A Saltire rock painting that was obliterated with white paint has been repainted on a Highland hillside – with another alongside for good measure.
Another nearby rock has been painted with the word “Yes” sparking fears that it could provoke further retaliation.
It is believed the flag – which had been visible on the Sugar Loaf hill above Fort William for at least 25 years – was painted out as a statement in the run-up to the referendum on Scottish independence.
Local residents were furious to learn that the historic Saltire had been obliterated and delighted to discover that someone had taken blue and white paint up the hill last night to restore it.
But it seems the artist or artists got a bit carried away and painted a second Saltire immediately alongside the original 5ft sq flag as well as painting the “Yes” message nearby.
It has been jokingly suggested that one flag is for a Yes vote and the other for No.
Norrie MacLean, who runs Berkeley House B&B in Fort William, said he was pleased the flag was back as it was an important part of the history of the Lochaber town.
He said: “I just hope the people that painted it out before don’t do it again.
“No doubt it will be back and fore until after the referendum, then we can all settle down and be a happy family.”
Councillor Thomas MacLennan, chairman of Highland Council’s Lochaber area committee, said the Saltire had been there so long it had become “a fixture in the landscape of Fort William”.
He said: “As usual, the original single flag was probably the best and I don’t think there’s any place for referendum messages at this location.”
Councillor Andrew Baxter, who represents Fort William and Ardnamurchan, said the Saltire was nothing to do with the referendum
He said: “I hope it doesn’t escalate into the whole hillside being painted with Saltires.
“I just hope this is the end of the matter and there is not any retaliation as I can see that the new paintings could provoke some people within the community.”
And Fort William Community Council chairman, Neil Clark, said: “There was nothing wrong with the original Saltire that was there on its own and any lettering is clearly unhelpful.
“I’m just concerned it will encourage the other side to do something similar and paint it out again.”