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US Tartan Day 6th April 2001

This is a Real Audio Production for U.S. Tartan Day
(Click the links below to listen to our tribute and read it below)

Our Real Audio Production

Our Text & Real Audio Production

Peter D. Wright, Chairman of the Scots IndependentIntroduction by Peter D. Wright, Chairman of the Scots Independent...

Introduction by Peter D Wright, Chairman of the Scots Independent

Welcome to the Scots Independent tribute to US Tartan day - 6th of April - and commemoration of the date when the Scottish Nobles appended their seals to a letter to Pope John XXII at Arbroath Abbey requesting that he recognise Scottish Independence.

In any other country in the World dates such as 30 November, St Andrews Day (Scotland's Patron Saint); 23 June, Scotland's Day (as promoted by the National Party of Scotland, fore-runner of the modern Scottish National Party); and 6 April, Independence Day, would be marked with Public Holidays and National Celebrations - but not in Scotland. So we are very grateful to our American Cousins for instigating 6 April as US Tartan Day in recognition of the input by Scots to the development of the United States of America. 

It is rather ironic that the present Scottish First Minister will be visiting the States for Tartan day when he, in common with his Unionist colleagues, would deny Scots at home the opportunity to participate in any celebration of dates which would remind Scots that until 1707 they were sovereign and free.

The Scottish letter from Arbroath to Pope John XXII marked Scotland's emergence as the first Nation State in Europe in modern terms. Scots in 1320 fully realised the need for Independence and with a devolved Scottish Parliament sitting in Edinburgh once again, we are hopefully on the march towards regaining that full Independence lost in 1707.

I hope that you enjoy this tribute in speech, music and song to US Tartan Day and The Declaration of Arbroath.

Celebrating the Pipes 
(by Gordon Duncan)

Extracts from the Declaration of Arbroath read by Marilyn Wright

The song "1320" by Gaberlunzie 
Visit the SI's Tribute to Gaberlunzie

An Address by James Halliday for US Tartan Day, 6th April 2001

An address by James Halliday for US Tartan Day 2001 
(Historian and author, former National Chairman of the Scottish National Party 
and Lecturer on American History)
Have a read of James Halliday's book "Scotland, the Concise History" 

James Halliday with Peter Wright looking on...If, as we hope and believe, Scots some day can choose the day of their independence, they would perhaps choose April 6th, and enjoy the final attainment of the independence asserted on that date in 1320. The struggle goes on; and in many parts of our country people will be marking the day with ceremonies of their choice. Probably our favourite passage from the Arbroath Declaration is the great statement of commitment...

As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom - for that alone which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

A very personal, and specifically Scottish declaration. 

A not too dissimilar sentiment made by George Washington at Valley Forge some centuries later...

"If all else fails, I will retreat up the valley of Virginia, plant my flag on the Blue Ridge, rally around the Scotch-Irish of that region and make my last stand for liberty amongst a people who will never submit to British tyranny whilst there is a man left to draw a trigger."

But on this coming April 6th we will be reminded that the Declaration was not for Scots alone. It invited the Pope and, through him, Christendom, to listen and respond to Scotland's plea; and it set out the reasons why Scots felt entitled to make these overtures.

Edward I of England had come 

"in the guise of a friend and ally, to harass them as an enemy.
The deeds of cruelty, massacre, violence, pillage, arson,
imprisoning prelates, burning down monasteries, robbing and
killing monks and nuns, and yet other outrages without number"

As years and centuries passed, many other people had shared in these experiences which went with invasion and denial of liberty. For instance, by July 4th 1776, representatives of the Thirteen United States of America were asserting that

"The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of
repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the
establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states".

And George III's misdeeds were then listed and were, as we would say today, "on the record".

It was, of course, one side of the record; "propaganda", if you like, but propaganda is not necessarily untrue or unjust. The Arbroath Declaration has commonly been dismissed as "propaganda" by those Scots - those many Scots - who are angered and embarrassed by any claim to independence made by their more free-minded fellows. But it was more than that. It stood as a kind of example which might be used by others aspiring to freedom. It asserted nationalist principles; and used national terminology much earlier than national awareness had revealed itself elsewhere, and earlier than many modern writers have been prepared to admit. More than that, it offered to future generations a constitutional principle which could merit support - regardless of nationality. Any people disappointed in their ruler might justly

"exert ourselves to drive him out... and make some other man... our king"

In their own subsequent history Scots were quite often to act - or try to act - in accordance with that principle, but through time the principle was taken up and refined by others. The liberal strands in English political thinking are commonly traced back to the writings of such as John Locke and the martyred Algernon Sydney, and from England such ideas were spread. We don't often find English scholars crediting Scottish sources, and some Scottish political thinkers were expressing, in the late 1600s, ideas which English observers assume must have come from Locke. Not necessarily. They may have come without intermediaries from Bernard de Linton's text.

