More about National Tartans

 

 

 

 

DENMARK- The Danish Tartan

 

The historical association between Denmark and Scotland extends over 900 years to the age of the Vikings. Their influence can be traced through some of the Festivals still celebrated to this day in the North and East of Scotland, in the numerous Norse place-names around our coastline, and in the original language of Scotland – Gaelic. And perhaps most importantly, many of the Norse invaders married and settled in Scotland, so that we share a common blood-line to this day.

 

Although tartan is associated with Scotland it has been known in Denmark for almost 400 years, for some 40,000 Scots mercenaries, mostly from the Highlands, fought in the Kalmar Wars between Sweden and Denmark. Many of these Scottish soldiers eventually settled in Denmark and became integrated into the local community, thus adding to the common blood-line. The colours of the tartan combine the colours in the flags of Denmark and Scotland.

 

Det DANSKE Tartan

 

Denmark og Skotlands faelles historie straekker sig over 900 ar tilbage I tiden, helt til vikingtiden. Vikingernes indflydelse kan ses den dag I dag I forbindelse med hojtideligheder og fester I det nordlige og ostlige Skotland. Der findes utallige gamlenordiske stedvavne langs den skotske kyst, og oldnordiske ord indgar I Skotlands oprindelige sprog gaelisk. Mange af de danske vikinger giftede sig og bosatte sig I Skotland, sa Danmark og Skotland deler slaegt frem til I dag.Tartan, klanternetklaede, er noget der mest forbindes med Skotland, men har vaeret kendt I Danmark I naesten 400ar. 40,000 skotske lejessoldater, de fleste fra det skotske hojland, kaempede I den nordiske syvarskrig imellem Danmark og Sverige. Mange af soldaterne blev boende og blev saledes en del af det dansk-skotske slaegtsskab.Det danske tartan er blevet designet og vaevet som en gave til det danske folk. Farverne I stoffet kombinerer farverne fra Dannebrog og det skotkse nationalflag, the Saltire.

 

 

ENGLAND The St. GEORGE Tartan

 

The life of St. George is shrouded in legend, but he was almost certainly born in the Holy Land. Converted to Christianity, he was imprisoned and tortured by the Emperor Diocletian (245 – 313 AD)., and upon refusing to recant his faith he was eventually beheaded. The Emperor’s wife Alexandria was so impressed by his courage that she became a Christian and so too was put to death. The best known legend surrounding St. George is that of the dragon. According to this legend a pagan town in what is now Libya was being terrorised by a fierce dragon. To placate the insatiable beast the locals began to sacrifice their own townspeople. Finally the local Princess was to be sacrificed, but good St. George came along, slaughtered the dragon and rescued the fair Princess. At this the townsfolk converted to Christianity.In 1222 the Council of Oxford declared 23rd. April as his Feast Day, and he eventually became the Patron Saint of England sometime in the 14th Century. It is traditional for men to celebrate St. George’s Day by giving their ladies a red rose to honour the memory of St. George and the Princess he saved from the dragon.The St. George tartan has been designed to incorporate those emblems which best represent England as a nation: The RED Cross of St. George on its WHITE field, surrounded by the three lions passant which form the Arms of England, and set in BLUE symbolising its island nature and dominance of the High Seas, laced with Royal PURPLE representing 1000 years of enduring monarchic tradition.

 

EUROPE- The EUROPEAN Tartan

 

From the awful carnage of two disastrous wars in the first half of the twentieth century arose the vision of a new Europe: a Europe which would transcend national boundaries, and lead to co-operation between the peoples of its nation states, as exemplified in the words of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, who wrote over two hundred years ago:“Then let us pray that come it may, As come it will for a’ that, That man to man the world o’er, Shall brothers be for a’ that.”The European Union now comprises twenty-seven member states with others still seeking to join: the realisation of a vision that has given Europe over fifty years of peace. Forged from the nations of Europe, Scotland and its people have played a significant role in the history of the Continent. In 1999 a Scottish Parliament assembled for the first time in almost three hundred years, and to celebrate this historic occasion , the European tartan has been created as a gift to our fellow Europeans as a symbol of peace and understanding between nations.The colours of the European tartan are based on the Flag of the European Union; GOLD stars on a BLUE background. These are interwoven with RED symbolising the colour common to the national flags of the six founder countries, and BLACK representing the coal which first linked these countries into a community of nations

