Trimley: Scotland’s cross in sunny Suffolk skies

IS the campaign for Scottish independence getting a little help from on high?

Could there be some divine intervention for the cause championed by first minister Alex Salmond and his 21st century warriors?

In a year of big national events, from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to the Olympics, a spectacular sight in Suffolk’s skies has added a touch of mystery to the facts of the debate.

For a giant Scottish cross, or Saltire, has appeared in our skies.

The cross, several miles in width, appeared over the twin villages of Trimley St Mary and St Martin, and drifted towards Felixstowe and Ipswich on Saturday.

I captured the sight, either the result of a bizarre cloud pattern, or con (condensation) trails from jets, on my iPhone.

In my shot the blue sky of late evening almost perfectly replicates the backdrop of the Scottish national flag.

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The flag is the cross of St Andrew, also known as the Saltire. It is one of the oldest national flags of any country, dating back at least to the 12th century.

Legend relates that St Andrew, an apostle of Jesus, was put to death by the Romans in Greece by being pinned to a cross of this shape.

The cross in the sky has historical significance to the flag’s origins. Historians suggest the flag originated in a 9th century battle, where Oengus 2nd led a combined force of Picts and Scots to victory over the Angles, led by Aethelstan.

Just before combat was waged, a miraculous white saltire appeared in the blue sky and �engus’ troops were roused to victory.

Some say this makes the Saltire “the oldest continually used sovereign flag in the world”.

The flag of the United Kingdom – known as the Union Flag – is made up from the flags of Scotland, England (the Cross of Saint George) and Ireland (the Cross of Saint Patrick).