THIEVES stole a Saltire which was flying high in tribute to the fallen of the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh.

The theft happened a week after an annual ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, which took place on September 10, 1547.

The flag had been raised next to the memorial stone near Wallyford which marks the largest and last battle between Scotland and England.

Alister Hadden, commemoration event convener, said: “Unfortunately this year some individuals, on Monday, September 16, wrenched the flagpole from its sockets in the ground and dumped it into the surrounding trees and bushes and cut off and stole the Saltire flag. Have they no values of respect? The Old Musselburgh Club in partnership with the Pinkie Cleugh Battlefield Group strive for weeks in advance to bring together the ceremony for the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh on each anniversary on September 10.

“As many people as possible are involved to prepare and present the area around the memorial stone in remembrance of those who were slain.

“A flagpole and Saltire flag are erected beside the memorial stone at Crookston, just off Salters Road, each year to announce and give notice to this forthcoming event. The flag is left in place for another week following the ceremony to pay tribute to the 10,000 Scots that were slain between Wallyford, Musselburgh and Dalkeith.”

A police spokesman said: “Police Scotland is aware of the matter and anyone with any information is asked to call 101.”