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The Union Jack For Ever

AFFG at Ayr 6-7-19 flying our Union Jacks high

During AFFG's counter-demo in Ayr on Saturday 6 July 2019 (above, where we counted 2,672 SNP supporters, and not the 13K they lied about), our Director, Alistair McConnachie took the opportunity to premiere 'The Union Jack For Ever' - a poem he adapted from the Canadian anthem, 'The Maple Leaf For Ever' which was written by the Scotsman Alexander Muir.

Alistair has changed parts of it to emphasise the creation of the Union Jack by the Scottish King, James VI; to reference British battles; and to record the most northerly point of the United Kingdom, the most southerly, the most eastern and the most western; and it even puts a good word in for Rockall too!

In days of yore, from Scotland's shore

James the Sixth, our dauntless hero came

And created first the Union Flag

On Britain's fair domain.

Here may it wave, our boast, our pride

And joined in love together

The Thistle, Shamrock, Rose entwine

The Union Jack for ever!

The Union Jack, our emblem dear

The Union Jack for ever!

God save our Queen, and Heaven bless

The Union Jack for ever!

At Rourke's Drift, the Somme, at D-Day

Our fathers, side by side

For freedom, homes, and loved ones dear

Stood firm and nobly died.

And those dear rights which they maintained

We swear to yield them never!

Our watchword ever more shall be

The Union Jack for ever!

Our fair Land, it now extends

From Shetland to the Isles of Scilly

From East to West, from Lowestoft Ness

To Belleek in County Fermanagh.

From Rockall in the wild Atlantic

To all the sea and coasts around

In this Land may peace for ever be our joy

May plenteous store abound.

And may those ties of love be ours

Which discord cannot sever

Entwined the Thistle, Shamrock, Rose

In James's Flag for ever.

That's why we always wave it high

It stands for us together

Red, White and Blue, o'er Freedom's home

The Union Jack for ever!

On Merry England's far-famed land

May kind Heaven sweetly smile

God bless Old Scotland ever more

And Ireland's Emerald Isle.

With Wales, its mountains standing strong

Shall swell our song, both loud and long

Until the rocks and forest quiver.

God save the Queen, and Heaven bless

The Union Jack For Ever!

Adapted by Alistair McConnachie from "The Maple Leaf For Ever" by Alexander Muir, and first performed on the Sandgate, Ayr, Saturday 6 July 2019.

Alexander Muir: Scots Composer of Patriotic British-Canadian Anthem

Alexander Muir was born in the Lanarkshire village of Lesmahagow on 5 April 1830, and emigrated as a child with his parents to Scarborough near Toronto.

Like many British Canadians of the time, he was to grow up to strongly identify with the idea of the British Empire, and saw Canada as an important part of the Company of Nations which made up this world-wide family.

He joined the Queens Own Rifles of Canada and saw action against the Fenian Brotherhood, at the Battle of Ridgeway (2 June 1866), when they attempted to invade Canada.

The Fenian Brotherhood were New York City-based ragtags attempting to force the United Kingdom into negotiating an independent Irish Republic. (Sound familiar?) They hoped to take over Canada and precipitate a political crisis in the UK. Thankfully, their crackpot idea failed, but not without casualties.

Muir wrote Canada's unofficial National Anthem, 'The Maple Leaf Forever' in 1867 – the year of Canadian Confederation – while still serving in the Regiment.

He became a school teacher and Head Master in Toronto. He died on 26 June 1906, and is buried in Plot X-12, Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.

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