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Scotland: Stage Set for Momentous Vote

Tartan scarves are popular souvenirs for tourists and one of the most common symbols of Scottish pride. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

The tourism industry in Scotland has long been a dominant part of the economy. One is never more than a few miles from a bed and breakfast, hotel or hostel. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

Scotland is home to more than 31,000 lochs. This one in Glenfinnan is opposite the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

Scottish Socialist Party stickers can be found plastered on many surfaces in Edinburgh. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

Tourists to Scotland come from to see ancient castles that still stand tall today. This one flies a Union Jack alongside the flag of Scotland. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

Tartan weaving has been a tradition for centuries. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

Scottish pride extends to your car. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, came from Scotland. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

Oil is a hot topic in the discussion over Scottish independence. From the southern Firth of Forth to the northernmost of the Shetland Islands, oil rigs are seen along the coast. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

The words of the Declaration of Arbroath serve as a reminder to the people of Scotland that they were not always a part of the United Kingdom. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh, a central hub for tourists at one end and the focal point of politics at the other. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

Bagpipes make the most noise in Scotland, but politicians may soon drown them out with debate over the independence vote in 2014. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

Scotland is responsible for over 70 percent of Europe’s whitefish market. These boats outside of St. Andrews pull in a small portion of the haul. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

Marco Biagi smiles proudly with his “Yes Scotland” lanyard around his neck. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

English rule stretches far into the Scottish lands as evidenced by the crown at the top of this phone booth hidden in the Highlands. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

Glasgow will become the center of attention for sports fans, the media and politicians when the Commonwealth Games take place in the summer of 2014. Image by Henry Molski. Scotland, 2013.

On September 18, 2014, Scotland will hold a referendum on the future of its relationship with the United Kingdom. For more than 300 years, Scotland has been part of the UK. Now, a debate rages over whether or not Scotland should become a separate and independent country. People all across Scotland have differing opinions on what the outcome of the vote should be. These pictures help explain the history behind the complicated choice.