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National Tartan Day is April 6th: Buchanan, the Rock Star of Tartans

When you think of tartan, you probably think of red and black, or red and green. But there are blue tartans and camel tartans and orange tartans. There are stealthy tartans, like the Black Watch, that are meant for blending ninja-like into the night. And then there’s Buchanan, the rock star of tartans.

In its earliest incarnation, Buchanan was probably a simpler block plaid. As weaving capabilities grew, the pattern took on its present look; a cacophony of colors, flashy, wild, and impossible to miss, whether it’s in a shirt:
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A pair of pants:
BuchananPants
 Or the original offering from Pendleton Womenswear, a Pendleton 49’er:
49er
Let’s have a little respect for it in the original form, too. The modern kilt stands out when it’s in Buchanan tartan,
even in the tightly pleated kilt worn by the groomsman pictured below:
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When it isn’t pleated, the full pattern commands attention:
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Sadly, we don’t have anything offered in Buchanan tartan. We last used Buchanan in our Board and Lodge shirts for Fall 2010.

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Shot of the Board Shirt in Buchanan Tartan courtesy of Greenspan’s, the Last Original Clothing Store, of Southgate, CA

Here’s the Buchanan Tartan story from the hangtag:

The Clan Buchanan
“Buth chanain” is Gaelic for “house of the canon,” which may mean that the first of the Buchanan line was dedicated to the ancient Celtic church. In 1282, Morris of Buchanan received a charter of his lands, including the island of Clarinch.
The family’s fortunes were assured by their support of the Bruce cause during the War of Independence, but later reversed. There has not been a recognized Buchanan chief since the late 17th century.
Perhaps the most famous Buchanan is the poet and Protestant reformer George, who was appointed a tutor in classics to the young Mary, Queen of Scots. He also served as the tutor to young James IV after the abdication of his mother, laying the foundation for the intellectual acuity of that monarchy.

You have to root for a clan credited with laying the foundation of a monarchy’s “intellectual acuity,” don’t you?

So as you look at this tartan, appreciating the play of bright colors and the way they intensify each other, keep in mind that this is a very old and respected pattern, representing quite a history. And it does everything it can to live up to the Buchanan clan motto: Clarior hinc honos, or, “Hence the brighter honor.”

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Ah, Buchanan. You’re wild and you’re bright and you’re extremely traditional, all at the same time.

Rock on, Buchanan. Rock on.

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