In the final days before the Scottish Independence referendum, around 12,000 members and supporters of the pro-Union Orange Order went on a parade in Edinburgh in support of the 'No' campaign.

Edinburgh Orange Order Parade 1
Men wear Union flag suits as they watch a pro-Union rally in Edinburgh. About 12,000 Protestant loyalists from Northern Ireland and Scotland marched through central Edinburgh on Saturday in an emotional show of support for keeping Scotland in the United KingdomDylan Martinez/Reuters
Edinburgh Orange Order Parade
A boy marches with a flute band during the pro-Union rally in Edinburgh. The Loyal Orange Institution, widely known as the Orange Order, is a Protestant fraternal organisation based in Northern IrelandPaul Hackett/Reuters
Orange Order Edinburgh Parade
Loyalists march past a Union flag. The Orange Order was founded in 1795, in order to uphold Protestant superiority in Ireland. The organisation’s name, and the member’s signature sashes, are to honour King William of Orange, a Dutch-born Protestant who defeated the Catholic King James II at the Battle of the BoyneDylan Martinez/Reuters
Orange Order Edinburgh Parade
The Orange Order is a British Unionist organisation, which supports Great Britain and British control over Northern Ireland. Its members say the order aims to defence Protestant civil and religious freedoms. Its critics accuse it of being sectarian and supremacist organisation, with close links to Loyalist terrorist groupsRussell Cheyne/Reuters
Orange Order Edinburgh Parade
New Orange Order members must swear to promote 'biblical Protestantism', and must follow the Protestant Christian faith - if they don’t, they must convert. This means that members of other religions - including Mormons, Quakers, Unitarians and Orthodox Christians - are banned from joining. Recently the Order has relaxed its rules to allow Roman Catholics to joinRussell Cheyne/Reuters
Orange Order Edinburgh Parade
The Orange Order’s organisation and structure is heavily influenced by its origins as a form of freemasonry. The Order is organised into lodges, which members may rise in rank through service to the organisation. And entrance to the higher levels requires performing of ritualsRussell Cheyne/Reuters
Orange Order Edinburgh Parade
A core belief of the Orange Order is that the Christian Sabbath - Sunday - must be preserved as a ‘day of rest’. The Order takes this belief so seriously that it ordered its members to prevent a one-day agricultural show in Ballymena, County Antrim, being held on a Sunday by taking 'every action necessary, regardless of the consequences'Russell Cheyne/Reuters
Orange Order Edinburgh Parade
The Orange Order has spread across the world by the work of missionaries from Ulster. Grand Lodges exist in Scotland - which has the largest outside of Ireland - England, Wales, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and West AfricaRussell Cheyne/Reuters
Orange Order Edinburgh Parade
The vast majority of members of the Scottish Orange Order come from the Central Lowlands area, which includes Glasgow, Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and Lanarkshire. The Order was founded in 1798 by soldiers returning home from fighting in Ireland, and swiftly grew in the early 1800s, due to immigration of Protestants from UlsterRussell Cheyne/Reuters
Orange Order Edinburgh Parade
During the Troubles, the Scottish Orange Order publicly denounced Ulster’s terrorist groups. But many Orangemen and their lodges provided support, money and manpower to groups such as the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)Russell Cheyne/Reuters
Orange Order Edinburgh Parade
The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland has always been opposed to Scotland becoming independent of the Union. It registered as a participant in the referendum, and formed an anti-independence campaign group ‘British Together’Russell Cheyne/Reuters