A member of the Scottish Parliament has been accused of "political racism" after she appeared to claim anyone who opposed the SNP's timetable for a independence referendum was "anti-Scottish".
Speaking in the Parliament on Thursday, SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said she made "no apology" for saying that the Lib Dems, the Labour Party and the Conservatives were "anti-Scottish in coming together to defy the will of the Scottish people, the democratic mandate the Scottish people gave us to hold the referendum at a time of our choosing".
First minister Alex Salmond has said he wants to hold a referendum in the Autumn of 2014. However the British government has said it would prefer to see any poll be held sooner.
McAlpine's comments were challenged in the chamber by Tory and Labour MSPs. Neil Findlay (Lab) said she was an "utter disgrace" for suggesting that Scots who wanted to remain part of the UK were not patriotic.
McAlpine, who is a parliamentary aide to Salmond, responded that she was addressing her comments not to members of the public but "to the Labour party, the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrats ... who, thank goodness, do not represent the people of Scotland".
This caused Jackson Carlaw (Con) to accuse McAlpine of "political racism" by implying people who belonged for a different political party than the SNP did not love their country.
"The claim by the SNP that there is some additional moral authority or additional pride or additional birthright to speak on behalf of the people of Scotland because they vote SNP is offensive," he said.
"If you spoke against somebody who was gay, you would be homophobic. If you speak against somebody who was black, you would be racist. If you say people are anti-Scottish because they belong to a different political party, that is a form of political racism."
Appearing on the BBC's Question Time programme on Thursday evening, SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon said: "Nobody who believes Scotland should stay in the UK is anti-Scottish."
After failing to crush the Caledonian tries, the Roman Emperor Hadrian erected a wall to protect his English colony.
1296: Edward I of England - the 'Hammer of the Scots' - invades and deposes Scotland's King John. William Wallace (see Braveheart) defeats the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
1314: Edward I's son, Edward II, tries to break the siege of Stirling castle and reassert English control. He is defeated by Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn - securing de facto independence for Scotland. Scottish losses: between 400-4000 English losses: 700 cavalry, 4,000-11,000 infantry.
The first Parliament of Scotland meets in 1326 and in 1328 Edward III signs the Treaty of Northampton, recognising Scottish independence.
1587: Elizabeth I successfully orders the execution of Mary, Queen of scots. Elizabeth feared her Catholic cousin could become a rallying point for dissent and disturb England's religious stability.
1707: The flow of trade brought the English and Scottish parliaments together under the 1707 Act of Union - creating the new state of Great Britain.
1872: The world's first official international football match played between England and Scotland, hosted at Hamilton Crescent. The patriotic fever whipped up by England v Scotland matches is still evident. In 1977, The Tartan Army invaded the Wembley pitch after beating England 2-1.
Under Thatcher, critics claimed the country was used as a Petri dish for free market experiments ahead of England. Scotland was handed the poll tax in 1989 - one year ahead of England. More than 1.5m refused to pay the tax and the Scots hit the streets in protest - some travelled to London and protested outside Parliament.
Alex Salmond's Scottish National Party party took control of the legislature in 2011 - clearing the way for a referendum on full independence.