Organisers of a pro-independence march that attracted thousands of people in Aberdeen say it’s a clear indicator of the north-east’s “desire” to split from the union.
The first All Under One Banner (AUOB) procession took place in the Granite City on Saturday, and not even the occasional torrential downpour could dampen spirits.
Union Street turned into a sea of saltires as tartan-clad supporters marched from Albyn Road to the Castlegate.
An exact figure for the number of people who took part is not known, however AUOB estimated it was 12,000.
Pro-union group A Force For Good, whose counter presence attracted a much smaller crowd of around 40, claimed only 2,500 marched down Union Street.
To kick off the event at 1.30pm, a group of bikers rode down Union Street with saltire flags before those on foot set off to the sounds of bagpipes and drums.
The only conflict came when marchers encountered the counter demonstration at the junction of Market Street, prompting loud jeers and verbal sparring from both sides.
AUOB organiser Neil Mackay hailed the event as a success.
“The day has gone very well from our side of things,” he said.
“It has been fantastic day with around 12,000 people taking part which is a really good turnout anywhere in Scotland.
“It shows the desire for independence. We never have a dull event. It is a protest but it is a peaceful protest against London rule.
“There are people of all ages here and it is a really all-inclusive event. We had no trouble at all with the counter protest from our side or their side.
“My favourite part is always the starting moment, with the pipeband and drumming – it always has great energy.”
Independence supporters from across Scotland had travelled to the Granite City to take part in the march.
John Duncan from Ellon was one of those from the north-east taking part in the march.
He said: “I think there is a lot going on in the independence movement and I think it is important there is more visible approach to the movement.
“There has been a really nice atmosphere happening today.”
Dave Drysder from Stonehaven, who also attended the march, said: “I’ve been to other events before and I think it shows we are going to be independent.
“There has been a number of events in the Central Belt and it shows there is an appetite for independence here.”
A spokesman for a Force for Good claimed the number of people taking part was over-inflated.
He said: “AUOB lie about the numbers of people who attend their marches, sometimes up to 10 or 12 times. In this case, by over four times.
“The good news is that A Force For Good has a presence at every AUOB march.
“We bear witness to the huge value of the United Kingdom. We stand for everyone who likes being British, who likes the UK, and who wants us to stay together.
“We also film and count them, and we reveal the truth about their numbers.
“At Aberdeen they are claiming 12,000 but we filmed and counted them in at 2,563.”