A tartan for my ilk

Alerted recently by Beth Linker to an announcement on August 25th from the Scottish Register of Tartans (a UK government agency) that the Pride of LGBT tartan (category: Fashion) has been registered: reference #11871, recorded 7/31/17:

(#1) Pride of LGBT tartan

A note from the register:

Here at the Scottish Register of Tartans, our main function is the registration of new tartan designs and the policy surrounding that function.
Anyone, from anywhere in the world, can register a new tartan (individuals, schools and corporate groups as well as professional designers and weavers) providing that it meets our criteria for registration

Pride of LGBT was created by a professional designer, Brian Wilton, responsible for 93 registered tartans so far. More on him below. His registration note:

A watershed for the modern LGBT movement arose from a series of protests in New York in 1969 and to pay homage to all those involved, this tartan is based on the New York City tartan and incorporates the variety of bright colours used to identify that movement around the world.

(So the tartan is something of a cross between the New York City tartan and the rainbow Pride flag.)

A tartan for my people, my kind, my metaphorical clan, my ilk. A usage note from NOAD2:

In modern usage, ilk is used in phrases such as of his ilk and of that ilk to mean ‘type’ or ‘sort.’

(This is not the historical usage, but it is “the only common current use and is now part of standard English” — and I’m fond of it.)

On one of the sources of the flag, the New York City tartan:

(#2) New York City tartan

reference #3812 (category: District), registered 4/6/02. Designed by Alistair Buchan (Lochcarron of Scotland) to celebrate Tartan Day, 6th April 2002, in New York City on the occasion of the greatest parade of Pipes and Drums ever seen. The tartan was originally called ‘Tunes of Glory’. The colours represent the streets and buildings of New York, with green for Central Park, blue for the rivers (Hudson, Harlem & East) that surround Manhattan and two black stripes to honour the memory of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre destroyed on ‘9/11’. The name of the tartan was changed at the request of Mayor [Rudolph] Giuliani [of NYC, in office on 9/11/01].

On Wilton, from his website:

Frequently referred to as Scotland’s ‘Tartan Ambassador’ , Brian Wilton MBE is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in the art of tartan design. He is frequently consulted by multi-nationals, government departments, charities, conference organisers, families and individuals, all seeking to acquire their very own distinctive tartan. With 15 years’ experience in the field he also offers a complete sourcing and advisory service, from the weaving through to the multitude of uses and products that can flow from his designs.

Another from Wilton’s hand:

(#3) YMCA tartan (division: Charity)

Registration of a tartan carries copyright protection with it, so the designs cannot be used without permission (and, presumably, in many cases, payment of a fee). So we might not see Pride of LGBT added to the patterns available commercial, such as tartan flannel shirts from L.L. Bean (though I’d be delighted to have one). From the current Bean catalog, flannel shirts in a red / green / blue pattern akin to YMCA and a multicolor pattern akin to Pride of LGBT:

(#4) Kilgour flannel shirt

(#5) Buchanan flannel shirt

One Response to “A tartan for my ilk”

  1. [BLOG] Some Wednesday links | A Bit More Detail Says:

    […] Zwicky notes the official registration in Scotland of a tartan for LGBT […]

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