Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kilt me a resolution, lad

In the Legislature this year, there is a House resolution that would support Tartan Day in Hawaii on April 6 of every year.

Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors. It's the fabric the Scots and Irish use to make kilts, and what we in America call plaid and use to dress up catholic school girls.

The resolution names a few notable persons of Scottish heritage who have contributed to the development of Hawaii, including Captain Alexander Adams, a confidant of King Kamehameha the Great and James Campbell, the founder of the underground fresh water table that irrigated the dry Ewa plain to grow sugarcane.

Photo (L-R): Rep. Manahan with Lillian Cunningham, Douglas Herring and Heather MacGregor, supporters of the "Tartan Resolution."

Did you know that our state has its own tartan that honors the ali'i with red and yellow bands? This is what it looks like:

Douglas Herring, vice-chieftan of the Caledonian Society of Hawaii, created the tartan with Hawaii's unique history in mind. He combined blue squares to represent Hawaii's oceans and skies, green squares to symbolize Hawaii's landscapes, and finally brown stripes that connect all the colors to represent the people of Hawaii.

Tartans were originally regional symbols that represented different areas of Scotland, Ireland and other Celtic countries. Today several states, military organizations and sports teams have adopted their own tartan creation, and many of them are registered with The Scottish Tartan Authority, including Hawaii's Tartan.

Several representatives stood in support of the resolution at today's House session, siting Scottish ancestry and revealing the contributions relatives have made to the state. Rep. Robert Herkes, for example, was born in Scotland and his Scottish grandfather built the first concrete building on the Big Island.
Rep. McKelvey added in a surprisingly convincing Scottish accent, "Thank you very much lad." Seeing this resolution pass through the legislature is like having "fine haggis on a dew scot morning."
Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish made from lung, liver and heart of a sheep and mixed with oatmeal and spices than stuffed into the sheep's stomach. Yummy!! You can serve them with tatties and neeps as well. (That's potatoes and turnips to ye.)

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