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MacKenzie Tartan History

The clan of MacKenzie is thought to have various royal connections and loyalties throughout history. This clan has a bold and busy family tartan.

The MacKenzie name is thought to stem from the Gaelic word “Maccoinneach” which means “fair, bright one.” Their Gaelic descent is thought to lead to the ancient royal house of Lorn, however there’s no documentation to confirm this.

The Scottish clan of MacKenzie held lands in Ross-shire, right across to the Black Isle, and even made loyal clan friends in the MacRaes, by making them constables of their Eilean Donan Castle.

Despite having no particular lordships or notability in the earlier clan days, the MacKenzie clanhieved quite a prominence in politics between the 15th and 17th Century. As loyalists to the Stewart monarchy, they were then awarded the title of Earl of Seaforth. Their loyalty to royalty has since been cemented in their clan motto which is “Cuidiche an righ,” which means “the king’s tribute.”

Another notable MacKenzie is Compton MacKenzie, who was a well-known Scottish novelist and comic writer. He was also a founder member of the Scottish National Party which now holds prominence in the Scottish and wider UK parliaments.

Showing a further nod to their loyalties to the crown, the MacKenzie tartan is predominantly red, white and blue with both green and black areas infusing this bright and busy family tartan. Chinks of blue and green are separated by black lines, both horizontal and vertical, to create a square pattern. This is intercut with numerous white lines of various sizes, creating a bold pattern across the tartan. The whole cloth is finished off with bright red criss-crosses in a faint pattern throughout the cloth.

It was not just politics in which this clan became prominently known for. John MacKenzie, author of Beauties of Gaelic Poetry has been widely regarded as one of the greatest Gaelic anthologies ever.

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