Clan Symbols

Clan symbols, including the tartan shown above and the Clan Badge, which is made up of the Chief's crest encircled by a buckled belt with the Chief's motto atop it, were an important part of highland culture. They were a source of pride for the clan members and were worn to distinguish Clansmen from members of other Clans.

The Oliphant tartan is now registered as belonging to the Chief of Clan Oliphant and thus is no longer Melville, who have a distinct and separate tartan of their own.

The Kinlochs of Kinloch have honoured us by wearing the Oliphant tartan since the 19th Century.

Some symbols are a product of an historic deed; the fame of the ancestor e.g. the MacGregors claim decent from Scottish King Kenneth MacAlpine and have the motto: "'S Rioghal mo dhream" or "Royal is my race;" a Clan characteristic e.g. the badge of the pugnacious Gunn's which depicts a hand holding a sword; or even a territorial claim such as the war cry of the Sutherlands is "Ceann na droichaide bige", or the "Head of the little bridge", referring to a rallying point in the town of Golspie, south of Dunrobin Castle.

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