 

FINLAND- The FINNISH Tartan

 

From the Middle Ages multitudes of Scots flocked to Russia, and some of them became the most famous names of the Scottish Diaspora. Literally hundreds of Scots became distinguished in the history, industrial development and culture of this part of the Baltic. An envious English observer noted in 1805 that, ‘to come from the north side of the Tweed is the best recommendation a man can bring to St. Petersburg’. At this time modern-day Finland was a Grand Duchy and still part of the Russian Empire.By one of these strange acts of fate master machinist James Finlayson of Penicuik’s arrival in St. Petersburg coincided with Czar Alexander I’s desire to promote Russia’s industrial development, and on a tour of the neighbouring Grand Duchy of Finland in 1820, Finlayson discovered the fast-flowing waters at Tammefors (Tampere):: the perfect place to make machinery for Russia’s fast-expanding empire. And from making textile machinery Finlayson soon progressed to making the textiles themselves. A devout Christian, Finlayson’s new factory at its peak employed over 3000 workers and was a model of good management. And so Finland’s industrial revolution was born and Finland’s second city of Tampere arose. The Finlayson brand still survives to this day as does his reputation as marked on his headstone. “His spiritual qualities and his love of mankind have seen his name being one deeply respected in Finland’s industrial and national history”The Finnish tartan combines the colours in the flags of Finland and Scotland.

 

SUOMI-TARTAANI

 

Skotit ovat matkanneet Venäjälle jo keskiajalta lähtien ja joistakin heistä on tullut skotlantilaisen diasporin tunnetuimpia henkilöitä. Sadat skotit ovat tulleet osaksi tämän Itämeren maan historiaa, teollisuutta ja kulttuuria. Eräs kateellinen englantilainen totesikin vuonna 1805, etta ’paras suositus, minkä voi tuoda mukanaan Pietariin tullessaan on olla kotoisin Tweed-joen yläpuolelta’ (Englannin ja Skotlannin rajalla juokseva joki). Tuohon aikaan Suomi oli vielä Venäjän keisarikunnan alainen suuriruhtinaskunta.Skotlannin Penicuikista kotoisin oleva koneenrakentaja James Finlayson saapui Pietariin juuri kun tsaari Aleksanteri I alkoi kiinnostua Venäjän teollisesta kehityksestä. Kiertäessaan Suomen suuriruhtinaskuntaa vuonna 1820, Finlayson sattui loytämään Tammerkosken Tampereella; erinomaisen paikan koneiden rakentamiselle nopeasti kasvavalle Venäjän keisarikunnalle. Aloitettuaan ensin tekstiilikoneiston rakentamisella, Finlayson siirtyi pian puuvillakankaiden kudontaan. Finlayson eli kristillisesti ja uskoi työntekijöiden olojen parantamiseen. Uudessa puuvillatehtaassa oli parhaimmillaan yli 3000 työntekijää, ja se oli kuin yhteiskunnan toimiva pienoismalli omine kouluineen, sairaaloineen ja kirkkoineen.Suomen teollisen vallankumouksen myötä Tampereesta tuli kaupunki. Finlayson-merkki elää yhä Suomessa, ja James Finlaysonin yhteys Suomeen on ikuistettu hänen hautakiveensä: ’...Hänen henkisten piirteidensä ja ihmisrakkautensa tähden, hänen nimensä on suuresti kunnioitettu Suomen teollisessa ja kansallisessa historiassa’.Suomi-tartaani yhdistää Suomen ja Skotlannin lippujen värit.

