Philip BarkerIn 2012, "Flower of Scotland" rang around the Olympic Stadium as a children's choir performed traditional music from all four nations of the United Kingdom at London's Olympic Opening Ceremony.

When Team GB entered later, the flag was proudly carried by four-time Olympian Sir Chris Hoy. Already the most successful Scot, victory in men's keirin and team sprint gave him an unprecedented six gold medals in a stellar career, the most bemedalled British Olympian of all time. Now a special locker at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow contains his cycling kit. It is of course, painted gold.

Sir Chris was not the only Scot to shine in 2012. Rower Heather Stanning was born in Yeovil but grew up in Lossiemouth. She attended Gordonstoun school before joining the army and won Britain's first gold medal of the Games in the pairs with Helen Glover. Later in the week, Glaswegian Katherine Grainger partnered Anna Watkins to an emotional victory in the double sculls. Grainger's Olympic career began a dozen years before. She won three silver medals and then at last came gold. "I'm prepared to go around the country until people are sick of the sight of me and my gold medal," she said.

Sophie Hosking from Edinburgh won gold in the lightweight double scull with Kat Copeland. "We're going to be on a stamp," they cried. It was an honour accorded to every British champion that year.

Aberdonian Tim Baillie continued the gold on water theme with Etienne Stott as they paddled to victory in canoe slalom.

In 2012, Andy Murray shook off the disappointment of defeat to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final and returned to SW19 a month later to take revenge at the Olympics. Later that day he added a silver in the mixed doubles with Laura Robson. Many felt Murray's Olympic success laid the foundation for his US Open title and eventual men's singles triumph at Wimbledon in 2013.

The gold locker that contains Sir Chris Hoy's cycling kit at the Glasgow velodrome named in his honour ©Philip Barker The gold locker that contains Sir Chris Hoy's cycling kit at the Glasgow velodrome named in his honour ©Philip Barker

There had never been a fortnight like it for Britain or for Scotland but magnificent heritage can be traced to the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Launceston Elliot's father was a kinsman of the Earl of Minto in Roxburgh. Launceston was the first Briton and the first Scot to become an Olympic champion when he won in two handed weightlifting.

In 1908, Scotland even fielded their own team at the Olympic Games in London. This happened in the hockey tournament as organisers decreed that: "Each country shall be allowed to enter four teams, the definition of a country being that laid down by the British Olympic Council - viz. a country is any territory having separate representation on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), or where no such representation exists, any territory under one and the same sovereign jurisdiction."

Only France and Germany joined the home nations. The Scots were first up against Germany.

"Although Scotland won easily and were generally attacking, they did not show to any great advantage and more particularly in the second half they were lacking in dash," said the official report.

Ivan Laing of Hawick, a last minute inclusion, became the first Scot to score in an Olympic tournament and they eventually won 4-0.

Matches were in quick succession so the pitch deteriorated rapidly. In the next round, Scotland lost 6-1 to England. Although Hockey continued to be part of the Olympics, the four home nations never again entered in this way. A Great Britain Ice hockey team, including Glaswegian Jimmy Foster did win gold at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Games in 1936, but the field hockey team was not styled "Great Britain" until after the Second World War.

Neil Nugent (with Torch) at a ceremony to finally receive his Helsinki 1952 hockey medal in 2010 ©Philip BarkerNeil Nugent (with Torch) at a ceremony to finally receive his Helsinki 1952 hockey medal in 2010 ©Philip Barker

In 1952, in a gesture of sportsmanship, Scot Neil Nugent, a Royal Air Force officer, was one of those who stood down from the bronze medal match to give others a game. Unfortunately, the organisers only provided medals for those who played in that match. It was not until 2010 that Nugent finally received his medal.

In 1988, Veryan Pappin was the number one Scottish goalkeeper but the great Ian Taylor had made the Great Britain jersey his own. So in the final match with Britain certain of gold, Pappin stepped onto the Olympic field to be certain of his.

Scotland has made a great contribution to Britain's success on and in the water. George Cornet from Inverness, an employee of the Highland Railway was the oldest member of the champion water polo team in 1908 and 1912.

