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Thread: Allowed tartans

  1. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Patrick View Post
    For some reason the clan chiefs and the Lord of Lyon seem to believe they have that right.
    I'm sorry I brought the Lord Lyon into this discussion. His area of concern is heraldic matters. He does't busy himself with tartans, aside from recording official clan tartans at the wishes of the clan chiefs, as far as I know.
    In addition, I was saying that the Clan Chiefs have no right to control tartans. They have authority to do so, but it is by the authority of the clan they represent that they might do this. They do not have the authority of the government, for example. If a Clan Chief says that a certain tartan should not be worn by clan members, then this surely extends to those who view him as an authority figure, namely clan members among others. The Chiefs can not actually prevent those outside their authority from donning the tartan.

    As for allegiance, I was trying to point out that the fealty mentioned in the original post was a little outdated. Indeed pledging alliegance as you described it might leave one open to charges of treason. This is not to say that people putting on a tartan are not signifying a certain closeness with the Clan Chief and acknowledging him through their tartan. But no one can expect feudal allegiance any more.

    I never said we should bear no regard for tradition. Indeed, I appealed to good taste at the end of it. I believe that being mindful of others traditions is important and it shouldn't be disregarded. If a clan chief wishes to have a certain tartan reserved for himself and his family (a rare occurance), then one should bear that in mind. But I don't feel completely bound by everything a Chief says either. Different horses, if you will...

    Anyway hope that cleared up what I was trying to say.

  2. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKiltedWonder View Post
    I'm sorry I brought the Lord Lyon into this discussion. His area of concern is heraldic matters. He does't busy himself with tartans, aside from recording official clan tartans at the wishes of the clan chiefs, as far as I know.
    In addition, I was saying that the Clan Chiefs have no right to control tartans. They have authority to do so, but it is by the authority of the clan they represent that they might do this. They do not have the authority of the government, for example. If a Clan Chief says that a certain tartan should not be worn by clan members, then this surely extends to those who view him as an authority figure, namely clan members among others. The Chiefs can not actually prevent those outside their authority from donning the tartan.

    As for allegiance, I was trying to point out that the fealty mentioned in the original post was a little outdated. Indeed pledging alliegance as you described it might leave one open to charges of treason. This is not to say that people putting on a tartan are not signifying a certain closeness with the Clan Chief and acknowledging him through their tartan. But no one can expect feudal allegiance any more.

    I never said we should bear no regard for tradition. Indeed, I appealed to good taste at the end of it. I believe that being mindful of others traditions is important and it shouldn't be disregarded. If a clan chief wishes to have a certain tartan reserved for himself and his family (a rare occurance), then one should bear that in mind. But I don't feel completely bound by everything a Chief says either. Different horses, if you will...

    Anyway hope that cleared up what I was trying to say.
    thekiltedwonder is quite correct in his statements about the Lord Lyon; the Lyon Court really has nothing to do with tartan. Lord Lyon deals with heraldry.

    However, I disagree with your comments about treason. I don't know of any chief that requires modern-day clansmen to swear fealty to them.

    I certainly don't copy everything my chief does, but I do look to him for guidance concerning matters involving my clan.

    Regards,

    Todd

  3. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by slohairt View Post
    I agree, some didn't betray their folk. That's why I said more or less. But I'm not judging them by modern standards either. Those in the past who betrayed their clan turned their back on a centuries-old system. I suspect in their day they were judged quite harshly by their clansmen. Later, once their responsibilities were gone, they festooned themselves in Highland finery, concocted some romantic fantasies, and almost mocked the system they themselves had in hand in destroying.

    As for the modern chiefs, it's the hereditary office I dislike, not the individuals themselves. They certainly can't be judged by the actions of their ancestors anymore than the rest of us could. I just think elected chiefs would be closer to the original system of Tanistry.

    As for Irish chiefs, well, I think you'll find there is little regard for them among many in Ireland.
    Point well taken. I'm not so sure about the idea of elected chiefs; if I remember correctly, the issue of Tanistry is a well-debated one among scholars. But I do understand what you're getting at.

    Regards,

    Todd

  4. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajunscot View Post
    However, I disagree with your comments about treason. I don't know of any chief that requires modern-day clansmen to swear fealty to them.
    Sorry, I didn't mean that such feelings were treasonous or that most clan members swore fealty in that manner. I was replying to this assertion:
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Patrick View Post
    They go on to say the wearing of the tartan means that the wearer gives their allegiance to the chief. Allegiance is a duty of fidelity said to be owed by a subject or a citizen to his state or sovereign. In that sense it represents the feudal liege homage, which could be due only to one lord. So much for wearing more than one clan's tartan.
    I just felt that such "allegiance", that which mimiced the fidelity of a citizen to a state, would be a bit over the top. Not to disrespect the clan chiefs, but carrying it that far would be a bit much.
    Last edited by TheKiltedWonder; 15th December 07 at 05:35 PM. Reason: fixed my quote tags and nonsensical sentences

  5. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKiltedWonder View Post
    I'm sorry I brought the Lord Lyon into this discussion. His area of concern is heraldic matters.
    This is very true; however, I think people look upon tartans from two different perspectives, and these two groups are going to take the word of a chief seriously in regard to tartan matters. In other words, they will be less likely to wear a tartan a chief does not want them to wear. First, there are a lot of people who look at tartan as being closer aliened to heraldry. This group sees tartan much in the same way as having a coat of arms related to that of the stem arms of a surname. For someone not actually bearing the surname of a clan, this group would suggest wearing an Universal tartan. For example, in this group, all MacKays would wear the MacKay tartan no matter what.

