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National Identity

We take pride in a strong, fair and inclusive national identity

National IdentityWhy is this National Outcome important?

Scotland's national and cultural identity is defined by our sense of place, our sense of history and our sense of self. It is defined by what it means to be Scottish and to live in a modern Scotland in a modern world. It is the tie that binds people together.

A good quality of life and a strong, fair and inclusive national identity are important if Scotland is to prosper and if we are to achieve our goal of sustainable economic growth.

A flourishing economy and a flourishing society depend on ambition and self-confidence here in Scotland and on Scotland's effective integration into the European and global economy. And our reputation internationally will influence the extent to which people see Scotland as a great place in which to live, learn, visit, work, do business and invest.

What will influence this National Outcome?

We want all of Scotland's people to take pride in their country. However, the factors that affect this are wide-ranging and complex. These include:

  • The quality of our landscapes and cityscapes.
  • Our heritage and our diverse and vibrant cultural life.
  • The influence that new Scots bring to our communities.
  • Our education system and our success in ensuring that our young people are confident individuals and responsible citizens.
  • Our languages and the place of Gaelic within our communities.
  • Our sporting achievements and the hosting of major events such as the Commonwealth Games 2014.
  • The place of St Andrew's Day, Burns Night and other key events in the Scottish calendar.

Internationally, the perceptions that others have of our identity and our reputation are governed by their long-held beliefs and assumptions - but we can influence these by what we do, how we behave and how well we tell people about Scotland's achievements.

What is the Government's role?

Scotland's identity is owned by the people of Scotland and not by Government. But through its ability to lead, act and communicate both in Scotland and internationally, Government has a key part to play in building pride in a strong, fair and inclusive national identity.

Government works with local authorities and other partners to deliver policies, programmes and initiatives which foster the delivery of increased pride in a strong, fair and inclusive national identity.

Our role includes:

  • Raising awareness of social issues through public campaigns, and to work to achieve equality of opportunity for Scotland's various communities and faith groups to share equitably in Scotland's success.
  • Working with local authorities, national and built heritage bodies and our creative industries to help all of our communities explore and celebrate their local and national culture and creativity, and to share this around the world.
  • Promoting our natural and historic built environments and developing Scotland as a green tourism destination.
  • Taking steps to attract the brightest and best international talent to Scotland and to support Scottish businesses overseas.
  • Working with key partners and stakeholders to promote and protect our natural assets, while investing in green tourism and renewable energy technologies.
  • Representing Scotland effectively in the European Union to ensure that our interests are promoted and protected and our reputation enhanced.
  • Using culture in the promotion of Scotland - making Scotland a great place to live, work or visit and helping to manage our reputation as an independent minded and responsible nation.
  • Fostering our sense of belonging by supporting and promoting cultural and creative opportunities, and cultural events such as Burns Night and the Edinburgh Festivals.

Related Strategic Objectives

Wealthier and Fairer

Safer and Stronger


National Identity