Date(s) - 30/11/2023
Andrew the Apostle (Greek: Ἀνδρέας; Coptic: ⲁⲛⲇⲣⲉⲁⲥ, Andreas; from the late 1st century BC – mid to late 1st century AD), also known as Saint Andrew and referred to in the Orthodox tradition as the First-Called (Greek: Πρωτόκλητος, Prōtoklētos), was a Christian Apostle and the brother of Saint Peter.
According to legend, in 832 AD, Óengus II led an army of Picts and Scots into battle against the Angles, led by Æthelstan, near modern-day Athelstaneford, East Lothian. The legend states that he was heavily outnumbered and hence whilst engaged in prayer on the eve of battle, Óengus vowed that if granted victory he would appoint Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland. On the morning of battle white clouds forming an X shape in the sky were said to have appeared. Óengus and his combined force, emboldened by this apparent divine intervention, took to the field and despite being inferior in numbers were victorious. Having interpreted the cloud phenomenon as representing the crux decussata upon which Saint Andrew was crucified, Óengus honoured his pre-battle pledge and duly appointed Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland. The white saltire set against a celestial blue background is said to have been adopted as the design of the flag of Scotland on the basis of this legend. However, there is evidence that Andrew was venerated in Scotland before this.