An update on past news

Kaneohe designer Douglas Herring displayed yesterday the fabric selected to represent Hawaii at the 1997 Hawaii Highland Games. Colors represent the landscape and monarchy.

Official state plaid fails
to get legislative approval

By Mary Vorsino

Question: What ever happened to plans for a Hawaii state tartan?

Answer: Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D, Aiea) presented a bill to the Legislature in 2001 that would have given Hawaii an official state tartan.

A tartan, or woolen cloth in various plaid patterns worn especially in the Scottish Highlands, usually reflects a distinctive clan, said Ghislaine Chock, president of the Hawaii Handweavers Hui.

The tartan bill was diverted to this year's Legislature but never presented.

The Hawaii Handweavers Hui was one of two groups that supported the legislation. Chock said that there are no plans to bring it back to the Legislature in 2003.

"I think we can drop that one. The roadblock is too big," she said.

The Caledonian Society of Hawaii, a Scottish heritage group, also supported the bill.

The two groups selected a state tartan, designed by Douglas Herring, in 1997.

Chock said that the hui may still decide to display the tartan without the Legislature's stamp of approval.

"We can still use it, but it doesn't have to be official," she said.

Kim told the Star-Bulletin in 2001 that the proposal stems from Hawaii's strong Scottish and Irish heritage.

Kim said in the bill, "One of the most important symbols of Scottish and Irish culture is the tartan, which signifies a common bond between people."

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