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  1. #1
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    Question Glengarry Question

    Hey brothers. Being a rookie kiltie I probably missed the discussion on glengarry hats. I was wondering what the difference is ? I'm pretty sure red/white diced is worn by drummers in pipe bands and solid blacks worn by pipers ? Well, I've also been told that red/white is "pro England OR pro Queen" So what's the story with black/white diced ? Or Green ?!
    Last edited by JOHNNY FAIRLESS; 17th March 11 at 12:35 PM. Reason: may have been offensive to other users ?

  2. #2
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    No dumb or idiot questions here, maybe some dumb answers but that's another topic.

    Now back to the question, you will not see a lot of glengarries being worn by civilians, mainly balmorals. It is alleged that dicing is usually for uniformed groups or military groups and plain (no dicing) for civilians. You will also find dicing on balmoral and the meaning of it is supposedly the same as glengarries. I pefer no dicing on my balmoral and I don't wear a glengarry.

    Hope this helps. Cheers
    Shoot straight you bastards. Don't make a mess of it. Harry (Breaker) Harbord Morant - Bushveldt Carbineers

  3. #3
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    Pipe bands have all kinds of different uniforms and uniform headgear. In some, pipers wear Glens and drummers wear Balmorals. In others, that's reversed. In some, they all wear the same style headgear, but some wear diced and some plain. In the band I play with, we all wear plain Glens.

    The Royal Regiment of Scotland wears diced Glengarries when in parade dress (as do the pipe bands when they're not in their "no. 1's" - with feather bonnets or bearskins).

    Dicing supposedly means loyalty to the House of Hanover.

    Wear what you like the looks of, as long as you understand some people may question your "right" to wear it. (That goes for a lot of other things in Highland clothing as well.)
    John

  4. #4
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    I can understand why some may like the look of a glengarry, but it doesn't have much practical use. It doesn't shade the sun, it doesn't protect much from rain, and it easily falls off the head when bending over or sometimes just in nodding. I wear it only when I pipe or march in a clan parade, then off it comes. As far as dicing, I've never seen anyone given a hard time about wearing any bonnet with it. My frequent co-convener for my clan association wears a diced balmoral and no one has given him a harsh word for the past 10 years. Where I draw the line is in wearing any sort of red coat. No offence to my British friends here.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Daw View Post
    ... Where I draw the line is in wearing any sort of red coat. No offence to my British friends here...

  6. #6
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    Dicing on both glengarrys and balmorals signifies support for the House of Hanover of which the Queen of England is the present head. You are very unlikely to "offend" even staunch Jacobites like myself by wearing it. Most are unaware of the significance.....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbiethepiper View Post
    Dicing on both glengarrys and balmorals signifies support for the House of Hanover of which the Queen of England is the present head. You are very unlikely to "offend" even staunch Jacobites like myself by wearing it. Most are unaware of the significance.....
    Whether you like it or not, the Queen of England is also the Queen of Scotland. Should the unlikely event of things changing on that particular matter, then of course you would be correct, but until then, might I suggest a realistic view on the subject.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  8. #8
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    I have in the past had this discussion and that of the red pom with Robert Mackies, the last traditional bonnet makers left in Scotland, they are blissfully unaware of any such significance to the dicing, be it red/black/ or red/green/black or any other colour combination.
    Just put it down to the myths that surround the wearing of the kilt

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbiethepiper View Post
    Dicing on both glengarrys and balmorals signifies support for the House of Hanover of which the Queen of England is the present head. You are very unlikely to "offend" even staunch Jacobites like myself by wearing it. Most are unaware of the significance.....
    I have heard this old chestnut for almost twenty years now, and I have never found any documentation for it. Historian Stuart Reid at one time quoted a source that believed that dicing was somehow related to the fess chequy found on the arms of Stewart chiefs (ironically making it a sign of a Jacobite!) but most historians tend to believe that it is an ornamental holdover to a bonnet's threaded ribbon drawstrings.

    That being said, if you do know of a primary source that supports such a claim, I'd love to see it.

    The Royal Regiment of Scotland wears diced Glengarries when in parade dress (as do the pipe bands when they're not in their "no. 1's" - with feather bonnets or bearskins).

    Dicing supposedly means loyalty to the House of Hanover.
    Just a clarification, though: the RRS may wear diced glengarries, but some of the individual regiments that now make up its battalions, most notably the Black Watch, did not. The diced glengarry was a compromise to allow some battalions to continue their "golden threads" after amalgamation.

    I'm afraid this old chestnut has went the way of "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance":

    When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

    Bottom line: if you liking diced bonnets, then wear one. My balmoral (A Mackie from our own Dunadd Trading Co.) has fawn and lovat green dicing.

    And if anyone tries to feed you the myth, remind them that the Black Watch regiment took no battle honours from the Revolution, as it was a war between "kith and kin", according to their regimental history.

    T.
    Last edited by macwilkin; 17th March 11 at 03:50 AM.

  10. #10
    M. A. C. Newsome is offline
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    Like Todd, I have never come across any historical reference that would give specific meaning to any color dicing, or lack thereof.

    If you are wearing a glengarry or balmoral as a part of a uniform (military regiment, pipe band, etc) then of course wear whatever style the uniform requires.

    If you are wearing a bonnet as a part of civilian dress then by all means wear the style you like.

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