The Maple Leaf Tartan
The Maple Leaf Tartan was created in 1964 by David Weiser in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of Canada's confederation in 1967. It was designed to be worn by Canadians from all backgrounds regardless of their ancestry, as a symbol of national pride. Its International Tartan Index number is 2034.
The basis for the design four colours reflect the colours of the maple leaf as it changes through the seasons. The pattern incorporates the green of the leaves' summer foliage, the gold which first appears in the early autumn, the red which appears with the coming of the first frost, and the brown tones of the fallen leaves. The design proved to be very popular throughout Canada.
The Maple Leaf Tartan has been recognized for decades as Canada's unofficial national tartan. It was made an official national symbol by ministerial declaration on March 9, 2011.
The maple leaf is the recognized symbol of Canada throughout the world. The Maple Leaf Tartan is closely associated with other existing official national symbols such as the maple leaf and the maple tree.
When is it appropriate to wear the Maple Leaf Tartan?
The Maple Leaf Tartan can be worn at special occasions, or as everyday attire in the form of a kilt, scarf, hat or necktie. The Department of Canadian Heritage does not regulate or control the use of the Maple Leaf Tartan.
Tartan patterns are symbolic. When wearing a tartan you identify yourself with what the tartan represents. When you wear the Maple Leaf Tartan you are proudly identifying yourself with the country of Canada.
Canadians are encouraged to recognize the significance of the Maple Leaf Tartan and to wear it proudly on national days such as July 1, Canada Day and also on April 6, Tartan Day.
The Maple Leaf Tartan is used by The Royal Canadian Regiment Pipes and Drums and it has been worn by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Battalions. It was featured in costumes worn during the closing ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.