Yet further proof that Scottish culture has influence in the strangest of places, as a small French Atlantic island called Ouessant has created a distinctive Celtic tartan and registered it with the overseers of the traditional motif in Scotland. Following the visit of MSP Rob Gibson to his island home, Serge Cariou (Ouessant, Brittany, France) decided to design his own tartan.
“A few of us wear kilts on Ouessant, to cock a snook at outsiders as a joke. So, after a trip to Scotland, we thought ‘Why not design a tartan in our island’s colours?’,” Serge Cariou said in Brest, on mainland Brittany.
According to Cariou, the new Ouessant tartan includes red, yellow and black to represent the flag of the Isle of Ushant and a black, green and white check to represent Brittany. You can see the tartan below:
Ouessant, known as Enez Eusa in Breton, lies around 30 kilometres (20 miles) off the Breton peninsula, making it the most westerly inhabited territory in France, and shares Brittany’s Celtic culture and traditions. Jean-Yves Cozan, who represents the Ouessant Township and the District of Ouessant on the County Council of Finistere, has kindly authorised the use of the name ‘Oeussant’ and ‘Eusa’ for the registration of the tartan.
“This tartan is not a gimmick, it’s an act of cultural identity to assert that we have roots,” declared Cozan, Ouessant regional councillor.
“Just as a rootless Japanese puts his kimono on when he gets home, I’ll put my kilt on when I get back to Ouessant,” he said, brandishing a Eusa kilt cut for the occasion by a Scottish tailor.
The Eusa design has been entered on the Scottish Register of Tartans as number 10,236, 10 years after a loosening of the rules as to who can declare a tartan led to an explosion of non-Scottish and non-clan motifs.
The Scottish Register of Tartans (the Register) is a national repository of tartan designs and has thousands of different designs registered. You can search for many of these tartans on our own tartan finder. Why not give it a try?