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Tartan Ferret

STA Arms

STA Coat of Arms

Some years ago now, it was suggested by one of our Members - Charles McKerrell of Hillhouse - that the time had come for the Authority to petition The Lord Lyon King of Arms to grant us our own Coat of Arms. Charles kindly agreed to help and after discussions with him and with Lord Lyon, we settled on the elements that ought to be included - a shuttle, an ell measure and, at Lyon's suggestion, a book to indicate the educational side of the Authority's work. Lyon also suggested that we should include in the shield what is known as a fret and that it should be white on blue. This would serve two purposes - the design of a fret is suggestive of the weaving process (one over . . one under) and the white fret on a blue background would also mirror the white St. Andrew's Cross on a blue ground that forms the Scottish flag - the Saltire.

For those unfamiliar with an ell, this was an old measure used in various countries: In Scotland it equaled 37 inches, in England 45, in France 54 and in the Low Countries only 27 inches. One of the benefits of metrication has obviously been some degree of standardisation!
Finding the right motto was of paramount importance and the ideal blend of tradition, solemnity and relevance was found in the most ancient livery company of London - The Worshipful Company of Weavers. Founded in the year 1130 it was awarded a Royal Charter in 1155 and its motto was - as you've guessed - Weave Truth with Trust.

With the basics decided, Lord Lyon was then able to issue the Blason - the verbal description of the Coat of Arms in heraldic language shown below. The final stage was then down to one of the Heraldic artists to translate the Blason into a full colour rendition of the arms. The design has met with widespread approval - strikingly simple and elegant has been the most frequent compliment.

The Blason
To all and Sundry whom These Presents Do or May Concern. WE Robin Orr Blair, Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order, Writer to Her Majesty's Signet, Lord Lyon King of Arms, send Greeting: Whereas, THE SCOTTISH TARTANS AUTHORITY LIMITED, having office at 51 Atholl Road, Pitlochry in the County of Perth, having by Petition unto Us of date 26 May 2003 Shewn: THAT the said Company was established of date 27 December 1995 in terms of the Companies Acts 1985-1989; THAT the said Company was formed by tartan weavers and others with the purpose of inter alia establishing the International Tartans Centre to house historical artefacts, to promote tartan and Highland dress, to develop an educational programme and to initiate, wherever possible, research into the development of tartan and Highland dress; AND the Petitioners haying prayed that there might be granted unto them such Ensigns Armorial as might be found suitable and according to the Laws of Arms Know Ye Therefore that We have Devised, and Do by These Presents Assign, Ratify and Confirm unto the Petitioners the following Ensigns Armorial as depicted upon the margin hereof and matriculated of even date with These Presents upon the 90th page of the 81st Volume of Our Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland videlicet Azure, fretty Argent, in chief a shuttle and in base an open book Proper binding and fore-edges Gules. Above the Shield is placed an Helm suitable to an Incorporation (videlicet:- a sallet Proper lined Gules) with a Mantling Azure doubled Argent and on a Wreath of the Liveries is set for Crest a band in pale Proper holding an ell measure Sable, and in an Escrol over the same is set this Motto "WEAVE TRUTH WITH TRUST"; by demonstration of which Ensigns Armorial the said Company is, amongst all Nobles and in all Places of Honour, to be taken, numbered, accounted and received as an Incorporation Noble in the Noblesse of Scotland: In Testimony Whereof We have Subscribed These Presents and the Seal of Our Office is affixed hereto at Edinburgh, this 3rd day of August in the 53rd Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her Other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, and in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and four.













© Scottish Tartans Authority
Scottish Tartans Authority (Scottish limited company no. 162386), c/o J & H Mitchell, 51 Atholl Road, Pitlochry, PH16 5BU
Scottish Charity Number SCO24310

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