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Stories from House of Tartan
USNA Pipes and Drums


The Polaris tartan was designed for the officers and men of the American Submarine base at the Holy Loch - making the Polaris submarine the first ship in history to have its own tartan. The idea came from Captain Walter F Schlech, Commander of the submarine base. It proved very popular with the men who served there, as it provided a very powerful symbol of there newly found link with Scotland. 

There is some doubt as to the exact nature of the pattern. The arrangement of stripes between the yellows is, or should be, blue-sky-blue, but many pictures show green-blue-green. The Scottish Tartans Authority have it as black-blue-black.

MIDN Van Vorst wrote to House of Tartan, "I was on the original committee establishing the USNA Pipes and Drums. When we were researching which tartan to use we discovered that although both Edzell and Polaris had attachments to the Navy, there is NO official tartan of the U.S. Navy as a whole. We chose Polaris over Edzell for a number of reasons, thus making Polaris the only tartan officially in use by an ACTIVE duty Navy unit. Although there is a pipe band made up of former and Reserve Naval personnel that uses the Edzell tartan, they are not sanctioned by the U.S. Navy. Your site is not the only one to list Edzell as belonging to the U.S. Navy. Hopefully, this has cleared up some confusion."

More to come on this story...


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