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Issues relating to the geography and politics of the United Kingdom and nearby territories can be surprisingly complex and controversial, and the subjects raised in this FAQ regarding the Scotland article are best understood in this context. We aim to be enyclopaedic and neutral. We also recognise that reconciling diverse views can be hard work as common phrases are sometimes interpreted in different ways in different cultures. We ask that editors new to this page read the following with an open mind. Where necessary, please research the facts rather than simply jumping to conclusions based on what you "know to be true".
A1: Numerous reliable sources support the view that Scotland is a country—see for example the article entitled Countries of the United Kingdom, and a table of references at Talk:Countries of the United Kingdom/refs. This view is shared with other reputable encyclopedias. There has been a long-standing consensus to describe Scotland in this way.
This is one of the most frequent questions raised by visitors to this talk page. However, in the absence of a formal British constitution, and owing to a convoluted history of the formation of the United Kingdom, a variety of terms exist which are used to refer to Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Wales and the UK itself. Reliable and official sources support use of the word "countries", and this term has broadly won preference amongst the editing community. Note however, that a country is not the same as a "sovereign state", and that "constituent country" is also used in other parts of Wikipedia. The community endeavours to achieve an atmosphere of neutrality, compromise, and camaraderie on this issue.
A2: Widespread confusion surrounds the use of the word "nation". In standard British English, and in academic language, a nation is defined as a social group and not a division of land. This is also the approach taken in the article entitled nation, across Wikipedia and in other major encyclopedias (for example, the Scottish people and the Québécois are described as "nations"). The term Home Nations is generally used only in sporting contexts. It is not used in major reputable sources outside of sport.
A3: There have been extremely complex discussion about these matters. The Royal Standard of Scotland (commonly referred to as the "Lion Rampant") was used by the King of Scots until 1603. Today, its correct use is restricted to official representatives of The Monarch. The blue and white Saltire is the flag of Scotland and is widely used by national and local government offices and in numerous other less official capacities. As with other issues described here this outcome is to some extent a compromise solution that seems to suit all parties in that it identifies symbols of Scotland as an entity in its own right, whilst also emphasising the importance of the relationship with the United Kingdom.
A4: There is no official Scottish national anthem. Although there is no doubt that Flower of Scotland is currently amongst the most popular unofficial national anthems in Scotland, it is not the only one, nor even the longest established.
A5: Scots is spoken by 30% of the Scottish population (approximately 1.5 million individuals) according to the 1996 estimate of the General Register Office for Scotland. It is recognised by the European Union's European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. By contrast, Scottish English is a variation of standard British English. Whilst the distinction is by no means clear cut, Wikipedia policy permits the use of Scottish English words and phrases where appropriate. Scots, on the other hand, has its own site: see the Scots Wikipedia.
A7: See the article entitled "Terminology of the British Isles". Great Britain is the name of the largest island that the UK encompasses, and is not generally used in source material as the name of the sovereign state.
A8: This view is supported by some sources, but the current consensus amongst the editing community is aligned to a greater body of work which describes both Northern Ireland and Wales as countries. However, the terms are not all mutually exclusive: a country can also be a principality or a province, and these terms are mentioned throughout Wikipedia as alternative names in afternotes.
|This subject is featured in the Outline of Scotland, which is incomplete and needs further development. That page, along with the other outlines on Wikipedia, is part of Wikipedia's Outline of Knowledge, which also serves as the table of contents or site map of Wikipedia.|
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Sorry I tried to update the population figure but I mucked it up. Here's the new figure and the reference. 5,295,000 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-20754750
Is scotland a country?
- Numerous reliable sources support the view that Scotland is a country—see for example the article entitled Countries of the United Kingdom, and a table of references at Talk:Countries of the United Kingdom/refs. This view is shared with other reputable encyclopedias. There has been a long-standing consensus to describe Scotland in this way.
- This is one of the most frequent questions raised by visitors to this talk page. However, in the absence of a formal British constitution, and owing to a convoluted history of the formation of the United Kingdom, a variety of terms exist which are used to refer to Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Wales and the UK itself. Reliable and official sources support use of the word "countries", and this term has broadly won preference amongst the editing community. Note however, that a country is not the same as a "sovereign state", and that "constituent country" is also used in other parts of Wikipedia. The community endeavours to achieve an atmosphere of neutrality, compromise, and camaraderie on this issue.
