped in union flags left the area and began spreading on to the nearby streets, with many marching down St Vincent Place as police followed.

They later gathered in George Square again, this time at the top of the square next to Queen Street Station singing Rule Britannia and a flare was let off.

Police formed a human barrier to block off the route to Buchanan Street and contain people in the square.

Roads around the square, which had had hosted pro-independence parties in the days before the referendum, were closed as police dealt with the incident.

Vans of police officers and mounted police turned up to ring the No supporters as they displayed Union flags with "Scotland is British No Surrender" emblazoned across them.

Tensions were running high as the camps goaded each other and blue flares were thrown into the crowds.

There were sporadic outbreaks of fighting and shouting as they vented their anger at each other over the referendum result.

Many of the demonstrators were drunk and a lot of them were 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 flags and shouting abuse at them.

Two men with flags began fighting and the crowds had to pull them apart.

A car flying a Union flag that stopped at traffic lights near the square at West Nile Street was attacked, with the flag grabbed and smashed through the back window.

There were no passengers in the back of the car but the attack left the front passenger and the driver badly shaken.

The scenes unfolded in a city that voted in favour of independence on Thursday.

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 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."

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

Shocked commuters returning home from work were caught up in the drama, which drove a wedge through hopes of a reconciliation between the opposing camps in the campaign.

Police Scotland said there were about 100 people with ­affiliations to both sides involved in the incident, but claims of aggression were put down to a "few minor scuffles".

A spokeswoman added: "There has been some minor disorder which was quickly dealt with and it was well policed. No arrests have been made and the square has been closed to traffic."

George Square has been a focal point of the Yes Campaign throughout the debate, with several mass rallies being held there - often described as having a party atmosphere.

Tensions flared over the last 48 hours as some No voters also attended at the Square, culminating in the clash between the two camps.

Politicians on both sides of the debate have called for Scots to accept the vote and work together to move forward, but, with the eyes of the world still watching, people took to social media to express their embarrassment and disgust at what was unfolding.

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 lead-up to Thursday's vote has been plagued by claims of heavy-handed tactics from both sides of the campaign.

At the end of last month, Labour MP Jim Murphy was hit with eggs on his 100 Towns in 100 Days tour in Kirkcaldy.

An independence supporter from the town, Stuart MacKenzie, who admitted assaulting Mr Murphy, was sentenced to 80 hours' unpaid work on a community payback order.

There were also claims of an alleged assault during a disturbance between Yes and No supporters in Glasgow's Argyle Street just days later.

About 30 campaigners were involved in what was described as a "heated debate", with a 55-year-old man being arrested and reported to the procurator- fiscal.

Ed Miliband was also forced to abandon a walkabout in Edinburgh after being verbally abused by Yes supporters, while Gordon Brown was also allegedly targeted by Yes campaigners.

Across the country there were also reports of intimidation, vandalism and abuse, forcing the Scottish Police Federation to release a statement saying some claims had been exaggerated.

Federation chairman Brian Docherty said: "It was inevitable that the closer we came to 18 September passions would increase, but that does not justify the exaggerated rhetoric that is being deployed with increased frequency.

"Any neutral observer could be led to believe Scotland is on the verge of societal disintegration, yet nothing could be further from the truth.

"Scotland's citizens are overwhelmingly law-abiding and tolerant and it is preposterous to imply that by placing a cross in a box our citizens will suddenly abandon the personal virtues and values held dear to them all."

Chief Superintendent Andy Bates, local policing commander for Greater Glasgow said: "More than 700 people gathered in George Square last night and officers arrested six people for a number of public order offences.

"An investigation into Friday night's disorder has begun and an incident room has been set up at Glasgow City Centre Police Office, staffed by officers dedicated to identifying and arresting anyone involved in the ugly scenes witnessed across the world on television and social media.

"We have already secured valuable CCTV and other evidence which I am confident will lead to further arrests in the coming days.

"Don't think that because you were not arrested by last night that you will not be caught. If you were involved in any criminality in the square we will identify you and you will be arrested.

"I would ask that anyone who has any information that could assist us with our enquiries to contact officers via the non emergency number 101."