Information obtained by the Scottish Tories shows that over £2000 was spent buying saltires in the run-up to the independence referendum.
Ministers purchased 23 Scottish flags between July 2013 and October last year, and also spent £108 on a Basque flag – the region of Spain famed for its separatist campaign.
No Union Jacks were purchased, despite the Scottish Government spending £6841 on 121 flags over that time period, more than the three previous years
Central Scotland MSP Margaret Mitchell said: “While the sums of money may not be massive, if it transpires the Scottish Government was purchasing saltires for referendum-related reasons, there will be some tricky questions to answer.
“Taxpayers’ money has to be spent responsibly, and I look forward to ministers setting out the justification for this investment and in particular for the saltires.
“The fact a Basque flag was bought will also raise eyebrows, as there are obvious comparisons between the SNP and other separatists.”