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Thread: Clan Banners

  1. #1
    MacBean is offline Oops, it seems this member needs to update their email address
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    Clan Banners

    Not sure where to post this, but I've had occasion to cobble together Clan Banners for games or parades. Trouble is, I haven't any clue what is supposed to go on the banner or what shape to make it!

    In Inverness, the banner tended to be a flag carried on a staff, while here they have tended to be horizontal affairs carried suspended form a horizontal pole between two people.

    So of what are they made? What does one put on a Clan Banner? Is it permissible to put a coat of arms on a Clan Banner when representing the Clan or is that for the Chief alone?

    Example photos would be most welcome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacBean View Post
    Not sure where to post this, but I've had occasion to cobble together Clan Banners for games or parades. Trouble is, I haven't any clue what is supposed to go on the banner or what shape to make it!

    In Inverness, the banner tended to be a flag carried on a staff, while here they have tended to be horizontal affairs carried suspended form a horizontal pole between two people.

    So of what are they made? What does one put on a Clan Banner? Is it permissible to put a coat of arms on a Clan Banner when representing the Clan or is that for the Chief alone?

    Example photos would be most welcome!
    Information:

    http://www.fraserchief.co.uk/heraldry.html

    Scroll down to "Flags", and you will see some good examples.

    T.

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    I made my Ferguson clan banner from felt. I inserted a piece of the Ferguson tartan in the middle. I used the clan crest image.

    see:
    http://family.webshots.com/album/580032439wKGTGr

    regards,

    Ina

  4. #4
    MacBean is offline Oops, it seems this member needs to update their email address
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajunscot View Post
    Information:

    http://www.fraserchief.co.uk/heraldry.html

    Scroll down to "Flags", and you will see some good examples.

    T.
    That's almost enough. In NYC, at the Tartan Day Parade, a banner with a badge, but without the name of the clan, isn't going to be much use to the chaps in the reviewing stand who are wondering who is marching past. I'd have thought that at Clan Tents at Games in the US, folks would want to find family names they recognized, and wouldn't want to have to decipher the badges for each.

    It sounds like flags with arms are for the Chief alone. Is that correct? (unclear what "plain arms" are as opposed to "arms").

    And what if we decided to use emblems that were recognizable but not part of the arms (for example, wildcats for Chattan)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacBean View Post
    That's almost enough. In NYC, at the Tartan Day Parade, a banner with a badge, but without the name of the clan, isn't going to be much use to the chaps in the reviewing stand who are wondering who is marching past. I'd have thought that at Clan Tents at Games in the US, folks would want to find family names they recognized, and wouldn't want to have to decipher the badges for each.
    I suppose the simple explanation is that a clansman should recognize his own clan badge (the crest of the clan chief surrounded by the strap and buckle of the retainer)... Perhaps the simplest solution is to have a banner made with the words "Clan MacWhatever" on it in large letters.

    It sounds like flags with arms are for the Chief alone. Is that correct? (unclear what "plain arms" are as opposed to "arms").
    Arms displayed on a flag/banner are used to denote the presence of the armiger. If your chief is in attendance he will probably be accompanied by his flag/banner. If your chief is not present you should not display his personal standard.

    And what if we decided to use emblems that were recognizable but not part of the arms (for example, wildcats for Chattan)?
    The issue with this is that the "emblem" is probably part of the chief's arms (i.e. the crest). If you are going to display the crest of your chief it should be displayed within the strap and buckle, denoting that you are his followers, vice a sign of his personal presence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacBean View Post
    That's almost enough. In NYC, at the Tartan Day Parade, a banner with a badge, but without the name of the clan, isn't going to be much use to the chaps in the reviewing stand who are wondering who is marching past. I'd have thought that at Clan Tents at Games in the US, folks would want to find family names they recognized, and wouldn't want to have to decipher the badges for each.

    It sounds like flags with arms are for the Chief alone. Is that correct? (unclear what "plain arms" are as opposed to "arms").

    And what if we decided to use emblems that were recognizable but not part of the arms (for example, wildcats for Chattan)?
    Some clans will have a banner hanging from their tent with the words "Clan Whatever" to allow visitors to clan row to identify "their" clan tent, as well as a more formal banner as Lady Saltoun describes in her article.

    While I see the need for a compromise to allow folks to more easily identify their clan, I still prefer the recommendations of Lady Saltoun's article, which conform to Highland custom -- if we're going to "play Highlander", we should at least pay some heed to it.

    T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cajunscot View Post
    While I see the need for a compromise to allow folks to more easily identify their clan, I still prefer the recommendations of Lady Saltoun's article, which conform to Highland custom -- if we're going to "play Highlander", we should at least pay some heed to it.

