THE nation may have voted against independence but the Scots brand is flying online, with more than 4,000 .scot domain names taken within an hour of becoming available. and were among the first to be purchased as the domain name went on general release for the first time yesterday.

Facebook and LinkedIn also got in on the act to establish a Scottish presence.

The domain was launched after not-for-profit company DotScot Registry agreed terms with international regulators Icann to operate it.

Director of DotScot Registry Gavin McCutcheon said that, while the recent referendum debate had helped, .scot transcended politics and the proof was in the thousands who had signed up.

He said: "There's been huge interest in .scot since July when we went public."

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "With .scot domains now generally available, people at home and abroad have a new opportunity to express their Scottish affinity online."