Questions and Answers about tartan Page 2

  • What is the official US Navy tartan
  • What is the official US Airforce tartan
  • A question of eighths of an inch
  • Q

    ... noticed that you have the Edzell tartan listed as the
    > U.S. Navy tartan. I know that the tartan was designed for the U.S.
    > Naval Intelligence unit stationed at Edzell, but that there was also the
    > Polaris tartan designed for the submarine base at Holy Loch.


    I was on the original committee establishing the USNA Pipes and Drums. When we were researching which tartan to use we discovered that although both Edzell and Polaris had attachments to the Navy, there is NO official tartan of the U.S. Navy as a whole. We chose Polaris over Edzell for a number of reasons, thus making Polaris the only tartan officially in use by an ACTIVE duty Navy unit. Although there is a pipe band made up of former and Reserve Naval personnel that uses the Edzell tartan, they are not sanctioned by the U.S. Navy. Your site is not the only one to list Edzell as belonging to the U.S. Navy. Hopefully, this has cleared up some confusion.

    MIDN Van Vorst




     Could you please give me more information on the Air Force Corporate Tartan? What Air Force? When and where was it registered?

    I am the leader of the United States Air Force Reserve Pipe Band. I am looking to see who has our tartan registered. It was originally and unclaimed tartan from Strathmor Woolen Mills called the "Lady Jane". We claimed the Lady Jane as the USAFR Tartan in 1987. Do you have the United States Air Force Reserve (USAFR) Tartan listed and a current picture?

    Thank you for your help.

    Jack Story, SMSgt, USAF NCOIC AFRC Pipe Band



    Dear Jack,

    You are correct about the US Air Force reserve tartan. It is also the "Lady Jane" which was adopted (unofficially) by the US Air Force reserve Pipe Band.

    The "Air Force Corporate" is the British Air Force tartan (again unofficial) - the "Corporate" word refers to the category - an attempt to distinguish the tartan from the "Regimental" category, since British regiments use or adopt regular clan tartans.

    The 'rules' are getting a bit out of date, and I think it is very likely that the unofficial status. in both US and UK, will change.

    Best regards,
    Blair Urquhart

    May 2003 - Yes is has changed. The British Air Force tartan is now official. - Ed



    ----- Original Message -----
    From: <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Friday, July 18, 2003 2:07 PM
    Subject: Scottish Tartans

    > Frederick Hogarth
    > Clan: Hogarth of Firhill
    > You probably took the thread count for the Hogarth of Firhill tartan from the Scottish Tartans Society website which took it in turn from the Lyon Register.  Please note that the figures given are one-eighths of an inch, which is something the Society has apparently misunderstood.  This is important because I have just learned that you are about to receive an order for several yards of Hogarth tartan.


    I compiled the STS database back in 1992 and included both the Lyon count (199) and the sample count (198) for Hogarth of Firhill. Our weavers are quite used to multiplying up the threads to match the weight of the yarn. For example, an heavyweight 15oz cloth woven at 40 threads per inch would produce a cloth quite similar to 198, whereas a 10oz lightweight cloth might have six threads in the narrow stripes. The aim in both cases, is to produce a pattern repeat (a full sett) of approximately 6 inches, so that the depth of the pleats in the kilt will be about the length of your fingers - about 3 inches.
    Lord Lyons method of recording tartans changed over the years, but you are quite correct about the measurements used for the Hogarth tartan. I suspect he, (Lord Lyon) also applied the 'Lowest Common Denominator' rule, to reduce the pattern to smallest size at which it could be accurately recorded.
    Best regards
    Blair Urquhart


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