Thursday, 12 August 2010

Celtic Connections

A small island off the Atlantic coast of France has adopted its own tartan to mark its Celtic heritage.

Locals on the island of Ouessant have filed the design with the Scottish Register of Tartans.

The cloth includes black and white stripes which come from the Breton flag and red and yellow to reflect the island's crest.

The tartan was displayed during a visit by MSP Rob Gibson, vice president of the Brittany-Scotland Association.

Designer Serge Cariou said: "A few of us wear kilts on Ouessant, to cock a snook at outsiders as a joke. So, after a trip to Scotland, we thought 'Why not design a tartan in our island's colours'?"

Ouessant, known as Enez Eusa in Breton and Ushant in English, lies about 20 miles off the Breton peninsula, making it the most westerly inhabited territory in France. It shares Brittany's Celtic culture and traditions.

The new Ouessant tartan also has blue and green elements in honour of the robes of ancient Celtic druids and bards, according to Mr Cariou.

He added: "Those are the colours of the Eussaf clan, an ancient family that gave its name to Ouessant.

Jean-Yves Cozan, Ouessant regional councillor said: "This tartan is not a gimmick, it's an act of cultural identity to assert that we have roots."

Mr Cozan authorised the use of the name Ouessant and Eusa for the registration of the tartan.

The Eusa design has been entered on the Scottish Register of Tartans as number 10,236.

Pictured below is me with Jean-Yves Cozan, the Breton Regional Councillor for Ouessant who authorised the tartan design locally.

Pictured up top is myself giving a thumbs up to designer Serge Cariou, holding the tartan swatch and certificate from the Scottish Tartan Authority.

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