OTTAWA, March 9, 2011 - It's official! Canada's Maple Leaf Tartan, which has been our unofficial national tartan for many years, has now become an official symbol of Canada.
"The Maple Leaf Tartan has been worn proudly and enjoyed by Canadians for decades, but has never been elevated to the level of an official symbol–until now," said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.
"Our national symbols express our identity and define our history. The Maple Leaf Tartan represents the contributions that the more than four million Canadians of Scottish heritage continue to make to our country," added Minister Moore.
The Maple Leaf Tartan was created in 1964 by David Weiser in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of Confederation in 1967.
"The tartan is one of the most visual expressions of Scottish heritage and culture," said the Honourable John Wallace, Senator (New Brunswick). "Making the Maple Leaf Tartan an official symbol of Canada highlights the many significant contributions that people of Scottish heritage have made to the founding of Canada."
The Second Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment Pipes and Drum has adopted the Maple Leaf Tartan, and National Defence Headquarters has approved it for issue for Canadian Forces pipers and drummers who do not have a specific regimental affiliation. It was also featured in costumes worn last year during the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.
On October 21, 2010, the Government of Canada announced that April 6 will be formally recognized as Tartan Day. This April 6, Canadians across the country will be able to celebrate this day with a new official symbol of Canada.
As an official symbol of Canada, the Maple Leaf Tartan joins Canada's most significant emblems, such as the Coat of Arms and the National Flag of Canada.
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Official Languages