SCOTS have been left offended and angry after Edinburgh Castle announced the reopening of a cafe – named after the British government army that slaughtered Scots.
Edinburgh Castle shared pictures of the refurbished space and “welcomed” the public back to the … Redcoat Cafe.
Yes, you read that right.
If you have ever studied even a sliver of Scottish history, you will be aware of the redcoats and their role in bloodshed in Scotland.
The name is inspired by, you guessed it, their red coats. The uniform was used by British soldiers from the 16th to 19th century in several conquests on behalf of the the British military around the world.
For those unaware (take note, Edinburgh Castle), from 1725 onwards, garrisons manned by government soldiers or “redcoats” sprung up all over the Scottish Highlands, most notably at Fort William and Inverness.
Redcoats took an aggressive hand to Scots across the country who did not support the king and attempted to cling to their national identity.
The government army, clad in red, massacred Scots at the Battle of Culloden Moor, marking not only the defeat of the Jacobite movement, but the destruction of clan and Gaelic Highland life.
From 1745, Highlanders were forbidden to carry weapons – including the famous broadsword.
The playing of the bagpipes was banned. Tartan and highland dress was outlawed.
The Hanoverian monarch was to be prayed for and these prayers were imposed before school lessons every day.
And clansmen who dared to defy? Fines, imprisonment, exile, and death at the hands of … you guessed it, the redcoats.
However, as one user wrote, “history is complex”, highlighting that Scots wearing redcoats were on the side of the British army on the moor.
So, all in all, to have the Redcoat Cafe in Edinburgh has angered 21st-century Scots.
Although already established in the castle, the refurbishment highlighted the cafe to social media users.
We are happy to welcome you all back to our newly refurbished Redcoat Café ☕🍰
If you are visiting us over the weekend, pop in for a warm beverage or even a tasty slice of cake 😋 pic.twitter.com/pghMhpiiSV
— Edinburgh Castle (@edinburghcastle) February 10, 2024
One wrote in response to the post, “‘Redcoat Cafe’ are you joking – just call it Butchers Cafe” while another said, “This is highly offensive. Whoever named this needs some history lessons. Time for a rebrand!”.
MSP Douglas Chapman wrote: “I don’t think many will be “popping in” for anything. Hey @HistEnvScot @edinburghcastle – how about a swift rebrand? Redcoat, really?”.
Former presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament Tricia Marwick asked if it was joke. It’s not.
One user added: “Please tell me the Redcoat Cafe is next door to the Burning Tartan Shop and the Highland Clearance ticket office.”
Several others called for visitors to boycott it.
A few suggested different names, (“Sorry, I prefer the Glencoe Massacre Bistro or The Clearances Cafe”), potential future locations (“Are you opening one in Clydebank called the Luftwaffe cafe?”) and suggested reading the history books.
Another user said they wouldn’t visit the castle in future, writing: “Redcoat Cafe, do you realise how offensive that is to name anything in Scotland with that word far less to name a cafe in Edinburgh Castle? Pains me to say it but it’s one castle I won’t be visiting anymore”.