Scottish Society celebrates National Tartan Day on Saturday

This is a sample of the Martha's Vineyard tartan which can be worn by anyone who considers himself to be a Vineyarder.

This is a sample of the Martha's Vineyard tartan which can be worn by anyone who considers himself to be a Vineyarder.

For Scots and would-be Scots, Martha’s Vineyard now has its own tartan, a woven wool cloth in a pattern that signifies kinship with a particular Scottish clan.

The Scottish Society of Martha’s Vineyard will unveil the Vineyard tartan at a celebration of National Tartan Day, created by an act of Congress in 1998, at 2 pm at the Chilmark Community Church on April 7.

The highlight of the event will be a ceremonial unveiling of the newly created Martha’s Vineyard District Tartan. Steve Ewing of Edgartown, the son of Jo-Ann and Harvey Ewing, co-founders of the Society, will present the tartan to Christopher Scott, the Society’s president. The tartan represents the dual Stewart-Mayhew heritage of the Island, and will be available for use by anyone who considers himself an Islander.

Tartan scholar Philip Smith, a direct descendent of Governor Thomas Mayhew, designed the tartan. Mr. Smith, professor emeritus of languages and linguistics at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, designed the tartan with a blue for the sea, white for the surf, and green for the Island.

It has black stripes in memory of those men of the Vineyard who died at sea. “I hope that the tartan is meaningful to those who live on the Vineyard and to those who visit the Island each year,” Mr. Smith said.

Although National Tartan Day is April 6, the celebration was scheduled on April 7 to avoid Good Friday. April 6 is also the date the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320, the so called Scottish “Declaration of Independence.”

The festivities will include Scottish music and Scottish egg decorating for the children. Refreshments will be served.

Admission is free. Refreshments will be served. For more information contact Ed Pierce at epmv@comcast.net, or 508-560-0490.