Last year, on Feb. 4th
2002, the Minnesota State Senate adopted the Minnesota Tartan and Dress
tartan as the official tartans of the state. The tartans were the gifts
of the Minnesota Tartan Day Cooperative to the state of Minnesota.
I (Jackie Johnston) initiated the idea and coordinated it with the
sponsorship of the Minnesota Tartan Day Cooperative, lead by Barbara Fayth
Humphrey. Our designer was Mark Osweiler, a member of the Scottish Tartan
Authority. (He is has just completed the design for the proposed Iowa
State Tartan.) The Tartan Day Cooperative is made up of 14 Scottish
organizations in the state and it's primary purpose is to organize the
Tartan Day events at the State Capitol.
I founded the Tartan Day Project in 2000 after meeting the designer of the
Colorado State Tartan. I brought the idea to the Minnesota Tartan Day
Cooperative and they loved the idea of having a state tartan. They asked
me to coordinate the project and the Tartan Day Project was born.
The 14 organizations of the Minnesota Tartan Day Cooperative had the
opportunity to have input into the colors and the symbolism of those
colors in representing our state. After choosing the colors, we then had
Mark draw up some designs with the assistance of two experienced kilt
makers. He presented 22 designs to the group and by unanimous vote, the
new tartan and matching dress tartan were approved. We meet again to work
out the shades. Peter Wilson at E-Scot assisted us in getting the samples
woven and ultimately the fabric as well.
After approval by the Senate, the tartan was registered with the Scottish
Tartan Authority by Mark Osweiler in behalf of the State of Minnesota.
Since that time, Hancock Fabrics has produced a polar fleece of the
Minnesota Tartan and a wide range of products are being created by the
Minnesota Tartan Project and marketed through the Shetland Piper. We hope
to branch out to more stores as the market grows.
The tartans can be seen at the following sites.
The colors represent Minnesota and it's people and all that weaves us
together. They are as follows;
Blue...for "Water that reflects the sky" which in the Dakota
language is "Minesota", and "Land of 10,000 Lakes" (state motto).
Green... for the Norway Pine (state tree) and the conservation of
our forests and fields.
Dr. Pink...for the Showy Lady Slipper (state flower) and the heart
of the people.
Black and White for the Common Loon (the state bird), snow, milk
(state drink), wild rice (state grain).
Yellow...for the fall colors, the yellow ladyslipper, maize and the
golden opportunities found in Minnesota.
On April 6th, we presented swatches of the tartans and a commemorative
booklet to the Minnesota Historical Society for the people of Minnesota.
We also presented flag banners to the office of the Senate Majority
leader so it will always have a presence in our state capitol.
As you can see, we are very proud of our efforts in the creation of this
tartan. Please tell us more about your organization and how it is
affiliated with or differs from the Scottish Tartan Authority. How can we
get our tartan listed on your site?
Minnesota Tartan Project