Siol nan Gaidheal
NATIONAL TARTAN DAY
As a Scottish ultra-Nationist organisation whose very name, Siol nan Gaidheal (Seed of the Gael) articulates the inheritance and decendance of our historic national and cultural community thrown to the four winds through centuries of emigration (both voluntary and enforced) and deportation, we regard as paramount the maintaining of a dialogue between all of Scotland’s far-flung children, home and abroad, and it is in this spirit that we remember the particular experiences of the American diaspora and salute their contemporary progeny.
Americans of Scottish origin are thought to number 23 million today and while many are proud of their links to Scotland and celebrate their cultural inheritance vociferously at Highland Games and in Caledonian or Burns Clubs, it is a constant source of regret for many of us in Scotland that so little is still done to reassert the bonds of friendship and mutual descent that binds Scots at home and those of Scottish descent on the other side of the Atlantic. Its all very well that Scots/Americans attend and join the aforementioned Clubs and take the obligatory visit back to the “auld country” at least once in their lives, and feel that the dollars they spend whilst here will help to keep the Scottish economy afloat, and therefore “have done their bit”. Instead, we would ask them to take a deeper interest in exactly what in going on in Scotland politically and culturally, and aid and support us during the difficult years ahead as we struggle to achieve our rightful place as a free independent nation.
The recent news about Tartan Day has gone some way in assuring us that our people in America are aware of our country’s existence, so for this we say...God Bless America and congratulations to the American people and in particular to the United States Congress and all Scottish Americans for the successful campaign which led to the decision by the U.S. Senate to declare 6th April , the date of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, as National Tartan Day. This is a victory for all Scots and those of Scottish descent from all around the world.
Tartan Day is a celebration of all things Scottish and a recognition by the American people and Senate that 6th April 1320, the day that Abbot Bernard of Linton and the Earls and Barons of Scotland signed The Declaration of Arbroath is to quote Trent Lott, the Senate majority leader “an important day in the history of all free men” the Declaration of Arbroath was an inspiration for that other great document of liberty, The American Declaration of Independence.
There is a direct line of ancestry from the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath which put the rights of personal liberty and popular sovereignty above the privileges of Kings, to the great American war for freedom and independence against an English dominated Britain in the 18th century.
Tartan Day honours Scotland’s role in the human struggle for liberty. It is, we would hope, a sign of recognition in the contemporary world by the United States for a kindred nation struggling to be free. It is fitting that the torch of freedom ignited by the Scottish people in 1320 should be symbolically passed back to us by America, “ the land of the free”, with encouragement and assistance to achieve our goal, Scotland, also “the land of the free”.
Freedom, as the United States of America knows only too well, means complete political independence and democracy. It has nothing to do with the half-measure Parliament grudgingly ceded to us by the British Labour Party and endorsed by the Scottish people in the Devolution Referendum of 1997. Power devolved, as the late Enoch Powell so rightly stated, is power retained by the English State. It was not possible to set a limit to the concept of freedom in America, and it is not possible to do so here in Scotland in this day and hour.
The struggle for Scottish Independence is an ongoing one and there will be many hardships ahead, but it is encouraging to those of us in Scotland who have been involved in the National Movement all our lives, to see such a magnificent gesture of support coming from the American people and especially Scottish Americans to whom our heartfelt thanks are due.
Let us then celebrate the special relationship between Scotland and the United States of America. Let us join together with the tens of millions of Scottish Americans to commemorate not only that great document of freedom, The Declaration of Arbroath, but also the contribution to American life made by Scots and those of Scottish ancestory.
There is much to celebrate, it is accepted that 21 Scots were among the 56 signatories of The American Declaration of Independence. A Dumfries and Galloway man John Paul Jones, founded the U.S. Navy. Another American revolutionary hero was Alexander McDougall, born in Islay, Scotland, and went on to run the military academy at West Point. There were dozens of U.S. Presidents of Scottish ancestory, from George Washington to Bill Clinton. Enterprising Scottish industrialists like tycoon Andrew Carnegie built up America and Scots-born environmentalist John Muir helped to preserve America’s natural heritage. Scots inventors like Alexander Graham Bell gave America the edge in technology.
The contribution of the Scots according to the Senate resolution which brought in National Tartan Day has led to America’s pre-eminence in the fields of Science, Technology, Medicine, Government, Politics, Economics, Architecture, Literature, Media, Visual and Performing Arts. (See list of notable Scots & Scottish Americans).
Scottish Americans “boldly went where no-one had gone before”, the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong’s family came from Langholm in Dumfriesshire and of course it wasn't Christopher Columbus who discovered America in the first place, it was a 15th century Scot called Henry Sinclair of Orkney.
National Tartan Day marks a milestone for all of us who have struggled to raise Scottish conciousness and thereby increase the self-confidence of Scots to claim once more for Scotland a place among the nations of the world.
Americans of Scottish ancestory and especially those who campaigned to get the Senate to pass the Tartan Day resolution should feel proud of their very valuable efforts, enjoy the success of this important victory, remember your roots and your ancestral homeland, Scotland/Alba, but more importantly, spare a thought for the Scots still living here, spare a thought for the struggle to gain independence, spare a final thought for Siol nan Gaidheal and others like us who continue to dedicate our lives to the cause of Scotland’s freedom, without Scotland free and whole again there can be no Scottish heritage with any real meaning or significance in the world.
We in Siol nan Gaidheal continue the fight for Scotlands Freedom:
“For liberty alone which no good man loses but with his life” Saor Alba
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