Athelstaneford is the birthplace of Scotland's national flag - the St Andrew's Cross or Saltire. Legend has it that the flag originated in a battle in 832AD, fought close by the village. An army of Picts/Scots under King Angus had been on a punitive raid into Northumbrian territory, but were pursued and caught by a larger force of Angles/Saxons under Athelstan. Fearing the outcome, Angus prayed for deliverance, and was rewarded by the appearance overhead of a white saltire against a blue sky. The king vowed that if he gained the victory, then Andrew would thereafter be the patron saint of Scotland The Scots did win, and in due course the Saltire became the flag of Scotland.
Today at Athelstaneford, visitors to the Flag Heritage Centre can enjoy a short audio-visual dramatisation, available in 7 languages, of the traditional origins of the flag.