Athelstaneford

Athelstaneford is a small village 6miles (9.5km) from Haddington and the birthplace of The Saltire, Scotland's national flag. The village gets its name from the legendary battle between Saxon King Athelstane and Pictish King Hungus in the 9th century.

In 832AD, a short time before the battle, King Angus prayed to God that, in spite of his smaller army, he might lead his soldiers to victory. A cloud formation of a white diagonal cross appeared against a blue sky above Athelstaneford. This is the Cross of St Andrew. Encouraged by this sign, the Picts and Scots went on to win the battle. St Andrew became the Patron Saint of Scotland and his Cross the national flag. The Saltire, or St Andrew's Cross, is the oldest flag in Europe and the Commonwealth.

Athelstaneford began as a model village in the late 18th century, thriving on agriculture and weaving.

If you are lucky enough to see a Saltire in the sky as you look over the battlefield please do tag us on social media!

What to see and do

Uncover the story of Scotland’s flag at the Flag Heritage Centre. This VisitScotland 4-star rated attraction is a restored and converted doo’cot (dovecot) behind Athelstaneford Parish Church that tells the story of the flag in an audio-visual dramatisation.
Not far from Athelstaneford, at East Fortune Airfield is the National Museum of Flight where you can discover a world-class collection of aircraft and the stories of the people who designed, built and flew in them. You can also step onboard Scotland's Concorde - a supersonic passenger airliner!

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