National Tartan Day

April 6th is National Tartan Day - a day celebrating Scottish heritage!

It was on April 6, 1320 that the Scots declared independence from England in the Declaration of Arbroath.

One passage from that declaration reads as follows:

... for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom - for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

As President Bush stated in proclaiming National Tartan Day in 2008:

"... the Scots brought that tradition of freedom with them to the New World. Sons and daughters of many Scottish clans were among the first immigrants to settle in America, and their determination and optimism helped build our Nation's character. Several of our Founding Fathers were of Scottish descent, as have been many Presidents and Justices of the United States Supreme Court. Many Scottish Americans, such as Andrew Carnegie, were great philanthropists, founding and supporting numerous scientific, educational, and civic institutions. From the evocative sounds of the bagpipes to the great sport of golf, the Scots have also left an indelible mark on American culture..."

And for those of you wondering just what tartan is, here's a definition for you from the Scottish Tartans Museum:

"... the pattern of interlocking stripes called a tartan is often mistakenly known as 'plaid.' Plaide actually comes from the Gaelic word for a blanket, and is specifically used in the context of Highland dress to refer to a large length of material. The original kilt was known as the "belted plaid" and consisted of a length of cloth (basically a large blanket) that was gathered and belted at the waist. The plaids were most often made from a tartan cloth, and so the confusion between the two terms is understandable.

Tartan refers to the pattern of interlocking stripes, running in both the warp and weft in the cloth (horizontal and vertical), or any representation of such a woven design in other media (printed, painted, or otherwise rendered) ..."

So wear your tartan and celebrate this wonderful heritage!



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