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Last Updated: Friday, 24 December, 2004, 19:08 GMT
Lift for Tartan Day celebrations
Tartan Day
The Treaty of Arbroath is celebrated on Tartan Day
Plans are being made by Angus Council to widen its Tartan Day events across Scotland.

A spokesman said it followed the "great success" of this year's week-long celebration - the first the local authority had organised.

Talks are now taking place with other councils and the Canadian and Australian Honorary Consuls.

The "key" event will be a dinner, when the former Scottish Secretary Helen Liddell will be guest of honour.

It will be one of her final speeches before becoming High Commissioner to Australia.

Proposals have been put forward for a tasting session, involving the Malt Whisky Society and a Californian wine producer.

Discussions are also being held with the Tartan Authority - a body made up of the six biggest kilt makers - and the US Consulate, which is an official partner in the celebrations.

Pope's letter

This year's Tartan Day event, supported by Sir Sean Connery, marked the Declaration of Arbroath and highlighted the achievements of Scots around the world.

Calls for a national holiday to mark the Declaration of Arbroath received a mixed response from people in the Angus town in April.

The anniversary was celebrated by the Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society, which recreated the event.

Vice-president Harry Ritchie is among those who think there should be a national holiday on the day when the historic document was drafted in 1320.

But there was no definitive stance on the issue from the people of the town.

The power for designating national holidays rests with the Scottish Executive.

A spokesman said at the time there were no current plans to mark the Declaration of Arbroath.

But he added: "We are always looking at ways of using memorial days to promote Scotland at home and abroad."

Tartan Day has trans-Atlantic support

The Declaration of Arbroath has been described as the best known historical document in Scotland.

Mr Ritchie said it could be classified as the birth of the nation.

It was sent to the Pope six years after the battle of Bannockburn, where Robert the Bruce defeated the English.

King Edward II had refused to make peace with Scotland and the Pope had not recognised Robert the Bruce as King of Scotland.

The country's nobles and barons sent a letter to the Pope declaring the independence of the Scots.

It famously contains the line: "It is not for honour nor riches, nor glory that we fight but for liberty alone, which no true man lays down except with his life."

Four years later Rome recognised Robert the Bruce as king.

The Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society has celebrated the event every year since 1948.


SEE ALSO:
Call to mark Arbroath declaration
06 Apr 04 |  Scotland
US events 'good for tartan pound'
04 Apr 04 |  Scotland
Sir Sean backs Tartan Day plans
02 Apr 04 |  Scotland
Tartan Day drums up support
05 Apr 03 |  Scotland
Tuning up for Tartan Day
30 Mar 03 |  Scotland


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