 

 

FRANCE The AULD ALLIANCE tartan

 

Dating back to 1295, the ‘Auld Alliance’ was a unique relationship between France and Scotland. And although the original alliance that granted dual citizenship in both countries was revoked by the French Government in 1903, it created a special bond between the peoples of Scotland and France which survives to this day. Born out of political and military expedience against a common enemy - England, the bodyguard to the Kings of France - the Garde Ecossais - was formed from ex-patriot Scottish soldiers who fought forFrance in the Hundred Years War. Over the centuries the relationship developed through trade, culture, art and philosophy.The half-Scots, half-French Mary, Queen of Scots, who was also Queen of France, brought French customs, culture and language with her to the Scottish Court upon her return in 1561. And for centuries Scottish merchants had the first pick of French vineyards, a custom that even survived the Union of the Crowns in 1707. France was the model for Scotland’s cultural revival and the Scottish Enlightenment was much admired in France. Voltaire famously said, “We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation”. Combined with Scotland’s admiration of French culture and philosophy, it was described as ‘an example of how the proper and dignified relationship between people and nations is intellectual and imaginative, not political’.In a speech in Edinburgh during the darkest days of the second world war, General Charles de Gaulle, arguably the greatest Frenchman of the 20th century, said of the ‘Auld Alliance’: “ I do not think a Frenchman can come to Scotland without being sensible of a special emotion – awareness of the thousand links, still living and cherished, of the Franco-Scottish Alliance, the oldest alliance in the world, leaps to mind”.The colours of the Auld Alliance tartan combine the French Tricolour with the Scottish Saltire.

 

Le TARTAN de la ‘VIEILLE ALLIANCE’

 

Remontant à l’année 1295, la ‘Vieille Alliance’ représentait un engagement unique entre la France et l’Ecosse.Et bien que l’alliance d’origine qui accordait la double citoyenneté aux deux pays ait été révoquée par le gouvernement français en 1903, elle créa un lien spécial entre les peuples d’Ecosse et de France qui survit jusqu’à aujourd’hui.Créés par un esprit d’opportunisme politique et militaire contre un ennemi commun – l’Angleterre, les gardes du corps des Rois de France – la Garde Ecossaise – étaient composés d’anciens soldats écossais qui avaient combattu pour la France pendant la Guerre de Cent Ans.Ce lien se développa, au cours des siècles, grâce au commerce, à la culture, l’art et la philosophie. Marie, Reine d’Ecosse ainsi que Reine de France, qui était moitié française et moitié écossaise, introduit à la cour d’Ecosse où elle retourna en 1561, les coutumes, culture et langue françaises. Pendant des siècles les marchands écossais avaient le meilleur choix des vignobles français, une coutume qui survécut même l’Union des Couronnes en 1707.La France inspira le renouveau culturel de l’Ecosse dont le Siècle des Lumières fut très admiré en France. Cette citation de Voltaire est bien connue : « Nous nous tournons vers l’Ecosse pour trouver toutes nos idées sur la civilisation. ». Avec l’admiration que l’Ecosse portait à la culture et à la philosophie françaises, le rapport a été décrit comme « un exemple qui montre qu’un lien honnête et digne entre peuples et nations est intellectuel et imaginatif and non politique ».A l’occasion d’un discours prononcé à Edimbourg pendant les heures les plus sombres de la seconde guerre mondiale, le Général de Gaulle dont on pourrait soutenir qu’il fut le français le plus important du vingtième siècle, dit de la ‘Vieille Alliance’ : « je ne crois pas qu'un Français puisse jamais venir en Écosse sans être sensible à une émotion unique : la conscience d'un millier de liens encore vivants et entretenus au sein de l'alliance franco-écossaise, la plus vieille alliance du monde » Les couleurs du tartan de la Vieille Alliance marient le Tricolore de France avec le Sautoir d’Ecosse.

 

GERMANY The GERMAN Tartan

 

Links between Scotland and Germany go back many centuries. Way before the royal House of Hanover ascended the British throne, and way before Queen Victoria and Albert’s love of Scotland helped promote its romantic image, there had been a profound trade, not only in chattels, but in ideas. Geography, as always, played a big part. But in those days when sea travel was supreme, to be joined by water rather than land was a huge plus. Scotland had easier access to Northern Europe than anywhere else, and was an active member of the Hanseatic League originated by German merchants in the13th C. The first record of trade between Scotland and Germany is a letter from William Wallace to the merchants of Hamburg and Lubeck after his victory at Stirling Bridge in 1297, declaring that Scotland was free and that trade could resume.Throughout history ideas have travelled on the back of trade, and Martin Luther’s ‘protest’ on 1517 was to foresee the start of the Reformation which fundamentally helped shape the Scottish mind-set. Two centuries later the new ideas of the Enlightenment spawned philosophical giants like Hume and Kant. Soon German composers and playwrights began to look to Scotland for artistic inspiration: Mendelssohn, Haydn,. Beethoven and Schiller.Today 36 twinning programmes between Scottish and German towns and cities are living proof that the ancient links between our two countries and their peoples are stronger than ever. The colours of the tartan combine the colours in the flags of Germany and Scotland.

