National Tartan Day – April 6

Celebrating Scottish Heritage

On October 21, 2010, the Minister of Canadian Heritage officially declared April 6 as Tartan Day. It is celebrated on this date because it is the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, a declaration of Scottish independence, made in 1320, which says, in part: “…It is in truth, not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself…”

Source: The Declaration of Arbroath, 6 April 1320/National Records of Scotland, SP13/7

Tartan Day in Canada is an annual observance, which was initiated at a meeting of the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia in 1986. The following motion was put forward: “That we establish a day known as Tartan Day. This to be a day chosen to promote Scottish Heritage by the most visible means. The wearing of the Scottish attire, especially in places where the kilt is not ordinarily worn, i.e.: work, play or worship.”

Source: iStockphotocom/Paul McKinnon

Thanks to the tireless efforts and work of Jean Watson, spanning 30+ years, Tartan Day is recognized by all Canadian legislatures as well as the Senate of the United States.

The tartan is a traditional woolen fabric woven in patterns, striped or checkered (plaid), and has long been a symbol of Scotland. Canada’s national tartan, the Maple Leaf Tartan, was created by David Weiser in 1964, in preparation for the 100th anniversary of Confederation. It has been proudly worn by Canadians over the years, and was given official status in 2010.

Today, join The Flag Shop as we honour and celebrate the more than four million Canadians of Scottish heritage, who represent an important part of our national identity of freedom, cultural diversity, unity and strength.


For more information about tartans, symbols of Scottish heritage and pride, please visit Tartan flags and Highland flags on our website.

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