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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Scottish News: "CLAN MOTTOES"

Mo Cinneadhean agus Mo Chairdean:

Here is a news report which I'm certain will interest you because it mentions OUR clan!

The report originated in the "SCOTSMAN", and I saw it posted at "THE BLOOD IS STRONG" discussion forum.

The web site URL for the "SCOTSMAN" is:

By registering (which is free) and logging in at the "SCOTSMAN" web site, you may submit your own comments regarding the news report.

The web site URL for "THE BLOOD IS STRONG" discussion forum is:

I am especially grateful to Daibhidh Mac Coinneach, a retired firefighter in Vancouver, British Columbia for posting this article at "THE BLOOD IS STRONG" discussion forum web site.




DATE: Tuesday 12 September 2006

SCOTLAND'S clans are famed the world over for their tartans and traditions, but they have another, often overlooked but illuminating, symbol of their heritage.

The family motto, which often features on the personal coats of arms held by the clan chiefs, are thought to have originated as battle cries in medieval times.

Whether they were written in Scots, Gaelic, French, Latin, or English, all clearly aim to instill a deep sense of pride in the traditions of a particular family or clan.

While a few families, like the Brodies or Camerons, share the simple motto "Unite", most try to encapsulate their strengths and virtues.

Not surprisingly, many emphasise the courage and bravery needed to go into battle.

For example, the potentially foolhardy "Danger is sweet" is the motto of the MacAulays, while the Gunn family motto, "Either peace or war", sounds almost as belligerent.

The Robertson motto, "Glory is the reward of valour", inspires with thoughts of victory.

Other mottoes are concerned with the patience needed to survive adversity.

The Lindsays urge their family to "Endure with strength", while the MacIntyres stress their dogged determination with "Per ardua" or "Through difficulties".

Some families acknowledge that bravery comes from overcoming fear, like the MacNabs' motto "Let fear be far from all".

Others focus on intelligence or cunning rather than brute strength, such as the Erskines' "I think more".

Many mottoes also extol the virtues of faith, or even fear, in God, for example the Munros' "Dread God", while the Craig family urges, "Live for God and you shall have life".

Meanwhile the McKinnons prefer to acknowledge that luck, and not only God, also needs to be on your side as, "Fortune assists the daring".

The idea of serving ones king and country appeal to some clans, while others appear less enamoured of their rulers.

The McGregors' motto, "Royal is my race", refers to their claim to be descended from Griogar, son of Alpin, a king of Dalriada, while the Henderson motto, "Virtue alone ennobles", gives an altogether different perspective.

A few mottoes also have stories behind them.

The Cunningham motto, "Over fork over," stems from the legend that a Cunningham hid King Malcolm III and covered him with hay.

The motto of the Clan MacPherson with its modern-day translation urges its clanspeople to "Touch not the cat without a glove".

But if there is one Scottish family motto that needs little or no explanation, it must be that of the Wallaces: "For Freedom".

The Wallace motto will be forever associated with the film, "BRAVEHEART ".

Here is the URL for the movie, "BRAVEHEART":

Check out your family motto by clicking on:

Clan mottoes

Here is the web site URL:

(The file can be opened with Acrobat Reader.)


Ain't that so neat?

Because that article was written by a native Scottish lassie, it's particularly interesting to notice the slight differences in how words are spelled in the British Isles and how those same words are spelled in the United States of America.

I encourage you to visit both "THE BLOOD IS STRONG" discussion forum and the "SCOTSMAN" web site and post your own opinions regarding that news report.

You will also enjoy reading the numerous responses that have already been posted by other readers.

Tapadh leibh agus slainte mhath!

Is Mise Le Meas,

John Robert "SAIGON" Mallernee, KB3KWS
Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

NOTE: "My unpopular and controversial personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

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