A BID to make Flower of Scotland the official national anthem has been rejected, with even its supporters questioning its suitability for social and political occasions.

MSPs from across the spectrum rejected a petition calling for it to be adopted, after the Scottish Government previously indicated it has no current plans to adopt an official national anthem.

The petition had been raised by Aberdeen University student Chris Cromar, who compared the song with France's Marseillaise, which was inspired by the French Revolution, and Wales's Land of My Fathers, which refers to conflict with England.

Widely recognised as Scotland's unofficial national anthem, the song, which recalls Scotland's medieval wars of independence, was penned in 1968 by Scottish folk group, The Corries and is used at Commonwealth Games events and football and rugby matches.

But despite a poll of football fans voting in favour of its adoption in recent weeks, one prominent Tartan Army spokesman said an anthem which divides the terraces was unlikely to unite the nation.

Hamish Husband, who speaks for the West of Scotland branch of the national football side's support, also said there was merit in looking beyond the standard list of around half a dozen options.

Mr Husband said: "As a national anthem it just doesn't fit the bill and wouldn't be universally accepted. It works fine for sporting events and indeed took off as an anthem at Murrayfield.

"But even amongst football fans it's far from liked by all. There's no outstanding candidate. That's clear. Perhaps we need something brand new for the social and political.

"We do have Auld Lang Syne but that's more synonymous with things finishing, sometimes badly."

Ahead of making a decision on the petition, Holyrood's Public Petition Committee heard the views of its members, with Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw claiming is was both "loved and loathed" by sections of Scottish society.

SNP MSP Angus MacDonald "reluctantly" agreed, insisting "the jury is still" out on the best anthem for Scotland.

Other unofficial Scottish national anthems include Scotland the Brave, Highland Cathedral, Scots Wha Hae and A Man's a Man, but the petitioner argued that none of these have the support of Flower of Scotland.

Mr Carlaw acknowledged that he has "something of a track record of commenting on the number of petitions we receive encouraging us 'adopt a national this, that or the next thing'".

"My understanding is that a lack of enthusiasm was expressed by the Scottish Government on moving forward at this time," he said.

"This petition has sparked a limited national debate on the issue and it seems a little bit like Marmite in that this particular anthem is either loved or loathed.

"I think at this stage it would be inadvisable for a committee of MSPs to embrace any anthem."

The Scottish Government stated: "Scottish ministers believe that consideration of whether Scotland should officially adopt a national anthem, and if so what that might be, should not be led by the Scottish Government or by any single political party.

"We, therefore, have no current plans in this regard."

Mr MacDonald said: "I think consensus is breaking out on this one, clearly from the submissions that we have had from a number of contributors the jury is still out on what is the best national anthem for Scotland.

"Given the view of the Scottish Government, and given that there is still a considerable amount of debate out there as to what the national anthem should be, I think we should perhaps close the petition, reluctantly, and allow the debate to continue out there."