Once again we approach the
time of a new tradition - the celebration of National Tartan
Day. In Canada, France and The United States of America,
the date adopted for National Tartan Day is one of the greatest.
On that date in 1320 the Scottish nobility, meeting in Arbroath
Abbey, attached their seals to a Declaration of Scottish
Independence, a letter to Pope John XXII asking him to recognise
that Scotland was once again sovereign and free of English
We are delighted to extend
to all Flag visitors the National Tartan Day Greetings we have
received from Dr Christopher Pratt of New York.
for National Tartan Day – April 6, 2005!
For many people, National
Tartan Day is a day of remembrance as much as celebration. It
is a day when we remember that one way or another, one day our
families left their homes in Scotland and travelled across the
sea to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and so many other
places. With them they brought bits of their homes, their
cherished tartan and bagpipes, and their skill and industry.
They built new lives and helped build nations. Today, we
celebrate their achievement which led to our own. We seek to
educate so that the memory and achievement of our families and
Scots everywhere will not be forgotten. Thus remembering,
informed by our past we seek to understand the present as we
step into the future together in the hope of building a better
life for us all.
There are nearly as many
descendants of Scots living in Canada as there are people living
in Scotland; almost 5 million. In the US there are more than 12
million people of Scottish descent. National Tartan Day became
a holiday when first enacted by the Canadian government in 1993,
and then by the US 1997. Today, it is also a holiday in
Scottish communities from Australia to Iceland, and around the
world. Last year, it also became a holiday in Angus, Scotland –
see “Scotland’s Tartan Day is returning to Arbroath in Scotland
for the second year running. This now international event
highlights an annual celebration of all things Scottish.” -
What does Scotland
mean on National Tartan Day 2005?
it about tartan and bagpipes, or is it about families and health
care, education and self-reliance, entrepreneurship and the
environment, culture and innovation, the history of Scots around
the globe or the future of contemporary Scots as global players,
or is it about all of these?
Is it a day to celebrate the best of
our heritage and the land where our families began, a day to
learn about the rich culture and enjoy the deep passion we feel
toward this rarest of gifts, Scotland and its people?
Why is National
Tartan Day a holiday?
Is it because the Declaration of
Arbroath on April 6, 1320 is household knowledge, or because
Braveheart William Wallace was executed for leading his belief
in freedom 750 years ago (his true sword will be on display in
NYC in its first trip outside of Scotland), is it because
Scotland in 2005 is as it was then, or is it because each of us
relishes the spirit of independence and cherishes the freedom
that date represents?
Is it because the 1747 Act
of Proscription (repealed in 1782), and in 2005 Cambridge
University prohibit wearing the kilt, or is it that our beloved
tartan is a reflection of the hues and tones of human experience
that bind us together from every corner of the world where Scots
helped build a better life for themselves and those around them?
Is it because Voltaire said “We
look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.”, because
the great French philosopher saw the ideas that shaped modern
western society and philosophical inquiry in the 18th
century “Scottish Enlightenment”, or is it because those same
ideas thrive in contemporary Scotland today?
Is it because Scots
everywhere, past and present, contribute to the world in every
walk of life from science to the arts, because they are famous,
or is it because they are like us, our families, friends and
neighbours, you and I?
Is it because Scots alone
built so many great nations, because Scots have a corner on
self-reliance and courage of conviction, or is it because the
ideals and values of a people provided a vision and voice
carrying inventiveness, art and healing round the world?
How can we make
this celebration meaningful to them?
are so many ways to add meaning to this celebration.
Honour your family, your heritage by learning
more about contemporary Scotland and its people today. On
National Tartan Day, 2005, wherever you are, share the
celebration of contemporary and historic Scotland.
The Flag hopes that
wherever you are that you enjoy celebrating on and around 6
April. This week's recipe - Jo Mazzatti - is believed to be
American in origin and has been supplied by Sheilah Fletcher,
sister of The Flag's Peter. An international dish to eat on an
international day. Hae a braw Tartan Day.