^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The bright spark that allowed the thistle on the national tourist signposts was the SIC because at the time it was the emblem of the Scottish Tourist Board (now Visit Scotland) which is a government department and like it or not we are part of Scotland as far as national and international tourism goes. Having said that I would love to see Shetland with its own distinctive emblem instead of the Scottish weed â€“ but certainly not the poorly drawn snail used by Promote Shetland. As far as VisitScotland is concerned I agree that as a national body they understand little or nothing about Shetlandâ€™s distinctiveness and that has been reflected by the clowns they send up to Shetland to speak to the tourist industry. On the other hand I hear nothing but praise for the Visit Scotland staff at the Market Cross who are all Shetlanders and understand and know Shetland well and provide just about the best service possible to visitors to our islands. The problem there is that they are well understaffed and underpaid - especially since the SIC, driven by a fit of pique by the then leader of the Shetland Tourism Association against the chair of Visit Scotland, withdrew their share of local funding to set up Promote Shetland at a much greater cost.