 

Der Deutsche Tartan

 

Verbindungen zwischen Schottland und Deutschland gehen viele Jahrhunderte zurück. Weg zuvor das königliche Haus von Hannover stieg den britischen Thron auf, und ganz zuvorKönigin Victoria und Alberts Liebe für Schottland halfen, sein romantisches Bild, ther, es hatte ein tiefgründiges Gewerbe gegeben, nicht nur im beweglichen Eigentum, aber in Ideen.Geografie so immer spielte einen großen Teil. Aber damals, als Meeresreise am höchsten war, von Wasser verbunden zu werden, eher als Land ein riesiges Plus war.Schottland hatte leichterer Zugang zu Nördlichem Europa als anderer irgendwo, und war ein aktives Mitglied vom Hanseatic League entstand von deutschen Kaufleuten C. in the13th. Die erste Aufzeichnung des Handels zwischen Schottland und Deutschland ist ein Brief von WilliamWallace zu den Kaufleuten von Hamburg und Lübeck nach seinem Sieg bei Stirling Bridge in 1297, das Erklären, dass Schottland frei war, und dieses Gewerbe konnte fortfahren. Überall in Geschichtsideen ist auf den Rücken des Gewerbes, und Martin, gereist Luther ist 'Protest' auf 1517 war, den Anfang von der Reformation vorauszusehen, die half, die schottische Einstellung im Grunde zu formen. Zwei Jahrhunderte später das NeueIdeen der Aufklärung brachten philosophische Riesen wie Hume und Kant hervor. Bald fingen deutsche Komponisten und Dramatiker an, künstlerische Inspiration von Schottland zu erwarten: Mendelssohn, Haydn. Beethoven und Schiller.Heute 36 Zwillingsgeburtprogramme für schottische und deutsche Städte und Städte ist lebender Beweis der der alteVerbindungen zwischen unseren zwei Ländern und ihre Völker sind stärker als je.Der deutsche Tartan ist entworfen worden und ist als ein Geschenk zu den Leuten davon gewebt worden Deutschland und jene deutschen Abstieges überall in Schottland wohnend. Die Farben vom Tartankamm kombinieren Sie die Farben in den Fahnen von Deutschland und Schottland.

 

 

GREECE- The St Andrew Tartan

 

The histories of Greece and Scotland are inextricably linked in a number of ways: intellectual, cultural and religious. The 18th C Scottish Enlightenment transformed a world of received teachings and dogmatic social order into a modern world of individual liberty, free thought and free trade, a world that valued humanity and encouraged philosophical and scientific innovation. But it is to Ancient Greece and the enlightened thinking of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle that we must look for the inspiration of men like David Hume and Adam Smith, men who helped to shape the modern world but who freely acknowledged the source of their inspiration. As Winston Churchill once remarked: “of all the small nations of this earth, perhaps only the ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind.” George Gordon, raised and educated in Aberdeen, and more commonly known as Lord Byron, was the most famous and enigmatic poet of his day. He is credited as being the figure who inspired the Greek people to rise up and free themselves from the tyranny of their Ottoman Empire rulers and is still hailed to this day as a national hero in the struggle for Greek independence. St. Andrew, the first chosen disciple of Christ preached and died in Greece. Some 300 years after his death, the Emperor Constantine was about to remove the Saint’s bones from Greece and have them taken to Rome. Legend has it that a monk was warned of this in a dream by an angel, who told him to take them to ‘the ends of the earth’ to keep them safe. Scotland was as near to the ends of the ancient world as one could get, and that is how the remains came to be taken to Scotland where they are buried in what is now known as St. Andrews. Both Scotland and Greece adopted St. Andrew as their Patron Saint so it is only appropriate that something of him should be returned.

