SAS add a tartan to their arsenal

The design the regiment chose. Picture: Contributed
The design the regiment chose. Picture: Contributed
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IT’S not the most practical kit for the some of world’s more volatile conflict zones.

But the style-conscious SAS soldier will soon be able to boast a kilt as part of his ­wardrobe after a tartan was registered for the regiment.

The Scottish Register of ­Tartans has revealed that the exclusive design for the British army’s elite Special Air Service has been officially recognised and added to the country’s ­database, maintained by the National Records of Scotland.

It was created by the House of Edgar, a tartan specialist based in Perth, where staff ­admitted the commissioning process had been shrouded in mystery.

Blair McNaughton, managing director at the House of Elgar’s parent company McNaughton Holdings Ltd, told Scotland on Sunday he personally had not realised that the firm had been commissioned by the elite regiment until ­contacted last week.

McNaughton said: “Initially we were not aware that we were working for the SAS.

“We have been working on the tartan for about six months and we put forward a number of designs to our client who then put them forward to the regiment and the one that has been registered is the one they selected. I don’t know how –presumably by secret ballot.” He added: “We are always astonished as to where requests for tartans come from and we are chuffed to bits for our design to be selected by the SAS.

“I suspect they have ramblers in the regiment and were wanting something that they could wear outdoors and something, given the nature of the regiment, which was not too gaudy or too bright.”

The tartan is predominantly in Oxford blue, one of the two SAS colours, with lighter blue and black, white and green.

It is categorised on the Scottish Register of Tartans as a military design which has stringent restrictions governing who can wear it.

The registration states: “[This tartan is] the official regimental tartan for the ­Special Air Service Regiment, approved by the various bodies within the regimental structure.” A spokesman for the Scottish Register of Tartans added: “This is the first Special Air Service tartan registered since the launch of the Scottish Register of Tartans.”

The SAS was founded by a group of military leaders including Lieutenant Archibald David Stirling, a supplementary reserve officer of the Scots Guards, in 1941 during the Second World War, when it was known as the SAS ­Brigade.

Tasked to fight secret battles far behind enemy lines the world famous regimental motto is “Who Dares Wins”. The regiment itself has a reputation for maintaining radio silence on high level operations around the world.

A British Army spokes­woman advised ­Scotland 
on Sunday that it was unlikely that the SAS would comment on their new tartan ­either.

It has become the latest of around 100 military tartans added to the register since it was established in 2009.

Alongside traditional ­regimental designs such as the distinctive Black Watch, the list now includes almost 900 different tartans registered by companies, families or ­individuals from all over the world.

America tops the list of the top-five countries registering tartans, with 2218 registrations to date, followed by Scotland, with 809, England with 531, Canada with 469 and Australia with 243.