The Sunday Herald has become the first newspaper in Scotland to formally back the independence campaign.
The paper declared its editorial position this weekend with an unambiguous front page designed by Scottish writer and artist Alasdair Gray, prompting pro-independence activists MSPs to celebrate across social media.
SNP MSP Joan McAlpine, who writes a column in the Daily Record, tweeted: “Yes voters: PLEASE buy Sunday Herald tomorrow & every week. Better still order it! Give financial support to 1st paper to back independence”.
The paper, which backed the SNP in the 2007 and 2011 elections, explains its position in an editorial which reads: “Scotland is an ancient nation and a modern society. We understand the past, as best we can, and guess at the future. But history is as nothing to the lives of the children being born now, this morning, in the cities, towns and villages of this country.
“On their behalf, we assert a claim to a better, more decent, more just future in which a country’s governments will be ruled always by the decisions of its citizens.”
The paper insists its coverage of the referendum will continue to be impartial, and The Herald & Times Group confirmed that The Herald – the Sunday Herald’s daily counterpart – has not yet declared a position of its own on the national question.
According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the Sunday Herald sold an average of 23,907 copies per day between July and December last year.
The paper is seen as a direct competitor to Scotland on Sunday, which sold an average of 32,616 copies per day across the same period.