Flute Band up at the crack of dawn to wake Standard Bearer and Provost

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The big day starts literally at the crack of dawn when, at 4am, the Flute Band makes its way through the town to officially wake the Standard Bearer and the Provost.

This is followed by the Act of Remembrance at the town war memorial by local ex-soldiers, and at 6am the first drum is sounded by the Silver Band.

With horses and riders starting to assemble in Back Row, all eyes and ears will be on the County Hotel as the traditional gathering of the Exiles takes place with a rendition of ‘Her Bright Smile’.

Just before 7am, the installation of the Standard Bearer takes place along with the Bussin’ o’ the Burgh Flag on the balcony of the Victoria Halls.

Then, the official procession forms with the organisations filling their designated slots and Souters and visitors alike linking arms for the march down The Green to the tune of ‘O’ a’ the Airts’.

At 7.30am riders ford the River Ettrick, and the Standard Bearer leads the cavalcade up to the Three Brethren, as the foot procession winds its happy way back to the Market Place and breakfast.

Fed and watered, everyone gathers at The Toll at 9am to welcome the riders back after which the bands strike up with ‘Stirling Brig’ and ‘The Flo’ers o’ the Forest’ to lead the procession back into town.

Everything builds to this one emotion-charged moment when the Royal Burgh Standard Bearer casts his flag to the strains of ‘Up wi’ the Souters o’ Selkirk’.

He is followed by the standard bearers representing the Hammermen, Weavers, Fleshers, The Colonial Society, Merchant Company and Ex-Soldiers. There then follows a two-minute silence and the lament for Flodden and the return of the Burgh Flag ‘unsullied and untarnished’.