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Tartan Day
April 6th in USA & Canada
July 1st Rest of World

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Listen to Electric Scotland & the Scots Independent's Tartan Day Tribute for 2004

Proclamation by the President: National Tartan Day, 2008

Americans of Scottish descent have made enduring contributions to our Nation with their hard work, faith, and values. On National Tartan Day, we celebrate the spirit and character of Scottish Americans and recognize their many contributions to our culture and our way of life.

Scotland and the United States have long shared ties of family and friendship, and many of our country's most cherished customs and ideals first grew to maturity on Scotland's soil. The Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence signed in 1320, embodied the Scots' strong dedication to liberty, and 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.

National Tartan Day is an opportunity to celebrate all Americans who claim Scottish ancestry, and we are especially grateful for the service in our Armed Forces of Scottish Americans who have answered the call to protect our Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 6, 2008, as National Tartan Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day by celebrating the continued friendship between the people of Scotland and the United States and by recognizing the contributions of Scottish Americans to our Nation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.

GEORGE W. BUSH


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES November 10, 1997 Mr. Lott submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

RESOLUTION Designating April 6 of each year as ``National Tartan Day'' to recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions made by Scottish Americans to the United States.

Whereas April 6 has a special significance for all Americans, and especially those Americans of Scottish descent, because the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, was signed on April 6, 1320 and the American Declaration of Independence was modeled on that inspirational document;

Whereas this resolution honors the major role that Scottish Americans played in the founding of this Nation, such as the fact that almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent, the Governors in 9 of the original 13 States were of Scottish ancestry, Scottish Americans successfully helped shape this country in its formative years and guided this Nation through its most troubled times;

Whereas this resolution recognizes the monumental achievements and invaluable contributions made by Scottish Americans that have led to America's preeminence in the fields of science, technology, medicine, government, politics, economics, architecture, literature, media, and visual and performing arts;

Whereas this resolution commends the more than 200 organizations throughout the United States that honor Scottish heritage, tradition, and culture, representing the hundreds of thousands of Americans of Scottish descent, residing in every State, who already have made the observance of Tartan Day on April 6 a success; and

Whereas these numerous individuals, clans, societies, clubs, and fraternal organizations do not let the great contributions of the Scottish people go unnoticed:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate designates April 6 of each year as ``National Tartan Day''.


From the Founder Clan Cleland Society (World wide) and the President Australian-Scottish Association (Qld) Inc

A view of history.
HISTORY.

What is it, how do we interpret it and does it matter?

There are many forms of history, ancient, modern, medieval, romantic, written by the victor, written by the vanquished, written by one religious order, written by a second or third religious order, translated from one language to another. Evolving, oral, and forgotten.

Anything that happened yesterday or last week or anytime in the past is history and today and next week we will have made history by the time next month comes around therefore it is important that when we assess history we endeavor to collect all the facts and not try to rewrite history with a flavour other than the TRUTH.

Then I suppose it comes down to a matter of the individuals interpretation of the truth.   One of the most common problem areas in Scottish History is what has become to be known as the shortbread biscuit tin version  of Scottish History.  Authors such as Sir Walter Scott, and other romantic novelists have tended to create a version of history which is most PLEASING to the reader.  Nigel Tranter endeavors to paint a picture in the minds eye of what was taking place at the time and again this is colored by his view and interpretation of history much of which at that time was not written and if it was it was written in either ancient Latin or old Scots.

A considerable amount of Scotland's written history was taken away from official archives during the various visits made by conquering armies from the South.  However, declarations, laws, treaties etc., have survived and it is without doubt that all of these FACTS of history be acknowledged and celebrated in whatever way one thinks is appropriate.

I wear my kilt on every occasion possible and that may be because of my Scottish heritage in that having spent so much in its purchase I cannot see any reason why it should hang in the wardrobe unworn.  This brings me to the celebration of Tartan Day.

There are two dates currently used to celebrate Tartan Day  - 6th April in North America and July 1st in Australia, New Zealand and other countries.

The significance of the 6th April 1320 relates to the Declaration of Arbroath when 6 years after Bannockburn 100 men gathered at Arbroath to write a Declaration of their loyalty to Scotland and forward this to the Pope in Italy to have him support their case for Independence.   Some 8 years later 1328 the Treaty of Northampton was signed by Edward III of England acknowledging that Scotland was an Independent Nation and that Bruce was the Independent King of Scotland.  Bruce died a year later.