In 1908, Angus Gillan of Aberdeen was a vital part of a famous Magdalen College rowing four that swept all before them and won gold at the Olympics. Gillan, later knighted, was also in the victorious eight in 1912 alongside fellow Scot Philip Fleming. Wally Kinnear, originally from Aberdeenshire became single sculls champion that same year.

Fewer women took part in those 1912 Games but Bella Moore, who swam for the Premier Club in Glasgow, was a member of the victorious 4x100 metres freestyle team at only 17.

Swimmer Bobby McGregor aka "The Falkirk Flyer" came close to 100m freestyle gold in the early sixties, but David Wilkie, born in Colombo of Scottish heritage beat his great American rival John Hencken to win the 200m breaststroke in 1976. Fellow Scot, Michael Jamieson won silver at the same distance at London 2012.

Michael Jamieson won silver in the 200m breaststroke at London 2012 ©Getty ImagesMichael Jamieson won silver in the 200m breaststroke at London 2012 ©Getty Images

Sailor Rodney Pattisson from Argyll and Bute was virtually unbeatable in the late sixties and early seventies. Until Sir Ben Ainslie, he was Britain's most successful competitive sailor. Pattisson won Flying Dutchman gold with Iain MacDonald-Smith on the waters of Acapulco in 1968 in a boat called Superdocious, a shortened version of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from Mary Poppins. His subsequent Olympic boats had similar names and similar success. In 1972 at Kiel, he was partnered to a second gold medal by Chris Davies and in 1976, silver with Julian Brooke-Houghton. Truly a Flying Scotsman in a Flying Dutchman.

In 1988, Glaswegian Mike McIntyre joined Bryn Vaile to take gold in the Star class. When separate events for women were introduced in 1992. Shirley Robertson from Dundee gained valuable experience and came close to a medal before sailing solo to gold in Sydney Harbour in 2000. Four years later, she teamed up with Sarah Webb and Sarah Ayton in the Yngling class for further glory in Greece.

Almost a century before, Scotland had actually hosted an Olympic event in sailing's 12-metre class.

"There were no foreign entries and as the United Kingdom representatives of this fine class of yacht were racing chiefly in Scotch waters, the committee decided with the consent of the British Olympic Council to hold matches for them on the Clyde," said the official report.

The Royal Clyde Yacht Club skippered by Thomas Glen Coats from Paisley crewed "Hera" to victory over a boat from Liverpool.

It was the last Olympic event held on Scottish soil until the 2012 Games, although Glasgow had considered bidding for the Olympic Games on more than one occasion.

In 1975, Glasgow Parks director Keith Fraser invited British Olympic Association (BOA) secretary Sandy Duncan "to have a look at our resources and aid us in deciding whether there is any possibility to the idea at all".

Council member Constance Methven led a feasibility study. "Holding the Games in Glasgow would go a long way towards revitalising our city," she said.

"The climate of opinion is changing it is possible that after Montreal 1976 and Moscow 1980, Games more modest in scale will be favoured."

Plans included Strathclyde Country Park, Glasgow Green and Scotstoun, all eventually used for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Canoeing on the Clyde was also an idea. "The River itself could become a focus of activity."

But financial backing from the Government was not forthcoming and Glasgow's Olympic dreams went no further.

They resurfaced briefly in 1987 when Glasgow considered bidding for the Centennial Games in 1996. This time Manchester was Britain's nomination.

In August 1996, the Herald newspaper in Scotland reported that Lord Provost of Glasgow, Pat Lally, and his Edinburgh counterpart, Eric Milligan, were considering a joint bid for the Olympics in 2008 or 2012. In fact, the BOA had already indicated that it would only put its weight behind London for 2012.

It did, however, give its support to Glasgow's candidacy for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

Bid documents guaranteed "cross party support at national and local level" and "a stable political environment". This time though it did not succeed and Buenos Aires was chosen after an IOC vote in Lausanne.

