The Western Isles was awash with a “sea of flags” over the weekend when more than 750 people marched in support of independence.
Hundreds of pro-independence backers lined the streets of Stornoway on Saturday to take part in the community’s first independence march, organised by the Outer Hebrides for Independence group.
Highlands and Islands MSP Alasdair Allan was among the participants on the day after arguing his support for the cause earlier in the week.
President and co-founder Cathy Hannaway, 56, claimed the idea for the march was the direct result of rising support for independence.
She said: “My friend Heather and I were watching the ‘All Under One Banner’ march in Edinburgh and I said ‘wouldn’t it be good if we could do something like that here?’ and she said ‘why can’t we?’.
“So we formed a page on Facebook to see if there was any interest to do this locally and the group grew quite rapidly.
“Within weeks, there were a few hundred people in the group so the numbers were building all the time. When it came to about 300, I turned round to Heather whilst having a coffee and said we are actually going to have to go and do this now.
She added: “It’s been a lot of hard work but it was worth every bit of it. Our town centre was a sea of flags yesterday afternoon for a small time but what an impact that small time gave and when you go on Facebook and Twitter today, you are seeing the centre of a small town just a sea of flags for independence.”
Campaigners met at the Old Acres Rugby Pitch, next to the council officers, around 2pm before marching in their droves through the town centre.
Vice-chairwoman Alison Mackay, 52 said she hoped the sight of people in the small islands marching would give the government the incentive to act.
She added: “There are a lot of small towns in Scotland, the population for the whole of Lewis and Harris is only 26,000 and when the Scottish Government realises that the people in the smaller areas, even on the islands are starting to march, they are going to have to pay attention.”