 

ICELAND-The ICELANDIC Tartan

 

It is believed that the Norwegians who first arrived in Iceland had travelled by way of Scotland and brought many Scottish slaves with them. But it has long been believed that Iceland, the world’s oldest republic, was first settled by two groups of people from Scotland: the Picts and the Papae (Scots) over 1200 years ago, and that they pre-date the arrival of the Norwegians. Until recently much of the evidence for this was based on folklore and the fact that the rearing of sheep, the most important form of livlihood in Iceland, was common in Scotland, but relatively unknown in Norway.Now, thanks to recent advances in DNA testing, it has been discoveredthat two-thirds of the women who settled in Iceland were of Scottish descent, thus giving Iceland and Scotland one of the strongest genealogical links between any two nations in Europe. Since it follows that these women would have taken much of their culture with them, the dying and weaving of woollen cloth in the form we know as tartan would almost certainly have been introduced to Iceland a very long time ago.The Icelandic tartan combines the colours of the national flag of Iceland with the colours of the Scottish Saltire.

 

IRELAND- The St. PATRICK Tartan

 

According to legend St. Patrick was born in Kilpatrick near Dumbarton, Scotland sometime in the 5th. Century. His father was a Romano-British deacon called Calpurnius, and his own given name was Succat. In his sixteenth year he was captured by pirates and carried off to Ireland where he was held captive for six years. Upon his escape he settled in Tours in France and became a monk. He was consecrated a Bishop in 432AD and was sent by Celestrine I as a missionary to Ireland, where he spent the next twenty years converting the Chiefs of the Irish clans to Christianity. He is recognised as the Patron Saint of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated throughout the world on 17thMarch each year.In the St. Patrick tartan GREEN symbolises Ireland’s ‘Emerald Isle’, WHITE represents purity and peace, and GOLD the golden cord that binds all people of Irish descent to their mother country.

 

JAPAN- The JAPANESE Tartan

 

It is difficult to believe that Japan was totally insulated from the influences of western civilisation until the middle of the 19th.C. And it appears that it was the arrival of one man: a Scotsman, Thomas Glover of Fraserburgh, in 1859, which was to be the catalyst for creating what is today the world’s second largest economy.Within two years he had set up his own business, and in 1863 built ‘Glover House’ overlooking Nagasaki harbour, the oldest western-style building in Japan, which today attracts two million visitors a year. However, it was the influence of Glover’s technical know-how in shipbuilding and mining which brought him to prominence and allowed him to develop strong links with samurai clans. He helped them to overturn their military shogun and restore the Emperor to the throne and, under the Meiji Restoration Glover constructed the first shipyard in Japan, later to become the industrial giant Mitsubishi. He introduced the first railway and constructed and owned the first mechanically-operated coalmine. Nicknamed ‘the Scottish Samurai’, and still revered to this day as a national hero in his adopted country, Glover was not only the first to introduce western technology to Japan, but became the first non-Japanese to receive the country’s highest honour – The Order of the Rising Sun.In 1867 this astonishingly influential character married a young Japanese woman - Tsuru - who for political reasons had been forced to divorce her first husband and abandon her baby daughter. Tsuru’s nickname was ‘Ocho-san’ from the butterfly motif on her kimono, and it was this poignant story that provided the author James Luther Long with the inspiration for the creation of his story of ‘Madame Butterfly’ which Puccini later turned into the world-famous opera.The mutual admiration between Scotland and Japan which Glover first generated is reflected today in the mutual interest in our respective cultures. The creation of the Japanese tartan symbolises the natural continuation of that interest. The Japanese tartan combines the colours of the Scottish Saltire with those of the Japanese National Flag.

