We are wondering why there hasn't been an outcry against the selected winner of the competition to mark the border with England at Gretna ("Star of Caledonia to give travellers a scintillating welcome to Scotland", The Herald, July 5).

Numerous people have remarked privately on how awful the so-called Star of Caledonia is but none, it seems, has been willing to raise the matter in public. If the other submissions to the competition were worse than this we suggest the organising committee should be told to think again.

Let us be clear. The Star of Caledonia is not a work of art but a brash lighting design more suited to somewhere like Blackpool. More worrying is that, with its arrogance of scale, it reinforces the “culture cringe” of the small country versus its big neighbour.

Consider the self-serving bluster of the rhetoric that comes with it. Andrew Dixon, the chief executive of Creative Scotland and a member of the selection panel, describes it as a “landmark that is rooted in Scotland’s scientific contribution to the world” and a “contemporary symbol of a confident, creative Scotland”, while the designer claims it is a tribute to “Scotland’s power of invention”. And Charles Jencks, who will design the landscape around the work, rhapsodises about it as a “scintillating piece of calligraphy” that allegedly suggests a variety of meanings, such as a starburst, energy, a thistle or a St Andrew’s Cross.

Even more grandly Nicky Wilson, of Jupiter Artland (owners of a massive work by Jencks), says that as a “link between Scotland and England” it “highlights that we are a cultural force to be reckoned with” and that it shows that “even though we are a small nation, we are really very mighty when it comes to contemporary art”.

We take issue with all of these assertions. It is certainly not a link between Scotland and England but an aggressive “wha’s like us”. This work is not demonstrative of a country at ease with itself but rather one that is so troubled and insecure that it has to turn to a monumental and expensive piece of kitsch as a bizarre way of saying welcome.

We agree with the editor of the independent art newspaper Artwork who describes it as grotesque and expresses the hope that it will fall victim to the cutbacks. Surely we can also say on artistic, cultural and political grounds that this proposal should be binned right now.

Sam Ainsley, David Harding, Alexander Moffat, Ross Birrell, Ray Mackenzie,

12A Crown Terrace,