National Geographic : 1957 Oct
Scotland Celebrates the Birth of Her Charter of Freedom Pageantry unfolds amid the ruins of Arbroath Abbey. The time portrayed is 1320, six years after Robert the Bruce won vic tory at Bannockburn and se cured the throne of Scotland. Bernard de Linton, the Lord Abbot of the Abbey, signals with his quill for the Barons of the Realm to affix their seals to the Scottish "Declaration of Independence." "We fight not for glory nor for wealth nor honours," says the Declaration, "but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life." Addressed to the Pope, the document appeals for help against the English king, "that he should leave us in peace in our little Scotland, since we de sire no more than is our own, and have no dwelling place be yond our borders." © National Geographic Society 485 +A Knight Advances to Swear Fealty to King Robert Flanked by Lords Douglas and Randolph, the sovereign sits en throned on his dais. The Royal Standard and the Saltire of St. An drew hang beyond. +After the last seal has been fixed to the parchment, abbot and king read it together. "For so long as a hundred of us are left alive, we will yield in no least way." About his neck the abbot wears a reproduction of the Monymusk Reliquary, a hallowed Scottish reli gious relic. The pageant ends when a monk carries a lighted torch to a high cir cular window space and plunges it into a vessel of oil, lighting a flame symbolic of the Light of Freedom.