The Swedish Tartan [closed]

+1 vote
Happy Easter and National Tartan Week!

Here's The Swedish Tartan, in seamlessly tileable form for all your Swedish Tartan background image needs:
WikiTree profile: Josefina Smith
closed with the note: I'm sick of being bullied and silenced on this thread.
in The Tree House by Anonymous Vaughan G2G6 Mach 2 (22.2k points)
closed by Anonymous Vaughan

btw- I did look at the profile attached to this and I like the background, it adds a nice look. I still will not use it on my Swedish profiles, though. wink

(Comment moved into an answer)

5 Answers

+8 votes
Eeehhh.... Why?

There is absolutely no cultural customs or traditions in Sweden to use tartans. This is just wrong.

The best way to present this "tartan" would be a "tartan using colours inspired by the Swedish flag" but please, do not call it a Swedish tartan because there is no such thing.
by Maggie Andersson G2G6 Pilot (117k points)
Melanie, these tartans are historical in that they are officially registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans, and listed on their official, government website, with a URL ending in

I know from experience that you can register a tartan of your own design with them, for a fee. Some people, such as Domino's Pizza retain copyrights to their official tartan threadcount, and they & the Scottish Register refuse to divulge it. Some tartans are so ancient that it is no longer known when they were invented. The Swedish Tartan is dated 21 Oct. 2005, with this note:

"For Swedish people worldwide, and those associated with Sweden. Approved by Torvald Colliander, Consul General in Edinburgh. For further information please visit"
Thank you, John!
But a tartan registered in 2005 does not mean it is historical as in "has existed for hundreds of years".  At least one of those was created by someone who has linked an email address.  I don't think email existed back a few hundred years, either.

Traditionally tartans are linked to Scotland and Ireland, NOT the Scandinavian countries.  To ignore the voices of those who were born and live in that region (Scandinavia) is being insensitive -- and I say that as one who has a strong Swedish heritage.
Thorgil Sprakling must be rolling in his grave.
As someone descended from Scots as well as Scandinavians, I find insensitive the suggestions that my use of tartans is insensitive, but I also believe that it is always foolish to take offense when none is intended. We would all do well to heed this advice.

"I would say that [Maggie, Missy & Eva have] a rather limited and uncreative way of looking at the situation."--Don Juan, Don Juan DeMarco (1995) 

I have a stronger Swedish heritage than Scottish, but I am part Scottish too (I am a Sinclair and a Brock.). I am also a college educated artist who believes in artistic license, so you have put me in a category in which I do not belong. I just choose to not use a tartan for my Swedish profiles and I stated why. I believe my reasons are very valid and I do not deserve to be called “limited and uncreative” in this situation.

Touché, Missy!
"Historical" is the wrong word here, Willie.  You can call it "official" if you like, but its history begins with you.
Exactly, Lois. I think that is the main point.
Lois, I disagree for two reasons:  1. The history of these Scandinavian tartans didn't start with me; I discovered their official, historic thread counts via research; they existed before I discovered them. 2. "...what we do in life, echoes in eternity..."--General Maximus, Gladiator (2000) whether we did it yesterday or a moment ago; or whether someone else did it centuries ago.

The point is, these "wallpapers" are historically accurate, based on official thread counts; seamlessly tileable works of art; and in the Public Domain, and people may choose to use them as background images.

Another point here is that before you start badmouthing and nay-saying other people's contributions, it would behoove you to check, double check, and triple check your facts.
+1 vote
It's too late for April Fool's Day.
by Leandra Ford G2G6 Mach 8 (85.5k points)
+4 votes

Thanks a lot for sharing this knowledge with us. I appreciate it and will order a Swedish tartan tie or something similar right away. One never knows when it is required/appropriate according to the protocol.

National symbols are serious and sensitive topics; therefore the Scottish Register of Tartans explicitly have stated the Swedish tartan is approved by Thorvaldsen Colliander, Consul General in Edinburgh. It implies that the Tartan is approved by the Kingdom of Sweden through its Government Offices of Sweden, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Sweden’s Missions Abroad.

I believe that this is new information for almost all Swedes. It will most likely not be widely adopted and/or social accepted here in Sweden until it has been used by the Swedish Royal family, or something similar.

Happy eastern
by Per Lindström G2G1 (2.0k points)
edited by Per Lindström
Thank you, Per!

Other than the being flamed on here for wishing everyone a happy Easter and National Tartan Week with a couple tartan gifts which I put my heart and soul into, I had a great Easter.
You are very welcome Willie,

I’m glad you have had a great Easter.

I noticed that you have pre-1700 certified badge, it is a topic of interest for me as I have bunch of ancestors in various lines stretching back to the very first written registrations in Sweden.

Please take care of yourself as well as your near and dears. This Covid-19 pandemic is going to take its death toll.

+7 votes

After this, I will not make any more contribution to this thread, but I would like to explain my initial response/answer.

The links below are examples of how historical Swedish national costumes look like, each province may differ somewhat from another. They were very proud to show weaving, knotted lace, embroidery, and sewing skills and this is our national heritage.

So, if these designs are what is considered "Swedish" in Sweden, I hope the readers of this thread might understand my initial response to a "Swedish tartan". Clearly, the "Swedish tartan" is not a Swedish custom/traditional pattern. It would make more sense for me to honour an ancestor with some local costume or pattern that they might actually have used.

In Swedish, even the translation of "tartan" would be "Scottish plaid" translated back in English, so tartans is very much considered a Scottish custom. 

Swedish National Costumes;

(edited spelling)

by Maggie Andersson G2G6 Pilot (117k points)
edited by Maggie Andersson
BEAUTIFUL examples!!!
+12 votes

I recognise the work that has gone into creating this tartan background. But even if a "Swedish tartan" has been formally available since 2005, it is surely not appropriate for someone who lived from 1855 to 1928 and who would never have used it. Any more than a coat of arms devised for someone in the 17th century is appropriate for a 15th century ancestor of theirs: we would rightly remove the coat of arms from any 15th century profile it was placed on.

It may be worth reminding members of this bit of guidance on the help page Profile Aesthetics. "Background images are set at the discretion of Profile Managers and other members, but if any descendant objects to the use of a background image, it should be removed and not replaced." Willie Vaughan manages the profile of Josefina Smith which led to this thread: but even so, if any descendant objects to the background image, it should be removed.

More generally, it may also be worth reminding ourselves that it is not a good idea to add a background image to profiles we do not manage unless we have the approval of the profile managers.

by Michael Cayley G2G6 Mach 9 (96.2k points)
edited by Michael Cayley

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