On this beautiful Independence Day here in the USA, I feel like it’s important to talk about the upcoming referendum in Scotland on September 18th 2014. If I could vote in this national referendum, which poses the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” my vote would be a resounding yes! Or as we say back in Scotland, “Aye!” I’m so excited for the referendum even if it doesn’t pass quite yet, I think it’s wonderful that the question is being asked and that there’s so much enthusiasm for the idea. With most things, there’s another side to the story and I have to say I’m disgusted by the opposition’s attempts to incite fear and hate in response to Scotland’s quest for freedom. Obviously this is a complicated issue with many points to be made and I won’t go into that here, but I just want to make a wee point about imagery and the way it has been used throughout the lead up to this referendum. Ian Rutherford is a friend of my family over in Scotland. I’ve met him and I found him to be an amiable gent as well a fantastic photographer. Ian is a photojournalist for The Scotsman newspaper and recently one of his iconic images was photoshopped and used as propaganda for the opposition campaign.
Opposition Propaganda

The Saltire flag from Rutherford’s iconic photo, changed into a swastika above the words “Klan Alba”

Imagery can be very powerful. All it takes is changing The Saltire, the flag of the Scottish people into a symbol that is heavily linked to Nazis and the opposition has planted seeds of fear and negativity. All they have to do now is sit back and watch the seeds sprout. I’ve decided to make my own propaganda in an attempt to cancel out some of the negative imagery we’ve been seeing. So here she is: a cheeky wee Scottish lassie casting her vote.”Aye!”

Yes! for Scottish Independence!

On this day of Independence, while I’m tempted to offer a two finger salute to the party responsible for defiling Ian’s beautiful photo, I will instead wish you all peace, love and most of all FREEDOM! –S.    

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