On St Andrew’s day 1935, the St Andrew Society of London and the St Andrew Society of Glasgow presented a petition to King George V on Scotland’s treaty rights in the British Union, in which the petitioners stated that they and many other Scotsmen viewed with apprehension the manner in which certain Government Departments had disregarded the provisions of the Treaty of Union of 1707, both in the letter and in the spirit, and had, both in British and Imperial heraldic matters and in ceremony, tried to attribute what the petitioners described as “undue prominence to the traditions and symbolism of England in place of treating the Realms of Scotland and England as equal partners in that Union.”
The petition dealt with several matters under the following heads:-
1. Unconstitutional use of the words “England” and “English” in British and Imperial affairs. 2. The discontinuance of the Scottish Mint has involved loss of work in Scotland, and the coinage is, with one exception – Britannia – purely English in design and arrangement.
3. The flags of the Royal Navy, contrary to the Treaty, display St George’s Cross not conjoined with St Andrew’s Cross – the Union Pendant has been suppressed. Note: Prior to 1707 the Scots had their own Royal navy, but in that year both the Royal English navy and the Royal Scottish Navy formed the Union Navy. One of the first ex RSN ships to join the new combined navy was the Glasgow. She, inter alia, wore what was called the Union Pendant, a conjoined St George’s Cross and St Andrew’s Cross.
4. The War Office recognises St George’s Cross for regimental Colours, but declines to recognise St Andrew’s Cross, though both are constitutionally equal.
5. The English Royal Crest is used illegally upon the Colour-pikes of Scottish Regiments.
6. The “Inspector of Regimental Colours” is as an office redundant as far as Scottish Regiments are concerned.
7. The badge of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers displays the English Royal Crest.
8. The flag recently designed for Governors-General displays the English Royal Crest only, which is unconstitutional and reflects upon Scotland’s share of founding the Empire.
9. In Imperial heraldry, all reference to Scotland and Scottish emblems is suppressed, notwithstanding that in some cases the emblems are less popular than those in Scotland.
10. Imperial Warrants are directed to the English heraldic authorities only, as also Warrants connected with British honours – contrary to even English precedents.
11. Unconstitutional alteration in the title of the Principal King of Arms of the English.
12. Pressing necessity for the constitution of an “Imperial Court of Heraldry”.
13. The College of Arms of England should be made a Government Office like those of Scotland and Ireland.
14. Usurpation of Arms for trade purposes has been given a grave abuse, and should be suppressed.
15. Unlawful usurpation of Arms of England is detrimental to British heraldry in general, and should be suppressed.
By Command of King George V, copies of the petition were referred to the various Government Departments concerned, and their observations have been incorporated in a memorandum which the Secretary of State for Scotland has now sent to the petitioning societies with a covering letter in which Mr Elliot states that all questions raised in the petition have been looked into very thoroughly, but they relate largely to matters outwith the jurisdiction of the Scottish Office and in the result he would not be justified in advising His Majesty to issue commands thereon.
With regard to the flying of the Lion Rampart flag over the Scottish Office as has been done since 1900, it is explained that the Lord Lyon King at Arms does not dissent from the view that the Secretary of State for Scotland, who is keeper of the Great Seal for Scotland and one of the Great Officers of State for Scotland, may fly this flag as representative of Royal Authority.