Turnbull Clan Association

arbroath scotland
Arbroath, Scotland

Tartan Day originated in Nova Scotia, Canada, because of a proposal from the Federation of Scottish Clans. The Ontario Legislature passed a resolution in 1991 proclaiming April 6th as Tartan Day. The United States began similar action in 1998 which eventually resulted in a House Resolution proclaiming April 6 as National Tartan Day. April 6 is significant as this is the date in 1320 that the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, was signed. It is interesting to note that the American Declaration of Independence was modeled in part after this document. Almost half the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent and the Governors in 9 of the original 13 states were Scottish-Americans.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The purpose of Tartan Day is to recognize the Scottish influence in each country. Below is an excerpt from the US House Resolution 41.

Whereas this resolution honors the major role that Scottish-Americans played in the founding of the Nation… Whereas this   resolution commends the more than 200 organizations throughout the United States that honor Scottish heritage, tradition, and culture… Whereas these numerous individuals, clans, societies, clubs, and fraternal organizations do not let the great contributions of the Scottish people go unnoticed…

new zealand
New Zealand

France also celebrates April 6 as Tartan Day. Australia and New Zealand have adopted July 1 because this is the day Royal Assent was granted to the Act repealing the Act of Proscription, prohibiting the wearing of any Scottish national dress or the playing of bagpipes. Other countries follow suit with various dates throughout the year.


Paris, France

The Declaration of Arbroath is considered one of, if not the most important document of Scotland. The Scots in London organization explains it this way: “The Declaration of Arbroath is probably without doubt the most famous document in Scottish history. It is recognized by many worldwide as the founding document of the Scottish nation. Picture the scene - the English armies were routed at Bannockburn in 1314, however they continued to mount attacks into Robert the Bruce's Scotland in the years that followed.


new york
New York City, NY, USA

“The Pope had not accepted Scottish independence, perhaps partially because Robert the Bruce was out of favour for killing John Comyn, a Guardian of the Realm, in a church in Dumfries in 1306. The Declaration of Arbroath was prepared as a formal Declaration of Independence. Arguably, it has been unequalled in its eloquent plea for the liberty of man. “From the darkness of medieval minds it shone a torch upon future struggles, which its signatories could not have foreseen or understood. It was drawn up in Arbroath Abbey on this day, the 6th April 1320, most likely by the Abbot, Bernard de Linton, who was also the Chancellor of Scotland. The Declaration urged the Pope to see things from a Scottish perspective and not to take the English claim on Scotland seriously. “It used strong words, indicating that without acceptance of the Scottish case that the wars would continue and the resultant deaths would be the responsibility of the Pope. An extract from the Declaration of Arbroath reads:

buenos aires
Buenos Aires, Argentina

‘As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom -- for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.’

“The Declaration was signed and bore the seals of 8 earls and 45 Scottish barons. It was conveyed to Rome and the Pope accepted the Scottish case. “Two key points make the Declaration of Arbroath the most important document in Scottish history. Firstly it set the will and the wishes of the people above the King. Secondly, the manifesto affirmed the nation's independence in a way no battle could, and justified it with a truth that is beyond nation and race.” (www.scotsinlondon.com)

TCA encourages you to wear a bit of tartan on April 6th and join in the celebration of Tartan Day, recognizing our heritage and what the Scots have done to influence the world we live in.


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Ellis Island, New York


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London, England
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