Saturday, April 4, 2009

National Tartan Day - April 6th

Did you know that Monday is National Tartan Day? So what is Tartan Day, you ask? It’s a day that commemorates the signing of the Scottish Declaration of Independence—a day when Scotland finally won their independence from England after centuries of war.

National Tartan Day has been celebrated in Canada for many years, and in 1998 President George W. Bush signed United States Senate Resolution no. 155 that designated April 6th as National Tartan Day!

The signing of this resolution had a special significance for all Americans, and especially those Americans of Scottish descent, because the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, was signed on April 6, 1320 and the American Declaration of Independence was modeled on that inspirational document.

The resolution honors each year the major role that Scottish Americans played in the founding of this Nation, such as the fact that almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent, the Governors in nine of the original thirteen States were of Scottish ancestry, and that Scottish Americans successfully helped shape this country in its formative years and guided this Nation through its most troubled times. It also recognized the monumental achievements and invaluable contributions made by Scottish Americans that have led to America's preeminence in the fields of science, technology, medicine, government, politics, economics, architecture, literature, media, and visual and performing arts.

Are you of Scottish ancestry, even a tiny little bit? Will you celebrate National Tartan Day, if so, how?

9 comments:

EmilyBryan April 4, 2009 at 10:20 AM  

My maiden name was Tapscott, so I'm thinking someplace in the past, there was a Scot in there somewhere.

Michael Follon April 4, 2009 at 11:59 AM  

'- a day when Scotland finally won their independence from England after centuries of war.'

That is one massive exaggeration.

Here's a chronology of events leading up to the 'Declaration of Arbroath' -

1284 - Acknowledgement of the 'Maid of Norway' as heir of Alexander III,

1286 - Death of Alexander III,

1290 - Death of 'Maid of Norway',

1295 - Treaty with France (the 'Auld Alliance'),

1296 - English occupation,

1297-98 - Rising of Wallace and Moray,

1314 - Battle of Bannockburn,

1320 - Declaration of Arbroath.

I recently wrote a guest post 'Understanding Scottish Independence' which is posted on 'The New England Tartan Day Initiative' blog at www.newenglandtartanday.com/. It can be viewed by clicking on 'Understanding Scottish Independence' in the HOT LINKS - as it is in a 'Scribd' window you may need 'Adobe Flash Player' to fully view it.

Gerri Russell April 4, 2009 at 9:54 PM  

Michael,

Thanks for stopping by the Chatelaines. We appreciate your visit and your comments. And yes, you are absolutely right. The "events" leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath as exactly as you outlined.

However, my take on the whole "centuries" thing is this . . . (excuse me please for simplifying a very complex history here) but there were 263 years of conflict with England that lead up to the signing of that important document.

My blog was not meant to discuss the detailed history of Scotland, it was simply a call for others to celebrate with me on National Tartan Day.

Michael Follon April 5, 2009 at 7:14 AM  

Gerri,

I was probably being a bit pedantic regarding the 'centuries of war'. Most of the Scotland/England conflicts during the 263 year period appear to have been as a result of military raids by Scottish kings into England either by backing the wrong side in civil wars in England, territorial disputes, or just to cause annoyance.

There are three books on Scottish history which I mainly refer to -

'The Lion in the North' by John Prebble, ISBN 0 14 00 3652 0,

'A History of Scotland' by Rosalind Mitchison, ISBN 0 416 27940 6 or ISBN 0416 14450 0,

'Scotland: The Shaping of a Nation' by Gordon Donaldson, ISBN 0 7153 6904 0
.

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner April 5, 2009 at 10:10 AM  

I'm currently writing a Scottish series set in Victorian times, and I've written about Scotland in 1820, and the contributions Scots have made to the modern world are just amazing. Paved roads, steam engines, political theory, economics, practical science . . . Many of the things we take for granted today are a product of Scottish invention.

Not that I'll be eating haggis or marmite any time soon. :-)

I have Scots in me on my mother's side, though its mixed up a bit with other things.

Michael Follon April 5, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

Jennifer,

You write that you've written about Scotland in 1820. From a political perspective I think that you would find the following book interesting -

'The Scottish Insurrection of 1820' by Peter Berresford Ellis and Seumas Mac A'Ghobhainn, ISBN 0 85976 519 9.

Terri April 6, 2009 at 3:19 AM  

I have zero Scot blood. I'm German/Polish. However, my husband's family is English/Scottish and I'll have to tell him about Tarton Day. He has a scarf in the correct Tarton. His family does not belong to a clan but they have a district tarton, Roxbury, I think. Anyway, I'll let him know when I wake him up this morning.

Terri

TIna April 6, 2009 at 9:38 AM  

Hoorah for the kilts!

Bonnie Vanak April 7, 2009 at 8:55 AM  

Wonderful post, Gerri! Thanks for informing us!

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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