    The second group sees tartan much more related to genealogy. For example, a MacKay in this group whose ancestors are actually from Islay, might wear the tartan of Clan Donald (the MacKays of Islay were a dependant family of the MacDonalds and bear no genealogical relationship to the other MacKays). This group would be much more interested in the fact that your tartan is related, if not to your own surname, then that of a grandmother, a great-grandmother, what part of Scotland they were from, etc.

    However, there is a third group, and I think we're seeing some of them in this thread. They just see tartan as fabric with little meaning outside of, "I really like it." This group does not care as much about what a chief says. I know a wonderful chief who wants only those of his clan wear the tartan. I think someone who has respect for such things, will not wear that tartan if they are not in the clan.

    My own view is probably the genealogical point of view; however, in the end and in reality, anyone can wear whatever tartan they like. I personally don't have an interest in tartans not related to ancestors of mine. On the other hand, if a chief has expressed a desire that a tartan only be worn by members of his clan, then that should be respected and people should not wear that taran if they're not members of the clan.

    So much for my two cents... and thus endeth the lesson.

  6. #226
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    Time and Place:
    Around home I wear any tartan.
    At Highland Games, I might wear a Hunting tartan, but more likely a Universal or Fashion tartan.
    At a non-Scotland-related event I wear any tartan except one of the US armed services tartans since I am not a veteran.
    I might wear an armed service tartan in a support or celebration circumstance -- and if a vet had my back. Veterans are not issued wings and a halo, so (especially in a drinking venue) some can become aggressively possessive of anything related to their branch of service. Even if itís not ďofficialĒ. Even if they didnít know it existed. Itís just the way things are.

    I want the wearing of the kilt to become more widespread. If it is to become so then tartans need to be widely available and in large variety. To me that consideration must outweigh (Victorian?) tradition, modern gentlemanly preference, and the idea of Clan Dress or Scottish National Dress.

    And if a tartan has become common for shirts and boxer shorts and pajamas etc. then in my view it has become universal by usage.

    I do support formally (manufacture/sales) restricted tartans since those owning them have sought and accepted the narrow availability and cost.
    [FONT="Georgia"][B][I]-- Larry B.[/I][/B][/FONT]

  7. #227
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    I want the wearing of the kilt to become more widespread. If it is to become so then tartans need to be widely available and in large variety. To me that consideration must outweigh (Victorian?) tradition, modern gentlemanly preference, and the idea of Clan Dress or Scottish National Dress.
    Of course, not all of us share this viewpoint. And since the kilt & tartan wouldn't be what it was today without traditional Highland attire, respect should be given to custom and tradition, especially when worn by someone who is not Scottish in nationality and/or heritage.

    I have no problem with anyone wearing the kilt for whatever reason, so long as they respect my reason for wearing it as well; namely to honour my Scottish heritage.

    Regards,

    Todd

  8. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajunscot View Post
    Of course, not all of us share this viewpoint. And since the kilt & tartan wouldn't be what it was today without traditional Highland attire, respect should be given to custom and tradition, especially when worn by someone who is not Scottish in nationality and/or heritage.

    I have no problem with anyone wearing the kilt for whatever reason, so long as they respect my reason for wearing it as well; namely to honour my Scottish heritage.

    Regards,

    Todd
    ESPECIALLY by someone who is not Scottish in nationality and/or heritage? Here I have a different take---I'd be far more forgiving of, say, a Nigerian (or Samoan, or Kazakh, or Russian) who was wearing one of "my" tartans "improperly" (or without sanction) than a Scot who was!

    With that minor quibble, I whole-heartedly agree with Todd's concluding paragraph.

  9. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Cossack View Post
    ESPECIALLY by someone who is not Scottish in nationality and/or heritage? Here I have a different take---I'd be far more forgiving of, say, a Nigerian (or Samoan, or Kazakh, or Russian) who was wearing one of "my" tartans "improperly" (or without sanction) than a Scot who was!

    With that minor quibble, I whole-heartedly agree with Todd's concluding paragraph.
    So would I, Kid. That came out wrong.

    T.

  10. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbpersson View Post
    However, I am NOT Scottish and don't have a drop of Scottish blood but I have already found these tartans that I can wear with pride:

    Chicago - where I was born
    Illinois - where I grew up

    Phoenix Phil
    The Chicago tartan is the University of Chicago tartan, not a municipal tartan and the Illinois tartan is the Illinois St. Andrew's Society tartan, not a state tartan. So these are not strictly general tartans.

    As the family genealogist, I made a list of clans from whom we have a direct descent and have used that when selecting tartans. There was one on ebay in my size that was not on the list, so I did a little research and found that we had intermarried with that clan sufficiently to claim a connection. I feel better if I can trace the connection.

    That said, it is my personal choice to do that, and I have no problem with someone else wearing the tartan as long as they know what tartan they're wearing and treat it with respect.
    Last edited by McFarkus; 17th December 07 at 11:57 AM.
    Animo non astutia

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