BLUE, yellow, black and hugely symbolic — Barbados is celebrating the creation of its official tartan to mark its independence.

The textile is six months in the making and features a broken trident, the national symbol of the country's split from the UK.

It incorporates the national colours of Barbados, which shares its patron saint with Scotland.

The island nation is now the first in the Caribbean to have its own official Scots plaid, with the Island of Barbados design entered into the Scotitsh Register of Tartans.

It was created by Scottish company James Robertson Kiltmaker to "mark the joint celebration of Bajan Independence Day and St Andrews Day and as a recognition of the deep historic ties" between Scotland and Barbados.

The National:

The Barbados Celtic Festival is held each May to recognise the links with Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Nova Scotia and Europe's Gallic regions through food and music.

Cheryl Carter, director of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI), said: "Scotland and Barbados have a deep shared heritage and for many years, we have been looking for the perfect way to recognise this.

"We're proud to now be the first Caribbean island to have its own official tartan."

Barbados Independence Day is on November 30 and the nation's highest award is the Order of St Andrew.

The 275,000-population country, which has more than 3000 hours of sunshine per year, became officially sovereign in 1966 after 350 years of British rule.

The tartan has been made into everything from clothing to books.


Robert Guibal, owner of Glasgow firm James Robertson Kiltmaker, commented: "In 29 years as a kiltmaker I've worked on some fantastic projects but never expected to be designing an official tartan for a Caribbean island. 

"When BTMI approached me two years ago, they were so passionate about the linked heritage of Scotland and Barbados and the need to create something special to recognise this. This tartan is the product of six months intense refining, to create the perfect design to represent the island of Barbados in a contemporary way."