Having been in the Basque Country for the past few days, I've noticed much in comparison with the situation at home in Scotland from both the Spanish and French 'occupied' territories. As my visit has coincided with the final stages of Euro 2012 and the progress of Spain, the rather lacklustre support for the Spanish 'national' team has been palpable. Walking the streets of Bilbo and Donostia, you could be forgiven for forgetting that the tournament was even taking place.
In Bilbo, flags and banners celebrating the rise in fortunes of the local AC Bilbao - defacto Basque national team - are still everywhere, in shops, in cars and hanging from balconies. While there was cheering from local tabernas upon the Spanish victory, the flags and shirts of Spain have remained nowhere to be seen.
Posters on the walls remind you that 'this isn't Spain, this is Euskal Herria'. Though to be honest the indigenous culture screams at you. In Basque.
Language is and isn't a political issue. In Scotland, it just isn't. Scottish is far too often ignored by Scots and a glaring example of this is the 'Yes' campaign for independence. I'm not arguing for Scottish Gaelic to be 'promoted' by the Yes campaign. I'm arguing that it should be used. Scottish has shared a certain parity with English in as much as it's supported from different parts of the political spectrum. A language is a medium and the Yes campaign needs to harness any and every medium available particularly a language that is the anchor of the nation's culture and iconography.
Read more here.