Sunday, June 3, 2007
There are no strict rules on who has the right to wear a particular tartan. People normally wear only the tartan (if any) of their surname, or a "district tartan" connected with where they live or from where their family came. Wearing a particular clan tartan indicates that the wearer bears an allegiance to the chief of that clan. A tartan which uses the name of a clan may only do so if the chief of that clan has given his approval to the particular design. There is no official government register of tartans. Records of designs are maintained by the Scottish Tartans Authority, a non-governmental institution.
There are two different Crawford tartans to consider wearing: ancient and modern. Generally, the ancient tartan is of lighter colors and the modern tartan of darker colors in the same pattern. There are also tartans called Ayrshire and Lanarkshire, districts of Scotland. There are national Scottish tartans: Black Watch, Hunting Stewart, Jacobite, etc. And there is the St. Andrew's tartan and various province, state, and county tartans. Those whose surname is Crawford seldom opt for national or district tartans because its more appropriate for Clan associates to wear the tartan of the surname they support.
One taboo in wearing tartan is wearing those of two different clans. It has been suggested in the past that a man could wear a tie in his mother's clan tartan, but this is not correct. Even the same tartan tie as one's kilt is discouraged.