Today is Tartan Day (no really!), so we look at Canada’s new official plaid
Journalists at Vice have already made it quite clear that wearing plaid is quintessentially Canadian, but the federal government decided to make it official earlier this year. Not only did the Canadian government announce in 2010 that April 6 was to be known as Tartan Day across the country, but on March 9 of this year, Minister of Heritage James Moore declared the Maple Leaf Tartan a symbol of Canada alongside the coat of arms, the national flag and, of course, the beaver. While each province has its own specific tartan, the Maple Leaf Tartan, designed by David Weiser in 1964, was inspired by Canada’s environment, featuring green, gold, red and brown tones reminiscent of leaves changing over seasons. Today is meant to honour the contributions Scots have made to the True North Strong and Free: “Our national symbols express our identity and define our history. The Maple Leaf Tartan represents the contributions that more than four million Canadians of Scottish heritage continue to make to our country,” Moore said in a statement.
While the Maple Leaf Tartan already appeared at the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver last year, Torontonians will get to purchase some of this truly Canadian tartan at Green Shag Bespoke. Owner Neil McPhedran says the Queen West bespoke clothier is proud of its Canadian heritage: “We embrace the Canadian tartan for that reason.” Green Shag has been working with the tartan for over a year now, offering everything from full trousers and waistcoats to vests and accessories (like bow ties). We even found a Maple Leaf Tartan scarf at Canadiana-crazed Red Canoe, so this isn’t a gimmick, it’s a bona fide, government-sponsored fact, er, trend.
Even though there’s nothing more ubiquitous than plaid shirts on Toronto fellas, we’re excited to see a brand new Canadian tuxedo. There’s no talk of an appropriate spokesperson for the tartan, but we’re holding our breath with duct tape for Steve Smith and Patrick McKenna.