 

NORWAY- The NORWEGIAN CENTENNIAL Tartan

 

The historical association between Norway and Scotland extends over 900 years to the age of the Vikings. Their influence can be traced through some of the Festivals still celebrated to this day in the North and East of Scotland, in the numerous Norse place-names around our coastline, and in the original language of Scotland – Gaelic. And perhaps most importantly, many of the Norse invaders married and settled in Scotland, so that we share a common blood-line to this day.Although tartan is associated with Scotland it has been known to, and has been used by Norwegians for almost 400 years. History tells us that during the Kalmar Wars between Sweden and Denmark a band of 550 Scots mercenaries were en-route to Sweden by way of the valley of Gudbrand. At Hogkringom, south of Otta, they were ambushed and slaughtered by 450 untrained peasants. The Battle of Kringom on 26th. August 1612, became a model for the defence of Norway, celebrated in literature and legend, and monuments at Hogkringom and Pillarguri bear testimony to this event. The corpses of the Scots were stripped of their plaid cloth by the locals for their own use, and to this day tartan forms the top part of the ‘Rondastakk’, the traditional local costume.In more modern times the bonds between Norway and Scotland were further strengthened by their close association throughout the dark days of the Second World War, something that is recognised to this day in the annual Christmas tree which appears each year on the mound in Edinburgh – a gift from the people of Norway. These bonds are reflected too in the fact that the late King Olaf of Norway is one of only two non-Scots to be made a Knight of the Order of the Thistle, the highest Order of Chivalry in Scotland – a sign of the mutual respect and affection between these two small, but influential nations on the northern edge of Europe.To celebrate the centenary of the creation of the independent sovereign State of Norway in 1905, the Norwegian Centennial tartan was commissioned by Consul- General Arne Silvertsin. The colours of the tartan combine the colours in the flags of Norway and Scotland.

 

POLAND- The POLISH Tartan

 

The association between Poland and Scotland dates from as far back as the 15th Century when Scots merchants first began to settle in the free port of Gdansk (Danzig). In the 16th century many Scots fought for Poland in the wars against Sweden and, by the 18th century as many as 30,000 Scots were estimated to be living in Poland. In due course the Scots were assimilated into Polish Society and in 1673 men with the names of Mackay, Gordon, Fraser and Lindsay were even raised to the Polish nobility and Scottish names took on Polish spellings. Modern myth in Scotland even links the name Lech Walesa to Lachlan Wallace.Although few Poles may have visited Scotland in this period, that was to change dramatically with the advent of the Second World War, when tens of thousands of Polish troops were stationed throughout Scotland. The natural affinity between these two peoples saw many Poles settle in Scotland after the war and assimilate into Scottish society. With Poland’s introduction to the European Union that trend continues to this day, and Scotland is a popular choice for Polish people seeking a new life. The Polish tartan has been designed and woven as a gift to the people of Poland and those of Polish descent living throughout Scotland. The colours of the tartan combine the colours in the flags of Poland and Scotland.

 

POLSKI TARTAN

 

Początki relacji pomiędzy Polską a Szkocją sięgają XV wieku, kiedy to kupcy ze Szkocji przybyli do portu Gdańsk. W XVI wieku wielu Szkotów walczyło o Polskę w wojnach przeciwko Szwecji, a w XVIII wieku w Polsce żyło aż 30,000 Szkotów. Po pewnym czasie Szkoci tak się zasymilowali z polską społecznością, że w 1673 roku kilku z nich o nazwiskach Mackay, Gordon, Fraser i Lindsay zostali podniesieni do rangi polskiej szlachty i ich szkockie nazwiska zostały zmienione na polsko brzmiące. Współczesny mit w Szkocji łączy nawet nazwisko Lech Walensa z Lachlan Wallace.Chociaż niewielu Polaków mogło odwiedzić Szkocję w tym okresie, dramatycznie zmieniło się to wraz z nadejściem II Wojny Światowej, kiedy to dziesiątki tysięcy polskich oddziałów stacjonowało na terenach całej Szkocji. Naturalna sympatia między tymi dwoma narodami miała wpływ na to, że wielu Polaków osiedliło się w Szkocji po zakończeniu wojny i asymilowało się ze szkockim społeczeństwem. Wraz z wejściem Polski do Unii Europejskiej ten trend utrzymuje się po dzień dzisiejszy, a Szkocja stała się popularna wśród Polaków szukających nowego życia. Polski tartan został zaprojektowany i utkany jako dar dla ludzi z Polski oraz dla wszystkich osób z polskim pochodzeniem mieszkających w Szkocji. Kolorystyka tartanu jest kombinacją polskich i szkockich flag narodowych.

 

 

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