January is a celebratory month for those of Scottish descent, starting with the first footing on New Year’s Day and followed by the birthday of Scotland’s national poet, Robbie Burns, on January 25. . Burns wrote both in the Scots language as well as in standard English and his poems and songs became famous the world over. His song Scots Wha Hae served as Scotland’s unofficial national anthem for years and Burns himself came to be regarded as a cultural icon.
Symbols represent our identity and how we understand each other, both past and present. Some may ask why a tartan is a symbol for British Columbia. The B.C. tartan was initially created to mark the double centenaries of the union of B.C. and the Confederation of Canada in 1966 and 1967. It was eventually recognized in legislation through the British Columbia Tartan Act of 1974.
The provincial tartan has five colours, each with its own significance: blue for the ocean, white for the dogwood, green for the forests, red for the maple leaf, and gold for the Crown and the sun on the shield and flag.An official tartan pays tribute to the many and varied contributions of Canadians of Scottish ancestry to Canada. Sir John A. Macdonald and other fathers of Canadian Confederation, who laid down the legal and legislative basis for the new nation of Canada, were Scots. The direct impact of Scottish culture on Canada has been and continues to be significant.