Clans are very nice

Not sure that red is appropriate for the MacKenzies, but I have my reasons for choosing this one.

Fervent nationalists often fail to have a clear understanding of their own historical base. E.g., “Scotland” is composed of at least five different influences. Firstly, the Scots who came over from Ireland, forming the Highland Clans (railway fans will be thinking of a rather graceful 4-6-0 at this point, see above) and bringing with it internecine warfare. Still, makes for great films but ultimately they were sold out not by the English, but to the English by their Clan Chieftains – vide the “Highland Clearances”. Next, the Picts. No one knows much about them, but my guess is that they explain a lot about the distinctiveness of NE Scotland around Aberdeen, etc, but they are one of the two true (well, truer) original peoples of Scotland, the other being whoever first settled in the “Far North” before the Vikings turned up. Moving south, we get Brythonic settlers in the south west corner, explaining such place names such as Glasgow, Lomond, Clyde, etc, and surnames like “Wallis”, which is a corruption of “Wealas”, the old Germanic word for the Welsh. And finally, in the south eastern corner, the Anglo-Normans. Edinburgh and the Lothians were once part of Northumbrian England, and the use of Old English as the base for the “Scots” language/dialect stems from this. Once the English had gone further south, there was a massive influx of Norman-French (indirectly Norse) people and culture. Not a military invasion, but power and influence were rapidly acquired. Witness such names as “Robert the Bruce”, originally “Robert de Brys”, or “Stewart”, from “steward”. Add to that various Norwegian raiders and overlordship, and you get a brilliant melting pot that is to be celebrated, but the only thing that really unites them is the fact that they are on the main island of Britain and north of the border with England. Traditionally, they have spent more time fighting each other than the “Auld Enemy” [England] except when it was useful for the French to have a distraction in their centuries of conflict with England by invoking the “Auld Alliance”. Wales is even more complicated: the dislike betweent the North, Middle and South is intense, and again the only common-link is a dislike of the English: but like everyone else, they (they? We, surely?) don’t always get on with each other either!