We don't know if Thomas Jefferson ever read the Declaration of Arbroath (though with Jefferson, you never know). But he had read Locke. Furthermore, he had read writings by Lord Kames, the Scottish jurist, and Kames must have been familiar with the words of 1320. Mere coincidence, perhaps; but when Jefferson produced his final draft of the American Declaration of Independence he arranged his text in an order very similar to that of the Scottish Declaration four and a half centuries earlier.

It was not just the Pope who had to be persuaded this time but

"a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they
should declare the causes which impel them. Governments are
instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the
consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government
becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to
alter or to abolish it."

The caution presented to Bruce has been amplified, and given a verbal nobility, but the message is the same. Political freedom means that all government must be by the consent of the governed.

Scots have not been generous in marking historical occasions. They have been too easily embarrassed by all those whose mission has been to foster feelings of inferiority. But across the ocean the leaders of the most powerful and influential country in the world have set aside April 6th as a day to honour Scotland and Scottish contributions to the world's betterment. Let us, with becoming modesty of course, accept and enjoy the friendly gesture; and let us look ahead in fraternity to the anniversary of that other Declaration on July 4th.

One democratic path runs from Arbroath via Philadephia to Gettysburg and onward to achieve government of the people by the people for the people. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for the kind thought of Tartan Day, and for perhaps appreciating that our forebears stepped out on the same path as that trodden by the pioneers of American freedom.

More celebration of the Pipes 
(by Gordon Duncan)

Extracts from the American Declaration of Independence read by Marilyn Wright

Tartan Day and The Declarations

Tartan Day and the Declarations

Declaration of Arbroath at Arbroath AbbeyIN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES November 10, 1997 Mr. Lott submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

RESOLUTION Designating April 6 of each year as "National Tartan Day'' to recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions made by Scottish Americans to the United States.

Whereas April 6 has a special significance for all Americans, and especially those Americans of Scottish descent, because the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, was signed on April 6, 1320 and the American Declaration of Independence was modeled on that inspirational document;

Whereas this resolution honors the major role that Scottish Americans played in the founding of this Nation, such as the fact that almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent, the Governors in 9 of the original 13 States were of Scottish ancestry, Scottish Americans successfully helped shape this country in its formative years and guided this Nation through its most troubled times;

Whereas this resolution recognizes the monumental achievements and invaluable contributions made by Scottish Americans that have led to America's preeminence in the fields of science, technology, medicine, government, politics, economics, architecture, literature, media, and visual and performing arts;

Whereas this resolution commends the more than 200 organizations throughout the United States that honor Scottish heritage, tradition, and culture, representing the hundreds of thousands of Americans of Scottish descent, residing in every State, who already have made the observance of Tartan Day on April 6 a success; and

Whereas these numerous individuals, clans, societies, clubs, and fraternal organizations do not let the great contributions of the Scottish people go unnoticed:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate designates April 6 of each year as ``National Tartan Day''.



The Scots Independent Newspaper is delighted that Sir Sean Connery will receive the Wallace Award on Tartan Day, 6th April 2001. We are pleased that Sir Sean is being so honoured as only the second person to receive the Award; last year the award was given to Trent Lott, the Republican Senate Majority Leader.

Sir Sean, or Big Tam, as he is affectionately known in his native Scotland, is a long time supporter of Scottish Independence and the Scottish National Party. His first public association with the Party was during the Hamilton By Election in November 1967, when he did a voice over for a Party Political Broadcast. Winnie Ewing won what had been a safe Labour seat.

As plain Sean Connery, he actively campaigned for a Yes vote in the 1997 Referendum , which delivered the first Scottish Parliament for 300 years; he was present at the opening of that Parliament, to hear the words "The Scottish Parliament , adjourned on 25th March 1707, is hereby reconvened." spoken by Dr Winnie Ewing, Member of the Scottish Parliament.

Sir Sean was knighted by the Queen in July 2000, an honour long overdue.


Scots Wha Hae Wi' Wallace Bled

The song "Scots Wha Hae" by Gaberlunzie

Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led
Welcome to your gory bed
Or to victory!
Now's the day an' now's the hour
See the front of battle lour
See approach proud Edward's pow'r
Chains and slavery!

Wha would be a traitor knave?
Wha would fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave?
Let him turn and flee!
Wha for Scotland's king an' law
Freedom's sword would strongly draw
Freeman stand and freeman fa'
Let him on wi' me!

By oppression's woes and pains
By your sons in servile chains
We will drain our dearest veins
But they shall be free.
Lay the proud userpers low!
Tyrants fall in ev'ry foe
Liberty's in every blow
Let us do or dee!


If you'd like to monitor Scotland's continued fight for Independence visit the
Flag in the Wind each Friday for up to date analysis and comment.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Greentrax and Gordon Duncan for the pipe music and Gaberlunzie for the songs


And as a postscript to the big day here are two photographs kindly send in by a friend of the site taken on the big day...

Ceremony where Sir Sean Connery was presented the William Wallace Freedom Award
Ceremony where Sir Sean Connery was presented the William Wallace Freedom Award.
Includes Trent Lott and VP Dick Cheney, along with a smiling Sir Sean

Sir Sean Connery
Sir Sean Connery



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