Scottish marchers told no swords allowed

June 23, 2012 at 5:37 PM
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STIRLING, Scotland, June 23 (UPI) -- Participants in a march to commemorate the Battle of Bannockburn, the great Scottish victory of 1314, have been told to leave swords and axes at home.

The Stirling Council, which has jurisdiction in the nearby village of Bannockburn, said weapons were banned during the short march to the battle site, The Daily Telegraph reported.

But the National Trust for Scotland, which owns the battlefield, said weapons would be allowed on the field. Participants would have to leave them in their cars while marching through the village and then retrieve them.

The Scottish Republican Socialist Movement, which organized this year's march, expected several hundred participants. Many were expected to be costumed as soldiers in Robert the Bruce's army.

The Bruce defeated King Edward II of England on June 24, 1314, one of many battles fought to preserve Scotland's independence.

The Stirling Council said the weapons ban was standard operating procedure. But some organizers said officials might have been worried by events last year, when one car was hit with a shield and a British flag was burned.

"These weapons are part of our traditional dress and people were not going to be waving them about," said Tom Chalmers on a Facebook page against the weapons ban. "It's a peaceful march with banners."

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