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  1. #11
    Join Date
    10th January 19
    Houston, Texas
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    The Irish connection to kilts

    Quote Originally Posted by EdinSteve View Post
    Forgive me for my confusion but can anyone explain what possible connection there can be between Scots and St. Patrick?
    Quote Originally Posted by EdinSteve View Post
    St. Patrick is generally regarded as Ireland’s patron saint and, as such, is not celebrated in Scotland, nor is his saint’s day considered an appropriate occasion for wearing a kilt or other forms of highland dress.
    Kilts and Ireland
    Irish nationalists adopted the tradition of wearing kilts around 1890. So, for the more informed kilt wearers, the connection is between kilts and Ireland, rather than St. Patrick and Scotland.

    I don't know how accurate this is, but I've heard that the original Irish kilts were solid blue (St. Patrick's color). More recently, solid green (for Ireland) and solid saffron (for the leine) are more popular.

    Irish themed tartans go back at least as far as the 1990s. I've been wearing my Irish Heritage tartan kilt this weekend. To me, there's a sufficiently strong connection there.

    Scottish and Irish Heritage
    In the U.S. and Canada, many of the people who have Scottish heritage also have Irish heritage. For example, I have a great great grandmother who immigrated to Canada from Ireland to escape the Irish potato famine. In Canada she met and married her husband, who had immigrated to Canada from Scotland (possibly to escape the West Highland potato famine).

    I also have other Irish and Scottish ancestors, tracing up other lines of the family. This includes Scots-Irish ancestors from the Ulster region.

    Similarly, my wife has Scottish heritage on her father's side, and Irish heritage on her mother's side.

    So the people who celebrate their Irish heritage on St. Patrick's Day may own a kilt to celebrate both their Irish and their Scottish heritage. That attitude may seem odd to someone who is Scottish, but it's a fairly normal attitude for someone who is an American.
    Last edited by Karl R; 17th March 19 at 12:04 PM.
    Trying to look good on a budget.

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    10th October 08
    Louisville, Kentucky, USA (38° 13' 11"N x 85° 37' 32"W gets you close)
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    To follow on from Karl R, there are a couple of other things that don't help in clarifying the distinction between Scots and Irish heritage.

    There are pipe bands that represent 'Emerald Societies', which is an organization for police and firefighters of Irish heritage. For whatever reason lost to history, these pipe bands are organized around the Scottish Highland pipe band format and dress in a pseudo military-style uniform with kilts, spats, feather bonnets, etc. and play the Great Highland bagpipe. They often march in the St Patrick's Day parades.

    There's also the nomenclature "Scots-Irish" or "Scotch-Irish" (not gonna get into which is more correct here - big debate on that in some circles) describing people whose ancestors came from the Northern Ireland/Ulster region. I fall into that category (my great-grandmother was from Toome, County Antrim).

    Since a lot of people in the US don't even learn their own community history very well, learning the difference between two foreign cultures somewhere over there in Great "Brit-scot-ire-eng-wales-shire-land" is a bit of a stretch. Especially since, for a lot of people, the day's just an excuse to go out and get drunk on cheap beer.

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