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Scotland’s War tartan commemorates the role played by Scots in World War I


A new tartan, designed for the Scotland’s War project, honours the roles played both by servicemen and women and those on the Home Front in the Great War, particularly those who gave their lives for their country.

The tartan was conceived by Professor Yvonne McEwen, project director of Scotland’s War, a project that works to provide opportunities for people around Scotland to participate in its public engagement education, arts, and cultural activities, and to learn about the war and its consequences in meaningful ways.    

Tartan unveiling

The tartan was unveiled at the Craiglockhart campus of Edinburgh Napier University, where Professor McEwen explained the reasons for creating the Scotland's War tartan: ‘To me, having a tartan was the most obvious and unifying thing for Scots and the Scots Diaspora.

‘There are so many regimental tartans, but no particular ones for the Great War.

‘Yet we are an old nation and a battle-weary nation who lost between 100,000 and 130,000 lives in that war alone. No consistent figure exists for the number killed, but per head of population Scotland contributed more than any other nation for people fighting in the war.’

Tartan designer Hamish Carruthers, who gave his services in designing the Scotland’s War free of charge, added: ‘I was delighted to be asked to design “Scotland’s War”. It has five colours and as well as the scarlet, there’s khaki to represent army regiments; grey for the royal Flying Corps and Air Force; navy blue for the Royal Navy and its supporting organisations such as the Merchant Navy and gold for the Lion Rampant and to represent the light coming back in 2018.

The tartan was produced by Lochcarron of Scotland and has been registered in the official Scottish Register of Tartans

For more on Scotland’s War (1914-1919), visit the project website where you can explore more than 2,000 pages reflecting the significant sacrifice made by the people of Scotland on the home and fighting fronts in World War I. The Scotland’s War (1914-1919) Project will continue until the centenary of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919, which ended the war.

Mary Queen of Scots magazine


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