What Wallace Means To Me
"Without him there is no Scotland, he was the spirit of independence"
Craig and Charlie Reid
"Seven centuries after William Wallace's death, his legacy lives on as a truly great Scot. A hero whose name represents the passion, determination and pride of the Scottish people."
Jack McConnell MSP
First Minister of Scotland
"I think that Wallace is perceived differently in Scotland from the way that National Heroes are perceived in other countries. He seems to somehow be enmeshed in the spirit of being Scottish, in a way, that, for example, Nelson or King Arthur are not in England. Perhaps that is because Scotland is still ruled from "somewhere else", and that makes Wallace's fight for Scotland's freedom more recognisable and immediate to ordinary Scots. Every generation of Scots since Wallace's time have recognised his unselfish devotion to his native soil, and identify with it. And his shadow stands over Scotland still. The day of the yes/yes vote for a Scottish parliament took place on September 11 1997, the 700th anniversary to the day of Wallace's victory at Stirling Bridge on September 11th 1297.
Coincidence? He still has the ability to create fear in those who are advocates of Unionism with England. In my experience, when organising Wallace related events, i find that many politicians will shy away when Wallace's name is mentioned, as they feel that involvement with what is supposed to be their own "National Hero" may tarnish them in some way with being sympathetic with the Independence cause in Scotland. But that is why Wallace is the darling of ordinary Scots. He is the abiding figurehead of Scotland itself. He would not rest when his countryfolk were under a foreign rule of tyranny, and paid the ultimate price for so doing. As long as there are Scots who cherish the thought of Scotland gaining full nationhood, the name of Wallace will live."
David R Ross
Historian, Author "On the Trail of William Wallace", convenor of Society of William Wallace
"William Wallace is one of Scotland's greatest heroes. His memory serves as an inspiration to Scots all over the world. A nationalist and a patriot, he fought not just for his country's Independence but for the rights of ordinary Scots and he was fearless in exposing the hypocrisy and vested interest of the Scottish nobility. Wallace's death - his judicial murder - is not an event that many Scots will find possible to celebrate. However, his life is undoubtedly a cause for celebration. In my view, the best tribute to William Wallace would be for Scotland to regain the Independence that he fought and died for."
Nicola Sturgeon MSP
Leader of the SNP Group, Scottish Parliament
"William Wallace is a hero because as a commoner he rose to lead the Scots against Edward of England's attempts to take over the kingdom in the 1290s. When Edward captured John Balliol, Wallace began a campaign of small scale hit-and-run raids against Edward's men. Wallace showed what could be achieved even when faced with over whelming odds and never gave up his belief in his people's right to rule themselves free from the domination of a foreign power. Wallace proved that anyone has the potential to be a leader and make a difference, not by accident of birth but by hard work and determination. Wallace fought and died to free his subjugated people an example to oppressed people the world over."
Colin Fox MSP
Convenor of SSP
"Wallace, Scotland's national hero; ignored, subdued, suppressed, almost forgotten, until a Hollywood movie is made of his story. Perhaps no other person in Scotland's history most symbolises what we want to be as a people and as a nation. Myth or reality, the values and characteristics we attribute to Wallace, we would like to achieve in ourselves. The same characteristics made Wallace appeal throughout the world. Esteemed as the first freedom fighter, he had admirers in those that followed his path, Joan of Arc in France, Garabaldi in Italy, Kossuth in Hungary and George Washington in America among them. We need uncompromising heroes like Wallace. Heroes that remind us what is important about life. Heroes that live out a dream and allow us for a short time at least, to live that dream with them."
Author of "Braveheart - From Hollywood to Holyrood"