Sir Craig Reedie one of the most influential figures in world sport ©Getty ImagesSir Craig Reedie one of the most influential figures in world sport ©Getty Images

Glaswegian born Sir Craig Reedie is now an IOC vice-president and one of the most influential figures in world sport. A badminton player, he forged its Olympic future and then succeeded Sir Arthur Gold as BOA chairman in October 1992.

The Olympic Movement celebrated its centenary in 1994 and Sir Craig was elected as an IOC member at the Session in Paris.

Over the next decade his reputation grew at international level. When London made its successful bid to host the 2012 Games, Sir Craig addressed his IOC colleagues in the Olympic language of French. At the IOC Session in 2009, he was elected to the Executive Board and later as vice-president, the most senior Briton in Olympic circles in a generation. Sir Craig's influence has been increased still more by his election as President of the World Anti-doping agency.

A Scot has also taken over as chief medical officer of the IOC. Dr Richard Budgett was a rowing gold medallist at the Los Angeles 1984 Games. Sixty years before, James MacNabb had been part of a winning crew in the same event. He later became chief of Clan MacNabb.

In 2000, Andrew Lindsay from the Isle of Skye rowed in the gold medal winning eight in Sydney. Surely the ultimate Skye boat song!

The Olympic flame visited Scotland for the first time in 2012. Actor James McAvoy, star of The last King of Scotland carried the Torch in Buchanan Street in the heart of Glasgow. Hampden Park, staged Olympic football, though the first match caused unwanted headlines when South Korea's flag was displayed on the scoreboard before North Korea's match against Colombia.

James McAvoy carried the London 2012 Olympic Torch in Buchanan Street in the heart of Glasgow ©Getty ImagesJames McAvoy carried the London 2012 Olympic Torch in Buchanan Street in the heart of Glasgow ©Getty Images

At London 2012, Britain's football team wore dark blue shirts reminiscent of Scotland's colours but only the women's team included Scottish players. Kim Little from Aberdeen played in every match.

The "British" team at the first London Games in 1908 had been only Englishmen. It wasn't until the Berlin Games in 1936 that Scotsmen first featured in the squad. Their domestic season had already begun so the Scots who travelled were guaranteed to start at least one Olympic match. All were soon on their way home after Great Britain's elimination in round two.

In 1948, the team was even managed by a Scot, Manchester United manager Matt Busby - later to receive a knighthood for his exploits at Old Trafford. In a sizeable Scottish contingent was 17-year-old goalkeeper Ronnie Simpson who played in the bronze medal playoff match against Denmark. Almost 20 years later, Simpson was the most experienced member of Celtic's European Cup winning side.

The cooperation between the host nations in 1948 was not repeated, although in 1960, Queens Park player Hunter Devine did play in the Rome 1960 Games.

In 1967, Olympic hopefuls participated in the centenary celebrations of Queen's Park and even returned to Glasgow for a match against Celtic, which included future Scottish internationals Lou Macari and David Hay. Celtic won 4-0 at Lesser Hampden but British team manager Charles Hughes antagonised the Scottish players by somewhat inflexible scheduling of training sessions that would have forced them to miss matches for their clubs. They walked out but although a compromise was reached, the Scottish Football Association soon withdrew their representative from the Olympic selection committee.

Bill Currie of Albion Rovers remains the last Scotsman chosen for a Great Britain football side. They lost to Bulgaria in a qualifier for the Munich 1972 Games.

There is one sport in which the entire team has always been Scottish. In 1924, a team from the Royal Caledonian Curling Club won at the inaugural Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix. Curling did not reappear at the Olympics until 1998. It was all about the women's team in 2002. Skip Rhona Martin sent down the winning stone, immediately dubbed the "Stone of Destiny".

Curling is the one sport in which the entire Great Britain team has always been Scottish ©Getty ImagesCurling is the one sport in which the entire Great Britain team has always been Scottish ©Getty Images

In the boxing ring, Dick McTaggart from Dundee won lightweight gold in 1956. At the time he was serving as a cook in the Royal Air Force. In Melbourne, he faced Germany's Harry Kurschat in the final and put his opponent on the floor twice in the first round on his way to gold. There was another reward for McTaggart, the Val Barker Trophy, given to the most stylish boxer. Unusually, he retained his amateur status and carried Britain's flag literally as well as metaphorically in Rome. He lost to the eventual champion Kazimierz Paździor of Poland in the semi final and came home with bronze.

