Tartan Day is a celebration of the mixture of colors and lines that show the family heritage in Scotland. It was a sign of the clan that one came from and is still proudly shown today. It’s significance became so strong that at one point in the UK’s history the English created the Act of Proscription banning the use of tartans.
The Scots did not take this Act all that well and went to a long war that finally ended in 1320 with the Scottish Declaration of Independence. (Though in many ways they are still fighting that war today.)
Scotland has always had a place in the hearts of Americans. In fact, our Declaration of Independence was based on the Scottish Declaration. Many of our original colonist were of Scottish decent, our society owes a great deal to a country that is still trying to become an official country of it’s own. In 1982, Mayor Ed Koch declared Tartan Day in New York. In 1986 Canada’s government agreed with Koch and created Tartan Day for their entire country. In 1998, US made the same proclamation.
The tartan has been a proud part of Scottish history, Canadian history and American history… anyplace freedom is cherished. It equates to the flying of a flag with everyone in that country taking pride in their own clans flag.
While the tartan is not limited to Scotland, it is best known in Scotland. Ireland comes to mind first since so much of their history is intertwined with Scotland’s but the tartan also is worn in Australia, Canada, France, Greece, New Zealand, Normandy and the United States.
How to celebrate – Research if your family has a tartan of it’s own. Proudly display your family tartan colors. Create your own tartan pattern and colors.