UK

Commonwealth Games 2014: Michael Fallon 'Vetoed Red Arrow Plans To Use Scottish Colours'

24/07/2014 12:51 BST | Updated 24/07/2014 16:59 BST

A request to use Scottish instead of British colours for one of the key moments of the Commonwealth Games was turned down, it has been reported.

The RAF's world-famous stunt planes, the Red Arrows, flew over Celtic Park making smoke trails in the colours of the Union Jack.

But new Defence Secretary Michael Fallon blocked plans for them to use just blue and white smoke in tribute to Scotland, The Evening Standard reported.

The Scottish Government and the games organisers denied this, telling The Huffington Post UK that one of the games organisers asked if only blue and white - the colours of the Scottish saltire - could be used but this was never "formally" requested.

red arrows

The red, the white and the blue...

The Evening Standard said the event's programme, which said they would be using only blue and smoke.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) told HuffPost UK: “The Red Arrows are ambassadors for the United Kingdom and are famous for their red, white and blue smoke trails which represent the whole of the UK.

"The flypast was to celebrate the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Commonwealth and the presence of Her Majesty so it was fitting that red, white and blue were used.”

A spokesman for the games added: “Glasgow 2014 would like to clarify that it was its Ceremonies producers Jack Morton who had initial conversations requesting the Red Arrows for a blue and white trail to represent the Host Nation’s Saltire but this was never formally requested.

"We were delighted with the participation of the Red Arrows who deployed their standard trail of red, white and blue in last night’s ceremony.”

In a statement, the Scottish Government said: “We made no such approach regarding the Red Arrows whose flypast was a spectacular highlight of a fantastic opening ceremony. Any claims to the contrary are completely untrue.

The use of British colours over the home ground of Glasgow Celtic FC was remarkable, given the club's history.

The Queen's Reception At Celtic Park

"I can't believe the fucking Queen is in our home," was one fan's verdict on the ceremony, posted on Glasgow Celtic FC's forum.

It shows perhaps how remarkable it was that the Queen's appearance in front of 40,000 people at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony yesterday was so well received.

Glasgow's 60,000-seat Celtic Park is steeped in anti-monarchy and anti-UK history. The team, whose predominantly Catholic supporters have a long-standing sectarian rivalry with the predominantly Protestant, pro-British following of Glasgow Rangers, have a long-held sympathy with Irish republicanism, rather than the union with Britain.

SEE ALSO: John Barrowman Delivers Rebuke To Anti-LGBT Countries At Commonwealth Games Ceremony

Rangers fans traditionally wave the Union Jack at matches while Celtic fans traditionally wave the Irish tricolour.

This made Wednesday's Celtic Park reception of Her Majesty - whose descendants are forbidden from marrying Catholics on pain of losing their place in the line of succession - pretty remarkable.

Story continues beneath slideshow

Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony

But ceremony, which was intended to be multicultural spectacle celebrating the commonwealth, was not well received by scores of Celtic fans, who took to football message boards to vent their fury at Her Majesty's appearance on their sacred Parkhead turf.

When the Queen appeared to perhaps the biggest cheer of the night, one person posted to the forum: "WHY IS NO ONE FUCKING BOOING?"

Another suggested singer Susan Boyle shoot her. Another simply said: "Red, white and blue should not be flown over Celtic Park."

The queen reception's was not the only unlikely thing to happen at Celtic Park last night.

5 Things You Would Not Have Expected To See At Celtic Park

Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony