Greyfriars Tartan being handed over to delegates from the Chinese government by our First Minister. (11 April 2018)
The Greyfriars tartan was designed by Paul Moffat and Richard Frazer.
Each colour has a meaning.
Brown – Greyfriars Kirk sits in the garden of the medieval Franciscan friary. The colour of the habit of the Greyfriars is generally brown. We wanted to acknowledge the continuous worship of God and service to the community that has been undertaken in our parish and to recognise the fact that the Reformed Kirk acknowledged (by its choice of name) the work the pre-Reformation Franciscans had done.
Green – Greyfriars Kirk is set in its own green oasis in the heart of Edinburgh. We chose green to represent the herb garden project that recreates the medieval use to which the kirkyard was put and to honour our attempt to be an environmentally responsible organisation.
Blue – Greyfriars Kirk is a congregation of the Church of Scotland, whose colour is generally blue.
Purple – Purple is used liturgically during the seasons of Advent and Lent to signify preparation and penance in advance of the major festivals of Christmas and Easter.
Terracotta – Many of the ships that took coal from the Lothian coalfield to the Low Countries returned with continental terracotta roof tiles as ballast. That is why all around our region there is a tradition of using terracotta roof tiles. This reminds us of our close links to the continent of Europe that go back many centuries in terms both of trade, religious life and cultural exchange.
Gold – Many people feel that a golden thread weaves its way around all spiritual traditions, a sign of the life of the Spirit of God in the souls of all humanity, for the Holy Spirit blows where it wills (John 3:8) and is not restricted to one religious tradition. In William Blake‘s prophetic book, ‘Jerusalem’, he wrote: “I give you the end of a golden string, Only wind it into a ball, It will let you in at Heaven’s Gate built in Jerusalem’s Wall.”