The story of the official HBC tartan


Tartan Boys

HBC members at our 2014 Burns Supper. From left to right: Stewart Cameron, Stewart Greig, John Lewandowski, David Glover, Duncan McGregor, Paul Roy.


At its March 1, 2012 monthly meeting, the Halifax Burns Club formally endorsed a motion to adopt its own tartan. The initiative was spearheaded by (then President) John Lewandowski and Innis Campbell (owner of the Scottish Lion shop). The intent was to create a design that met two purposes. The tartan could be used to create a kilt by members who do not have clan affiliations.  It would also reflect our organization and serve to identify members.  This design has become part of our Club image at Club events.

The Nova Scotia tartan was designed in 1953 by Bessie Murray and its colour heraldry included: blue representing the ocean; light and dark green the evergreen and deciduous trees; white the surf; gold the Royal Charter of Nova Scotia; and red the Lion Rampant (on the provincial flag).  This history had some influence on the design of the Halifax Burns Club tartan.
Three original colour variations were created for the Halifax Burns Club tartan.  All three were put forward for an online vote.  All incorporated dark blue and the cerulean blue of the Scottish St. Andrew’s Saltire (cross) and the Nova Scotia flag.  The different options featured yellow, grey, and red accents.

At the April 5, 2012 meeting the results were announced.  The tartan with the gold central line was the clear preference in the voting.  At the Annual General Meeting on June 1, 2012 the Club reconsidered the matter.  A vote to rescind the previous decision was defeated, and the original selection was declared official.

When the Halifax Burns Club has completed the application information required to register our tartan with the Scottish Register of Tartans, registration details will be added to this history.

DC Dalgleish Ltd. has also designed a tartan sett called the Halifax Burns Club ‘Ancient Palette’ using five thread colours from the traditional more subdued colour palette.  The ‘ancient palette’ tartan sett is not used by the Halifax Burns Club.











The heraldry of the sett of the Halifax Burns Club Tartan (registered with DC Dalgliesh Ltd. in four different wool or silk weights in a five ‘modern palette’ colour arrangement) is:

Dark Blue:  Representing the Atlantic Ocean bordering Nova Scotia, across which our Scottish ancestors travelled to settle New Scotland

Cerulean Blue:  From both Scotland’s St. Andrew’s Saltire Cross, and the cross on the Nova Scotia provincial flag

Grey:  Hodden Grey from Burns’ life as a lowland farmer

White:  Representing NS coastal granite rocks and coastal surf (from the NS tartan)

Gold:  Representing the NS Royal Charter (from the NS Tartan and Provincial Crest)


History compiled by Stewart Cameron and Fred Leafloor