Nailing your colours to the mast as independence referendum draws near

An increasing number of people are publicly declaring their voting intentions by placing placards in windows
An increasing number of people are publicly declaring their voting intentions by placing placards in windows

They’re both the same age, live in the same street and even have the same third floor view from their homes towards Polmont.

But that’s where the similarities end for Grangemouth neighbours Barry Febers and Grant Caldwell.

The former is a is a Yes activist who can regularly be seen out campaigning across the Falkirk district while the latter is a confirmed No voter in next month’s referendum on Scottish independence.

While their political opinions might be different, they are happy to respect each other’s views.

The duo, who live in Portal Road, are among an increasing number of households across the country who have made voting intentions public by displaying placards or flags in their windows.

It’s become a rarity to pass along a main road through a residential area and not see at least one ‘Yes’ or ‘No Thanks’ sign placed strategically in an upstairs window.

A popular Twitter account, ‘Yes Windaes’, has even started to share pictures of homes that have declared in favour of independence.

While it might be a relatively new phenomenon in Scotland, across the pond it has long been the norm for homes and gardens to be filled with banners and placards supporting the various candidates in US Presidential primaries and subsequently the big vote itself.

For law and economics student Barry (30), it’s a natural and friendly gesture of support to display a sign in your window.

“It puts a smile on my face when I see so many Yes signs in windows all over the place,” he said. “It proves that people are getting the Yes campaign’s message.

“A lot of my neighbours have added Yes signs, and it’s my ambition that we can get the whole block to follow suit.”

One man unlikely to be adding a Yes sign anytime soon is former groundsman Grant (30). He has proudly flown a Union flag from his living room window for the past four years and plans to vote against independence.

“I just don’t believe the bluster from Alex Salmond,” he said. “I have always been a passionate supporter of the Union.

“But we all have to live together. I respect other people’s opinions. I know my neighbour is a big Yes supporter. But there’s never any trouble in this street about folk having different opinions.

“As my granny used to say: you should always love your neighbour. Or tolerate them at least!”

Polling cards due out this week

Voters should receive polling cards for the Scottish Independence referendum by Wednesday, officials have said.

Anyone who does not receive a card and believes they are eligible to vote on September 18 should register at the Electoral Registration Office.

For more information, email or call 01786 892289.

Anyone who is aged 16 or over on September 18 and is resident in Scotland is eligible to vote.