Designed & produced by Éric McLewis


Virescit Vulnere Virtus
"Courage grows strong at a wound"

The Stewart have their origin... in Brittany (France) where Alain Dapifer (11th century) officiated as Sénéchal (Steward) of Dol de Bretagne.
His great-grandson, Walter Fitzalan exercised this same function (officer in the service of a king or a bishop) with the King of Scotland David I (12th century) and is therefore considered as the founder of the Scottish line of the Stewarts.

The first Stewart to ascend the throne of Scotland was Robert II (14th century): he was followed by many Stewart sovereigns, first only in Scotland (1371 to 1714) and then in Scotland and England until 1714.

The best-known tartan is obviously the Royal Stewart one, which is also that of the British Royal family, but which, by its popularity, has the character of an universal tartan.

Considering the lack of a Clan Chief currently, the Crest Clan is borrowed from the Stuart of Galloway; it consists of:

- a pelican feeding his offspring, for the crest

- the motto: Virescit Vulnere Virtus

Scottish Clans and Symbols - page 1



August 24, 2023

It has been customary to differentiate Scottish clans by their tartans, which are very numerous today. But this was not always the case: in the past, tartans were less colourful and their number much smaller.
Other signs made it possible to distinguish this or that family more surely, especially on the battlefield.
Badges such as flowers, plants or small branches were then used to recognise ourselves.

The clan symbol (crest) and its motto were other elements allowing this distinction even if these were rather the prerogative of the Chief of the Clan alone.
Today, the Scottish outfit contains a lot of these two badges, gathered within the Clan Crest, which will be found on the Sgian Dubh, the kilt pin, the cap badge, the plaid brooche, etc...

So, here is a review of the tartans, crests (symbols) and motto of the Scottish clans, which we will start with the famous clan Stewart:

I Birn Quhil I Se
" I Burn While I See (shall)"

Located in the outer Hebrides, the Isle of Lewis is one of the cradles of the Macleod of Lewis clan that extended over several islands as well as territories on the west coast of Scotland.
Although forming only one island, the territory is cut in two, between the lands of the Macleod of Lewis and those of the Macleod of Harris (south of the isle).
Originally there are two of Leod's sons (himself son of Olaf the Back according to the legend): Torquil (Sìol Thorcaill = seed of Torquil) for the Macleod of Lewis and Tormod (Sìol Thormoid = seed of Tormod) for those of Harris.

From the 16th to the 17th century, the Lewis branch died out following various conflicts and its territories passed to the Mackenzie clan.
Today, the clan is still active and represented by a descendant of the Macleod of Raasay, a branch of the original clan.

The motto nourished by various influences over time is subject to multiple conjectures and translations, among which the idea of beacons that enlighten to watch the coast seems to be in the majority.

The Clan Crest consists of:

- a resplendent sun, for the crest

- the motto: I Birn Quhil I Se

To be complete we must also mention the other motto in force since the Mackenzies: Luceo Non Uro (I shine but do not burn).
The main motto nevertheless remains faithful to I Birn Quhil I Se.