SCOTTISH councils have more Union flags than Saltires, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed.

The National asked each of Scotland’s 32 councils for a breakdown of how many national flags they have in use and in storage on August 26 through individual requests.

Of those 32, 24 provided a breakdown, four said they did not hold the information and four have yet to respond to our request.

From the 24 who did respond, our analysis shows that overall Scottish councils have 151 Union flags compared to 135 Saltire flags.

READ MORE: COP26: What have leaders said about Scottish independence?

We also asked how much had been spent by each individual council over the past five years (2017-2021), with the final total reaching £18,525.21. It should be noted that this figure applies to all national flags, not just Union flags and Saltires.

The Scottish Borders have the highest total number of flags (47) and the highest number of Union flags (29).

Orkney follows closely behind with 20 Union flags, while Argyll and Bute has 15. Meanwhile, Moray, of which Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross is the MP, has the highest number of Saltires (20).

The Scottish Borders again sit high up the list with 18 Saltires, while Argyll and Bute again have 15.

A total of 11 councils hold the same number of both Union flags and Saltires, our analysis revealed.

Aside from Argyll and Bute (15 each), Aberdeenshire holds 10 of each flag and Dundee seven of each.

North Lanarkshire, Inverclyde and Renfrewshire have three of each flag, while Perth and Kinross, Aberdeen City and East Dunbartonshire have two each.

READ MORE: ‘Catastrophic’ trade slump as Scotland's exports to EU plummet

Clackmannanshire and South Lanarkshire have the smallest number of flags from the respondents, one each.

There were also some other interesting facts revealed by our analysis.

Shetland, which has five Union flags, and only two Saltires, has 10 Norwegian flags.

North Ayrshire has one Union flag to two Saltires, while South Ayrshire has the opposite - one Saltire to two Union flags.

And, Dundee has a staggering 90 assorted national flags in total.

On cash spent on flags, Argyll and Bute top the league table with £3757.45 spent over the past five years.

Aberdeenshire spent £3232.12, while Dundee spent £2130 and Highland £1878.91.

A total of five councils, including South Lanarkshire, East Renfrewshire and Glasgow, said they spent nothing on flags during the period.

Stirling and Midlothian, who said they did not hold the information on flags, did however confirm that they had also spent nothing on flags during the period requested.

Which flags can be flown on government buildings and when is governed by guidance from the Scottish Government.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon to deliver TED Talk ahead of COP26 climate summit

It sets out specific dates and which flags should be flown. For example, the Saltire flag should be flown on St Andrew’s day, while the Union flag is used for Remembrance Day.

The guidance reads: “On buildings that only have one flagpole; the Rainbow, Commonwealth, European, Autistic Pride, Armed Forces Day, Red Ensign, Transgender, World AIDS Day flags should be flown.

“Where a building has two or more flagpoles, the Saltire should also be flown.”

Midlothian, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian all said they did not hold the information we asked for.

Edinburgh, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, East Ayrshire and Fife have not yet responded to the request.

The National:

Our analysis found Scottish councils have more Union flags than Saltires

A Cosla Spokesperson said: “This is not one for Cosla, we don’t have any position on this – it is not an issue that has been raised by any of our members."

We told in February how fury erupted after claims that Nicola Sturgeon had planned to replace the Union flag with the EU flag.

The report, on Guido Fawkes blog, was quickly dismissed by our fact check.

And, in June the removal of a Saltire from a council park in Airdrie - to be replaced by a Union flag - caused shock and anger in the town

We also told how Scottish playparks could be plastered with Union flags in an attempt to quell support for independence