- Rob (talk | contribs) 16:54, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
- I think you will find that "the SNP" are quite busy with other matters at present. We may all be able to agree that the terminology of British Isles related matters is complex, but as Connelly90 suggests above you may find the FAQ at the top of this page helpful. Ben MacDui 12:56, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
- I think you will find that a false analysis. There was no extinction of the sovereignty of the two kingdoms on the island of Great Britain (Ireland being a totally different kettle of fish), merely a merging in 1707 (Whatever nonsense has been spouted since). Have a look at the clauses of the acts? Im afraid Wales doen't get a look in by virtue of being taken by conquest (however unfair that may be!)
Article 1 of the 1706 Treaty expressly states "That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN." This confirms the extinction of the two earlier sovereignties and the creation of a single new sovereignty and a single new kingdom 'Great Britain'. Whether or not one can say a single new country was created, or that the two countries remained distinct entities, wholly depends on how one chooses to define a country. For my money I'm happy to call Scotland and England two countries even though they are not two states. Cassandra. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 11:57, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
- Wikipedia cannot be called a reliable source. The English and Scottish Crowns were in a personal union of two separate countries after 1603. However after 1707 the Act of Union was the amalgamation of the governments and for most purposes the administration of England and Scotland. The Act referred to the two kingdoms becoming one. The term country was not used in those days, and kingdom was the equivalent. In the absence of a legal definition of "country", I would suggest that it requires that the entity be independent. A degree of internal self-administration is not sufficient. Otherwise US states and colonies could be called countries, which I think most people would see as incorrect.Royalcourtier (talk) 02:03, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
While I accept the Wikipedia policy on this I do agree with Royalcourtier's analysis above. That said, I've discussed the issue elsewhere quite recently and it seems there is a disparity between what Scots are taught in school on this matter and what the rest of the UK is taught. Purely anecdotally, I've been told that in Scotland it's taught that there are 'four countries that make up the United Kingdom', while the rest of the UK seems to be taught that there is 'one country made up of four constituent nations'. Clearly it's a purely academic difference that's causing issues. --Cdfbrown (talk) 01:37, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
- 'Country' is very misleading as it is frequently mistaken as being a sovereign state. I see no reason why consensus must be met on the talk page considering it is fact and more precise than simply labelling Scotland as a 'country' with no pre-text as to what this is. Why, under any circumstances, should we not refer to it as a 'constituent' country - to dumb the article down? To nationalise it? It makes no sense! All it does is contradict the United Kingdom article, in-which the UK is described as a sovereign state as opposed to a country. The opening statement as to what Scotland is must be concise and unambiguous. This special exception is not the case elsewhere, and so works to confuse the reader. See: Greenland. Italay90 (talk) 14:31, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
The citation given for stating Scotland's national animal as the unicorn is not credible. It is a piece of journalism that lacks academic rigor. Despite having heraldic and symbolic significance in Scottish history, the unicorn is not in fact an animal and thus cannot be the national animal of Scotland. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 17:42, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
- I was intending to agree, but there are plenty of other sources as well, like this and this. However, this takes a different view. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:10, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
For some reason there are three "patron saints" listed. The links to the Catholic Encyclopedia are not references to support the claim. St. Andrew is the only "patron saint" of scotland. I suggest that this be edited. Acorn897 (talk) 23:08, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Semi-protected edit request on 7 July 2014
|This edit request has been answered. Set the
Historic and avant-garde, quirky and elegant, rainy and heartwarming - Glasgow is a city of opposites and of inspiration, dear to anyone who's lived here and unforgettable to any visitor.
It's a city where people like to dress up and have fun, to party all night, to soak up culture and to have a bit of banter with the next person in the queue.
It's a city where you'll see charity-shop hipsters rub shoulders with stylish high-flyers, where indulgence can mean cocktails and designer handbags or a stroll through a Victorian park.
It's a city of underground music venues and architectural jewels, of art and music festivals, and of lazy Sunday morning brunches.
It has a vast cultural offering and it's like no other place in the world.
- That text would be a WP:COPYVIO of this page. As well as being the purest of PR froth. AllyD (talk) 05:58, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
- Scottish Parliament. "Your Scotland questions; Is Scotland a country?". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 2008-08-01. "As the UK has no written constitution in the usual sense, constitutional terminology is fraught with difficulties of interpretation and it is common usage nowadays to describe the four constituent parts of the UK (Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland) as 'countries'."