The significance of the 1st July is the fact that on the 1st July 1782 an Act was passed called the Repeal Proclamation. This Act repealed the Act of Proscription 1747 which made it an offence to wear tartan amongst other things.    Many  believe the significance of this anniversary acknowledges this Act as having far greater relevance to Tartan and therefore the International promotion of a Tartan Day of recognition and celebration.

By celebrating Tartan Day on the 1st July we can also acknowledge the restoration of the Scottish Parliament which took place on the 1st July 1999.

Australia has just gone through a process of a referendum to ascertain if we were to become a Republic.  Had this Referendum been successful would we now call the day of the Referendum Australia Day, the day we became an Independent Nation Australia Day, the day we became a Federation in 1901 or the day we currently call Australia Day.   January 26th when the First Fleet landed (Not a day the Aboriginal people of Australia are inclined to celebrate)???

When deciding on a day for Celebration the most appropriate day should be chosen for the most relevant reason.

The same principle applies when looking at Coats of Arms, designs of tartan, Clan history etc. We must be careful not to tinker with the traditional significance of the past for the sake of modern life styles or personal preference. Never mind possible breaches of the Law.

Tartan Day in Canada 

Here are some facts about Tartan Day from the recent newsletter of the Clan Ross Association of Canada, Inc., courtesy of our ever-vigilant secretary Ian Mackay Ross.

There are more people of Scots descent throughout the world than you'll find in Scotland itself. Tartan Day was established for people of Scottish heritage in the "New World" to show pride in their background and respect for their pioneer ancestors who were instrumental in developing the countries in which they now live. The Scottish value of hard work and education resulted in their prominence in the fields of business, education, government, the military and the professions.

Tartan Day originated in Nova Scotia, Canada, with a proposal from the Federation of Scottish Clans. On December 19th 1991, in response to action initiated by the Clans & Scottish Societies of Canada, the Ontario Legislature passed a resolution proclaiming April 6th as Tartan Day. Manitoba was the third Canadian Province to recognize this day in 1994 with Bill 206
1 (although April 6th had been proclaimed Tartan Day on a year by year basis for several years prior to this). The day is now officially recognized by all Provinces except Newfoundland and Quebec.

1. Private Member's Bill 206 - The Coat of Arms, Emblems and the Manitoba Tartan Amendment Act was sponsored by Mr. McAlpine, given first reading on June 7, 1994, given second reading on June 23, 1994, reported without amendments from the Standing Committee on Private Bills on June 29, concurred in on July 4, 1994, received third reading on July 5 and received royal assent on July 5. The Bill came into force on royal assent, July 5, 1994.

Bill 206 was sponsored by Mr. Gerry McAlpine (who happened to by Progressive Conservative ... but more importantly a strong Scottish connection). I used to be in the Kinsmen Club with Gerry years ago. Gerry is a member of the local St. Andrew's Society, and was prevailed upon by one of our Clan Ross members, Eldon Ross of Winnipeg (and a long-time PC supporter) to sponsor the Bill. A lot of
the groundwork was done by Georgie Balneaves of the (now defunct) Manitoba Coalition of Scottish Clans.

The exact wording of Bill 206 ... which was an amendment to "The Coat of Arms, Emblems and The Manitoba Tartan Act" is:

Whereas the Selkirk Settlers settled in Manitoba in the early 1800's and the Scots played a significant role in the establishment of Manitoba;

And whereas Scottish Manitobans continue to make outstanding contributions to Manitoba's social, economic and political life;

And whereas April 6th has been chosen as "Tartan Day" in Canada to recognize and appreciate the accomplishments of Scots in Canada;

And whereas Manitoba's own tartan was approved in 1962 and registered in Scotland as the official tartan of Manitoba;

And whereas Manitoba encourages its citizens to celebrate the achievements of their cultural heritage;

Therefore Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

(The following is added after section 6 of The Coat of Arms, Emblems and the Manitoba Tartan Act::)

Manitoba Tartan Day
6.1     In recognition of the role that Scottish Manitobans have played and continue to play in Manitoba's cultural heritage, April 6 in each year is declared to be "Manitoba Tartan Day".