to the most recent US
Census, California has up to 5 million
residents of Scots-ancestry. To honor those
residents, California now has an official tartan,
which, like the 2005 addition of the official
State Silver Rush Ghost Town, has recently joined the California
quail, and gold,
on the roster of California insignia.
are woven fabrics Scottish people and their
descendants have long used to represent their
families and their cultural heritage.
California’s tartan, derived in part from the
Muir family tartan, evokes California’s history
and natural splendor. The tartan's blue reflects
the sky, the Pacific, the rivers and mountains,
while the green reflects the Sierras, fields,
forests, and parks. The red, gold, and blue
signify the arts, sciences, and industry of the
people of the state of California.
History Librarian and state insignia specialist
John Gonzales and Susan Hildreth with the
California state tartan.
California Assembly unanimously enacted legislation
in 2001 that made the tartan official. Now, any
California resident may “claim” the California
tartan and share in this distinguished Scottish
tradition. In June 2006 at the California State
Library, State Librarian Susan Hildreth, on behalf
of the California State Library, and Blaine Lamb,
on behalf of State Archivist Nancy Zimmelman and
the California State Archives, received official
tartan banners from Jim Andersen, a key promoter
of the tartan legislation.
receiving the tartan in the State Librarian’s
office was Yolo County Supervisor Helen Mac Leod
Thompson who while a California Assembly person
shepherded the tartan legislation through the
Assembly. Thompson, who “grew up very
Scottish,” says California’s popular Highland
games illustrate how Californians enjoy connecting
to Scottish traditions. The Sacramento
area’s Highland Games are held every year in
Woodland, a bucolic town in Thompson’s district.
games held every year in Pleasanton are the
biggest in the world, including Scotland.
County Supervisor Helen Thompson and State
Librarian Susan Hildreth with the California
more information about the California State
Tartan, please contact Jim Anderson at (818)
716-0963 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.