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  • Name of Tartan:
    Polaris (Military)
  • ITI Number: 222
  • Category: Military
  • Designer / Source: MacIntyre of Strone, Alexander
  • Date: 1964
  • Slog: BKB:BKB
  • Colour Sequence: BKBKBKGOKBKOGKBKB
  • Thread Count: Available to STA members only
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Polaris (Military)
  • Notes: Designed in 1964 by Alexander MacIntyre of Strone, Strone House, Argyll for the officers and men of the American Submarine base at the Holy Loch - making the Polaris submarine the first ship in history to have its own tartan. The idea came from Captain Walter F Schlech of the USS Proteus AS19 who was Commander of the submarine squadron. The Lord Lyon of the time apparently exploded when the tartan was submitted to him and is quoted as saying "We don't record tartans for submarines. It is nonsense. I have never heard of a ship's tartan in the whole history of Scotland!". While not necessarily tartan-related, mention should also be made of Mission Specialist Laurel Clark, who was killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003. Clark, a Naval Doctor, was stationed at the US Navy submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland with Submarine Squadron (SUBRON 14). According to a number of accounts, she was very proud of her Scottish heritage, and a piper played at her wedding to a fellow naval officer she had met at Holy Loch. On the morning before the tragic accident, Mission Control used Scotland the Brave as the wakeup call for Columbia in honor of Clark. The well-known pipe tune was also played at her funeral, along with Amazing Grace at Arlington National Cemetery. The Polaris (Military) tartan (ITI #222) is worn today by the Pipes and Drums of the US Naval Academy. The navy blue represents the naval uniform, the dark green the depths of the oceans and the Royal Blue and gold overchecks represent the 'Blue' and 'Gold' crews who alternate.
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  • Polaris (Military)
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