    ***

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    The Lord Lyon and appropriate use of Heraldry including banners

    See the following link, Information Leaflet no. 3:

    http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/lordlyon3.htm

    According the the Lord Lyon, King of Arms of Scotland, clan banners may include a reproduction of the Clan Crest and/or be placed on a correct and registered tartan associated with the Clan. I have often seen the Clan motto and name as a part of the crest on display, but understand this is considered outre. In this case, perhaps a separate banner or sign with the Clan name on it accompanying the group would solve all issues.

    It is acceptable to have the tartan in flag form; on a shield or similar shape, or in the upright or vertical form with sidearms for support, more properly called the Gonfalon.

    Two types of display are not acceptable, and actually outlawed by Scottish law.

    The actual arms, or "coat of arms" and other heraldry of the Chief of Clan, belong only to him or her, and are prohibited from possession or display excepting with expressed permission of the Chief, who is nearly always present at the time of display.

    The second, and most common, mistake involves use of the "Rampant Lion" as a symbol for Scotland. The Saltire or St. Andrews Cross is the flag of Scotland, and the Rampant Lion is appropriately displayed when a member of the Royal Family of England is present in Scotland. At one point a member of the Royal Family "approved" the use of this symbol, but inappropriately, in his absence.

    While it was the original symbol of Robert the Bruce (I believe) it has been "co-opted" by the ruling house of England. Therefore, its display is only appropriate when a member of the Royal House of Windsor (actually Saxe-Coburg & Gotha) are present, or one of their royal appointees for designees. Incidentally, the Lord Lyon, as an appointee of the Crown, is allowed the display of this design.

    A note on Festival and Public Displays from my own experience.

    As a high official in Clan MacNachtan Association Worldwide, I have come to display the Saltire/St. Andrews Cross Flag twice on our Clan tent (the Pictish House of Nactan was the first to supply a sanctuary for the bones of St. Andrew, in 685AD, so we MacNachtans have twice the reason for pride in the flag), a flag of the MacNaughton tartan, and a US flag. I carry a flag with the tartan and Clan Crest; and a banner with our Clan name and Clan crest is carried between two marchers in parades and at "kirkins".

    Hopefully, the Rampant Lion will disappear soon from Celtic festivals and other displays, as it is much too "Sassanach" nowadays. And I note, in passing, that the UK flag or "Union Jack" is also on the eclipse, as most modern Scots prefer to emphasize their unique identity after devolution at the turn of the century.

    Cheers.

    Charlie Weir

    Vice-chairman, Central US, and Regional Commissioner Central USA NE and NW, Pictish Clan MacNactan
    owner and proprietor, The Celtic Shop, Lead, SD USA

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlieweir View Post
    The second, and most common, mistake involves use of the "Rampant Lion" as a symbol for Scotland. The Saltire or St. Andrews Cross is the flag of Scotland, and the Rampant Lion is appropriately displayed when a member of the Royal Family of England is present in Scotland. At one point a member of the Royal Family "approved" the use of this symbol, but inappropriately, in his absence.

    While it was the original symbol of Robert the Bruce (I believe) it has been "co-opted" by the ruling house of England. Therefore, its display is only appropriate when a member of the Royal House of Windsor (actually Saxe-Coburg & Gotha) are present, or one of their royal appointees for designees. Incidentally, the Lord Lyon, as an appointee of the Crown, is allowed the display of this design.

    Cheers.

    Charlie Weir

    Vice-chairman, Central US, and Regional Commissioner Central USA NE and NW, Pictish Clan MacNactan
    owner and proprietor, The Celtic Shop, Lead, SD USA
    Dear Mr. Weir,
    All this silliness about the Royal House of Windsor, the Lion Rampant being "co-opted by the ruling house of England" is ridiculous. The Queen is Queen of Scots. Period. The Royal Arms of Scotland are hers. There is nothing "English" about them.

    Furthermore, the House of Windsor is correct. Your statement that it is "actually S-C G" just is not true. A Royal Proclamation changed that.

    http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/30186/pages/7119

    Kind Regards,
    Sandford MacLean

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    The Lion Rampant flag is believed to have originated from King William I, "The Lion of Scotland".

    Hopefully, the Rampant Lion will disappear soon from Celtic festivals and other displays, as it is much too "Sassanach" nowadays. And I note, in passing, that the UK flag or "Union Jack" is also on the eclipse, as most modern Scots prefer to emphasize their unique identity after devolution at the turn of the century.
    Devolution does not necessarily equal full-blown independence, old boy. At present, Scotland is still a member of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, so there is nothing "incorrect" about a Union flag flying at a Scottish event.

    T.

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