Canadian Fashion Connection – The Maple Leaf Tartan

Canada’s tartan was created by designer David Weiser for the manufacturer Highland Queen in 1964 in anticipation of Canada’s 1967 centennial celebrations of Confederation. Known as the Maple Leaf tartan, the pattern incorporates the green of the leaves’ summer foliage, the gold which appears in early autumn, the red which appears with the coming of the first frost, and the brown tones of the fallen leaves.

The design was not internationally recognized until 2008 when Heritage Minister Jason Kenney registered the design with The Scottish Register of Tartans who catalogued the design as #2034 and reserved the rights of use to the Government of Canada.

On October 21, 2010, the Government of Canada announced that April 6 would be formally recognized as Tartan Day, but Canada had not yet officially adopted the Maple Leaf Tartan; so in December 2010 Senator Elizabeth Hubley moved a bill to have the government adopt the tartan as an official symbol of Canada.

Guy Lombardo wearing Maple Leaf tartan tux jacket

It was announced on March 9, 2011 the Maple Leaf Tartan was now the official tartan of Canada. The Second Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment Pipes and Drums adopted the Maple Leaf Tartan once National Defence Headquarters approved it for issue for Canadian Forces pipers and drummers who did not have an existing affiliation. The Maple Leaf Tartan is now considered an official emblem of Canada, along with the Coat of Arms and National Flag.

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