In 1513, over seventy men
from the town marched to Flodden Field with their king, James IV. Legend has it that only
one survived, his name was Fletcher. On his return he cast a captured English standard
around his head to describe that all others had perished in battle. The figure of Fletcher
with the English standard is captured in a memorial by the Galashiels sculptor, Thomas
Clapperton outside the largest meeting place in Selkirk, the Victoria Halls.
Flodden and Fletcher story is major part of Selkirks heritage and as such is
remembered at the climax of the annual Selkirk Common Riding where each trade
incorporation casts a flag in the Selkirk market place. This event takes place on the
second Friday after the first Monday in June and is observed by the towns people, visitors
and friends some of which travel from the other side of the world to attend. This casting
is preceded by the age-old custom of riding the Burgh Marches. This riding of
Selkirks boundaries dates from when land boundaries were checked by horsemen to
ensure that the ownership of the towns land was secure. Although this is no longer a
necessary role it is an essential part of the Common Riding and some 400 horsemen, women
and children take part.