Golden eagle considered unsuitable as national bird by MSP who believes it symbolizes the Nazi regime

29 January 2014

The Public Petitions Committee hearing took a bizarre turn yesterday when the RSPB’s proposal to designate the golden eagle as our national bird was attacked by a member of the petitions panel. Jackson Carlaw MSP (Scottish Conservatives, West Scotland) suggested that the golden eagle was a symbol of ‘imperial power’ as used by the Romans and the Nazis. He suggested the Robin might be a better candidate, before then arguing that perhaps ‘another’ national symbol wasn’t even necessary. Fortunately, his cross-party colleagues on the Petitions Committee chose to put the petition through to the next stage which will include a public consultation. They also stated they would seek consultation from the Scottish Raptor Study Group and we look forward to providing information in support of a formal designation for the golden eagle.

A video of yesterday’s proceedings can be viewed here for 4 weeks.

It’s worth pointing out that Poland has had an eagle as its national emblem since the 1300s and did not see reason to change it after being invaded in WW2. Indeed, in 2011 a new football strip for the Polish national team excluded the eagle emblem and, following protests from fans and politicians alike, the eagle was reinstated.