As union flags were unfurled in London’s Parliament Square, outside Holyrood a sea of yellow European stars and saltires fluttered against a darkening sky.

Hundreds gathered beneath the looming shadow of Edinburgh’s Salisbury Crags to show their support for the EU and – in many cases – an independent Scotland.

It was just one of numerous events across the country, with candlelit vigils casting a melancholy glow in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Stirling, among other locations.

Scots voted by 62 per cent to 38% to Remain in the EU, while the overall UK result in the 2016 referendum backed Leave by 53.4% to 46.6%.

The Missing EU Already rally began outside Scottish Parliament at 5pm, organised by the Edinburgh Yes Hub, which backs Scottish independence.

Anne Morgan, 72, had travelled from Dunfermline to attend. She said she felt European.

“I just want to let Boris Johnson know the insanely mad thing he has done,” she said.

“I just feel angry. I do feel that England has voted to leave, but Scotland didn’t.”

Debbie Bruce, 52, from nearby Musselburgh, said she felt politically helpless. “We are just really sad about it,” she added.

Elsewhere, Alasdair Grant, 73, and his wife Susan, who had travelled down from Tain in the Highlands, raised concerns about the impact of Brexit on the younger generation.

From a stage, SNP Brexit Secretary Michael Russell told the crowd the fight was not over.

He said: “For the last three and a half years, I’ve been of the view that we could stop Brexit. And I have to say that today is a day I never wanted to see happen. But it has happened.

“So what we need to do tomorrow morning when we get up is say we are going to finish the fight.

“And the fight is to make sure that Scotland rejoins the EU as an independent nation.”

Earlier, SNP MSP Joanna Cherry told the rally: “My message to you tonight is do not be despondent. There is hope. There is hope for Scotland’s future, and hope for Scotland’s future in Europe.”

She said this is a pivotal moment in Scotland’s history.

Ms Cherry added: “In relation to Boris Johnson, who seems to think that he can turn his face against the tide of Scottish public opinion, I would say to him that his intransigence is doomed, and indeed history shows that such intransigence doesn’t work.

“And I would simply end by quoting the words of the great Irish constitutional nationalist Charles Stewart Parnell.

“And in his words, I would say to Boris Johnson: No man has the right to set the boundaries of the march of a nation.”

As politicians spoke from the stage, cars passing on the road beside the Scottish Parliament repeatedly beeped their horns.

Elsewhere, a giant sand art display at Portobello beach outside Edinburgh read ‘Scotland Loves Europe’, while two Scottish Government buildings, St Andrew’s House and Victoria Quay, were lit in the colours of the European flag.

The flag will continue to fly at the buildings, as well as at Scotland House in Brussels, and at Holyrood after MSPs overturned a decision to take it down.

In Glasgow, pro-EU campaigners were due to gather at the Donald Dewar statue on Buchanan Street at 10.30pm.

SNP MPs Alison Thewliss, Alyn Smith, Philippa Whitford and Kirsten Oswald were all expected to attend, along with Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie.

The Glasgow Loves EU group, which organised the event, said it wanted to mark the “sad occasion” by singing the EU anthem Ode To Joy along with Auld Lang Syne at the gathering.

The organisers said: “We will always be Europeans and we are determined to keep our links with Europe strong and are keen to celebrate what unites us.”

In a very Glaswegian tribute, a blue cone with yellow stars was placed on the head of the Duke of Wellington statue outside the Gallery of Modern Art.

Not everyone was in a mournful mood, however. In nearby George Square, unionist group A Force For Good were expected to hold a Brexit celebration from 10.30pm, with attendees urged to “bring your flags and friends”.

On social media, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton told of relatives his family had lost in the first and second world wars.

He said: “I think it a measure of the success of this European project that I am only the second generation in the recorded history of my entire family to never have to contemplate war in Europe. It is a comfort I would extend to my three children and theirs to come.

“Brexit won’t lead to war, but it will see the UK turn it’s back on the most successful project for peace in human history. It will make our country smaller, worse off and more isolated. It won’t happen overnight but there’ll come a time when that realisation hits home.”

Away from the central belt, a Brexit tree was planted in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, to mark the date of the UK’s departure from the EU. Arts organisation Deveron Projects said the weeping willow has been chosen as it “embodies notions of both sorrow and healing”. Writer and comedian AL Kennedy was due to be joined by artists Clemens Wilhelm and Richard Demarco at the tree planting on the banks of the River Deveron at sunset.

Deveron projects director Claudia Zeiske said: “We hope that this weeping willow will act as a marker for Brexit as a significant day in history, measuring the passage of time as it grows, and bringing the community together around its circular bench as a natural meeting place for years to come.”