In 1908 on the athletics track, a London born Scot called Wyndham Halswelle won perhaps the strangest Olympic final of all. American opponent John Carpenter was disqualified after a foul, his compatriots pulled out in protest, leaving Halswelle to run a solo lap for gold. He became disillusioned with the sport, concentrated on his military career and tragically lost his life in the First World War.

Team events were an important part of early Olympiads. Arthur Robertson, an all rounder who was almost as gifted in cycling, won individual silver but team gold in the 1908 steeplechase. John Sewell, a policeman in London was part of the all conquering Tug of war team in 1920.

Eric Liddell was better known as a Rugby Union player who was capped seven times by Scotland until he was chosen for the 1924 Olympic team as a 400m runner.

He would no doubt have felt at home at the opening ceremony in Paris. A bagpipe regiment accompanied the British team into the stadium.

Liddell won a magnificent 400m gold and silver over 200m. He had been born in China and when his athletic career was over, he went back there to continue missionary work. He died during the war.

In 2008, the Olympics were held in his adopted country. He would surely have been delighted to see a bagpipe band from Dundee welcome the teams at the opening. Members of the British team were also given a copy a new Liddell biography written by Scottish athletics historian and church minister John Keddie.

Sprinter Allan Wells made his breakthrough running without starting blocks but his finest ten seconds came at the Moscow 1980 Olympics. He burst through to 100m gold on a dramatic evening. Scottish sprinters Henry Macintosh from Kelso won 4x100m relay gold in 1912 and London-born Scottish sprinter Robert Lindsay helped Britain retain the title in 1920.

Ayrshire born modern pentathlete Steph Cook carved her own niche in Olympic history when she won the first event held for women at Sydney 2000. She had put her career as a doctor on hold and resumed it after the Games.

Steph Cook won modern pentathlete gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games ©Getty ImagesSteph Cook won modern pentathlete gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games ©Getty Images

Great Britain have won at least one gold medal at every summer Olympic Games but at the 1952 Games that record was in jeopardy. By the final event on the very last day it all rested on the showjumping team. Lt Colonel Dougie Stewart, late of the Royal Scots Greys, was part of the British squad and came through with gold. Stewart was an unusual equestrian, he had competed in the three-day event in 1948, before switching to showjumping.

It was 60 years before another British gold the same event and, once again, a Scot was involved. Scott Brash from Peebles was the youngest member of the team.

Eventer Ian Stark from Galashiels never won gold but competed at five successive Olympic Games from 1984 and won four silver medals, a remarkable record. Alister Allan was the marksman from Fife who first competed in 1968 but was also destined never to win gold. He won bronze and silver behind team mate Malcolm Cooper, small bore champion in 1984 and 1988. More than 70 years before, before another Scot, Bob Murray, a pioneer in small bore shooting, did win gold in the team event in 1912.

If Scotland vote yes to independence this week, they will have to form a National Olympic Committee to compete at the Games under the Scottish Saltire. They currently compete under the auspices of the BOA, an organisation that had a Scottish Colonel, Fettes and Edinburgh University educated Evan Hunter at its head for over twenty years either side of the Second World War.

The establishment of a Scottish National Olympic Committee might not be possible in time for Rio 2016, but IOC President Thomas Bach has said that his priority is "safeguarding the interests of athletes". There remains a possibility that any Scottish gold at Rio 2016 might yet be saluted, not by Flower of Scotland but by the Olympic anthem.

Philip Barker has worked as a television journalist for 25 years. He began his career with Trans World Sport, then as a reporter for Sky Sports News and the ITV breakfast programme. A regular Olympic pundit on BBC Radio, Sky News and talkSPORT, he is associate editor of the Journal of Olympic History, has lectured at the National Olympic Academy and contributed extensively to Team GB publications. To follow him on Twitter click here.