Becoming “a Northern Light”: Revival and Use of Myth in Modern Scottish Identity

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Arts and Humanities | European History | History


On September 18, 2014, about forty-five percent of Scotland voted in favor of independence. How can one begin to explain this rapid rise of nationalism in Britain’s northernmost region? This essay focuses on the language of politicians from the Scottish National Party (SNP), and finds an evolving cohesive narrative for independence. The referendum can thus be seen as a testament to the skill by which these actors have been able to reinterpret and revive Scotland’s independent identity. From the kilt to the seemingly new invention of a Nordic Scottish identity, this tapestry of nationalism shows both resilience and elasticity. This thesis looks at each piece of this narrative and brings the threads and themes together. Due to the increasing success of the SNP and their dominant nationalist narrative, the question is not whether Scotland will become independent but when.