Scottish Tartans Museum
The Scottish Tartans Museum * 86 East Main St, Franklin NC 28723 * (828)524-7472 *
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Scottish Tartans 
Colour Guard

the local colour guard marches and performs 
at many museum functions. 

Our colour guard was founded in the spring of 1998 in the town of Franklin, NC, USA, by Carl McSween, to present and guard the standards of our heritage.  We are an honour guard that performs in parades, at opening ceremonies, and special events.  Our premiere performance was at the June 1998 "Taste of Scotland" festival at the Scottish Tartans Museum of Franklin, NC.  We often march in parades with the Highlands Pipes and Drums of Highlands, NC, and are associated with the Scottish Tartans Museum in Franklin.  Our dress consists of the pseudo military regalia of the Scottish Highlander, namely, the tartan kilt.

                                   Ye see yon bonnie sodger as he cams tae the toon,
                                      Wi his twa dogs ahind him an his broadsword hangin doon!
                                              from the Scots ballad, "Bonnie Glen Shee"

     The kilted soldier has long been an object of romanticism, from the days of the Jacobite rebellions on through today.  The old ballad, "Johnny Cope," as written by Robert Burns, tells of the English general, Sir John Cope, who upon awaking on the morning of battle, "Looked between him and the skies and saw them wi their naked thighs, and ran awa in the mornin!"  In WWII the Highland regiments were said to inspire more fear and terror in the German hearts than any other armed force, so much so that the Germans termed them the "Ladies From Hell," an appellation that the Highlanders not only accepted, but revelled in.

                               The standards on the Braes o Mar are up an streamin rarely,
                                     The gatherin pipes on Loch Nagar are soundin loud an clearly,
                                   The heilan men fae hill an glen wi belted plaides an glitterin blades,
                                      Wi bonnets blue an hearts sae true are comin late an early!
                                      from Scots Jacobite song, "The Standards on the Braes o Mar"

     The standard of your chief, the flag of your nation, the banner of your king--these were the brightly coloured banners that symbolized not only what the soldier would die for, but what he lived for.  Home and family, freedom and independence.  The honour of your forefathers.  We carry the flags of our nation and heritage proudly weather marching or posting colours, and guard them as our noble ancestors did in the past.

The Flag of the United States of America:  Also known as "Old Glory," "The Stars and Stripes," or "The Star Spangled Banner."  This flag represents our home country, the United States.  It consists of thirteen alternating red and white horizontal bars, representing the 13 original colonies that rebelled against Great Britain, one of which being North Carolina.  The US Flag is always carried first in marching order, always posted first when posting colours, and removed last when retiring colours.  It is capped with a golden eagle, who always looks forward when we march.  During the national anthem, when all other flags are dipped in respect, the US Flag stands fast and tall.

The Flag of North Carolina:  This flag represents our home state, North Carolina.  It consists of the national colours of red, white, and blue, with the letters "NC," and the dates of statehood and the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.  North Carolina was the eventual home of many Scottish immigrants, both of Gaelic Highland and Lowland or Scots-Irish descent.  Many Highlanders settled along the coast, especially in the Cape Fear River Valley, in the mid-1700s, establishing many Gaelic speaking communities.  The mountains in the western part of the state were settled largely by the Scots-Irish who came south from Pennsylvania or west from Charleston.  Today, North Carolina has more citizens of Scottish descent than any other state in the union, or nation in the world (yes, that includes Scotland). Our colour guard carries this flag in the number two position. 

St. Andrew's Cross:  The national flag of Scotland.  This is the white saltire ("X") against a blue background.  When St. Andrew, patron Saint of Scotland, was martyred on a saltired cross, not believing himself worthy to be martyred on a cross like that of the Crucifixion.  Popular legend says that the Pictish king Angus MacFarlane was preparing to enter battle against a Saxon force in 736.  The night before battle he spent in prayer, and just before day St. Andrew appeared to him and assured him of victory.  During the battle the white clouds against the blue sky formed an "X" in the manner of the cross of Saint Andrew, so frightening the enemy that they withdrew.  After this Angus declared the cross to be the symbol of the Picts in both peace and war.  This story is repeated and told about various battles with various dates, but the cross has long been used in Scotland as such a symbol, as it was common in medieval times for a nation to adopt the banner of its patron Saint.  In 1286 the Seal of the Guardians of Scotland showed St. Andrew on his cross, and by the early 1300s St. Andrew's cross was to be seen as a common banner in both war and peace times.  This flag is to be constantly seen across Scotland today as that country enjoys a resurgence of nationalism.  For myself, I cannot but swell with emotion whenever I notice the clouds forming an "X" in the sky.  Our colour guard carries this flag in the number 3 position.

The Lion Rampant:  These are the Royal Arms of Scotland.  Or, a lion rampant, within a double tressure flory counterflory Gules.  These arms have been those born by the Kings of Scotland since at least the 1200s and are today incorporated into the Royal Arms of Britain, along with the English and the Irish devices. Traditionally, the display of these arms would indicate the physical presence of the king, but they are used in America (far more so than in Scotland) to indicate Scottish pride and nationalism.  In fact, in America, this banner is a more recognizable Scottish flag than St. Andrew's Cross.  By displaying it apart from the arms the other United Kingdom, some measure of Scottish independence is implied.  We carry this banner in the 4th position.

                             Wha will ride wi gallant Murray?  Wha will ride wi Geordie's sel?
                                         He's the floer o aa Glen Isla an the darlin o Dunkeld.
                                      See the white rose in his bonnet, see his banner o'er the Tay.
                                   His guid sword, he nou has drawn it, an he's flung his sheath away!
                               from the Jacobite rallying song, "Gallant Murray" or "Atholl Gathering"

     If you would like more information on the Scottish Tartans Colour Guard, or would like to inquire into having us march or post colours at your event, please call the Scottish Tartans Museum at (828)524-7472.  Carl McSween is our colour sergeant and responsible for our schedule.  If you would like to email us, please do so at <>.  We are a new colour guard and are growing, so if you live in the Franklin, NC area and are interested in marching with us, please let us know!  

(As appearing in photo)
Colour Sergeant Carl McSween
Pat Wise
Matthew Newsome
Alan Wise
Joe Suminski
Skip Taylor
Roger Greeson
R. J. Grady
Ron Park
Jeff Thompson

Also on the roster is official colour guard piper Jean Hayes.  Jean also performs solo pipe music in front of our museum for our guests.  Currently, she can be heard at noon on Friday weekly.  To contact Jean for bookings or other information, email her at <>.

Honorary Guardsmen:
Walter J. Taylor, retired Drum Major for the Highlands Pipes & Drums
Col. Prof. V. Helmut von Braundle-Falkensee, Laird of Bladnock and Lochanbards, Grand Master of the Order of St. Andrew

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