Celebrate Your Scottish Heritage with Tartan Day

April 6, 2007

The Irish have St. Patrick’s Day.  The Scottish have Tartan Day.  Instead of green beer, enjoy two fingers of oak-aged scotch while watching Braveheart or Rob Roy.  However, you choose to celebrate honor your Scottish heritage and the Scottish-American influence on this country on April 6, National Tartan Day.

Davidson TartanNational Tartan Day was established unanimously in 1998 by the 105th Congress to honor the contributions of Scottish heritage on the development of this country.  April 6th is the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath — the Scottish Declaration of Independence — signed on April 6, 1320.  On this date, Scots declared

“. . . we fight not for our glory, not riches, nor honours, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders, but with his life.”

A declaration not so different from our own Declaration of Independence.  Woodrow Wilson once said,

“Every line of strength in American history is a line coloured with Scottish blood.” 

Our 28th president, Wilson was born in Virginia as the grandson of a Scottish Presbyterian minister.  In fact many of our founding fathers were of Scottish descent — Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Hamilton.  They had a great passion for freedom.

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery?  Forbid it Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take, but as for me; give me liberty or give me death!”

These words were uttered by another Scottish descendant, a great orator whose words started a revolution.  At the Hanover County Courthouse, Patrick Henry ignited the American Revolution in the Parson’s Case in December 1763.  And on March 23, 1776, Henry left his plantation home, Scotchtown, to ride to St. John’s Church in Richmond to deliver these famous words at the Second Virginia Convention.  Henry eventually became Virginia’s first elected governor.

So this year on April 6th, I’m going to put on my tartan, sit back with a glass of scotch and appreciate the freedoms I enjoy not only as an American, but as a Scottish descendant.

Scottish Heritage, American Pride