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Below is an article that was posted in 2003 which gives an account of how the Oklahoma Tartan came to be. Please enjoy the article and if you have any questions or if you would like to become a member just follow the membership link on this website.
Oklahoma tartan lets state residents show true colors
Published: Tue, July 29, 2003 12:00 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY Oklahomans don’t have to have ancestors from Scotland, Ireland or England in order to have a tartan to wear.
There is an official Oklahoma state tartan.
It has been approved by the Lord Lyon, the person bearing that title in Scotland. Oklahoma’s tartan is listed by the Tartan Registry Society.
It was designed by Jerrel Murray of Oklahoma City, a retired Internal Revenue Service revenue agent. He began mulling the idea of a state tartan while on a trip to Scotland in 1996. It took him a few years to get the design worked out and to get the paperwork approved.
But the result is a tartan for all Oklahomans and it tells a lot about the state.
The background color of the tartan is blue: the color of the state flag and Oklahoma skies.
There are lines of red, white, black and gold, which form the plaid. Each of these colors was selected because of its association with the state. They represent the state’s racial diversity as well as other products and entities that identify Oklahoma, Murray said.
There is Red Earth and red clay, and the red and white colors which identify the University of Oklahoma Sooners.
There are red and white Hereford cattle and Black Aberdeen- Angus cattle developed in the Highlands of Scotland.
There are fields of golden grain and the black gold of oil and coal.
Other states and some groups in the United States have tartans, Murray said.
Even the United States has a tartan. It has a black background with the plaid made up of red, white and blue stripes.
Curiously, the FBI also has a tartan and it is very similar to Oklahoma’s tartan. The background is the same blue and it has stripes of dark blue, orange and white.
People of Scottish, Irish and English ancestry have tartans, but they are from different sources. The Scottish tartans are clan or family tartans, used to identify members of a family.
According to information on Irish tartans, one Internet source notes that there are very few Irish family tartans. The Irish are more likely to wear the tartan of the county where their families lived in early-day Ireland. English tartans are from districts.
Oklahomans not of Scottish, Irish or English descent can choose to wear the state’s tartan pattern.
Wanda Nobbe of Edmond sells scarves made from the cloth. She runs Mountain View Weavery and hand-weaves the Oklahoma tartan into scarves. For more information, call her at 341-4998.
For those interested in a kilt, the man to see is Sam Matthews, proprietor of House of Celts, in Pryor. He works with a manufacturer in Scotland who can provide the Oklahoma or other tartans in kilts, scarves and ties.
Murray said kilts are made of a finely woven wool.Historically, only men wear kilts. The one exception is female Highland dancers.
Murray, who founded the United Scottish Clans of Oklahoma Inc., is a wealth of information on things Scottish.
His organization is dedicated to the promotion of Scottish Celtic culture in Oklahoma.
For more information visit the home page of the United Scottish Clans of Oklahoma http://unitedscotsok.com.