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October 31, 2021
What is Plaid? While millennials would likely cite the now-iconic teen hit Clueless as the moment plaid entered fashion-forward consciousness, plaid actually dates back almost four centuries.
Originally it was cloth with an interwoven pattern, called tartan, which signified unity (much like wearing a baseball cap from your hometown) or belonging to a community. Each community (or clan) would have their own tartan to indicate solidarity and of course warmth as it was woven to fend off the bitter cold temperatures of a Scottish winter. During the 18th century, Tartan was co-opted from a family symbol to be used to identify the military uniform of James Francis Edward Stuart during his 1714 rebellion against the English monarchy. The “Black Watch Plaid” then became associated with the Royal Highland Regiment and is still one of the most popular tartan patterns for today’s designers. When the Scottish forces were defeated at the Battle of Culloden, the Parliament of Great Britain decided that a great way of controlling uprisings was to control what unified the clans, which was PLAID signifying UNITY. So…these multi-colour tartans were banned for almost a century.
In recent years, however, plaid has had such a strong resurgence that in some places you would be hard-pressed to look around and not see at least one person wearing checked plaid. Hipsters are far from the only subculture to make plaid their uniform: Some Los Angeles street gangs identify their allegiances with plaid clothing while the Beach Boys make plaid Pendleton shirts the symbol of 1960 Surf Rock.SDG counties have a historical attachment to plaid through many original Scottish immigrants but… our attachment nowadays goes way beyond any specific group into the pride of UNITY and COMMUNITY. With these last two values in mind, Lancaster and area small businesses have decided to have PLAID FRIDAY instead of BLACK FRIDAY with Scratch and Saves as well as two days of fun and frolic. The following two weeks (first two of December) are going to be called “Paint the Town Plaid”. You’ll have to wait to see what that brings but it will be an interwoven commitment from all involved for everyone to have a fun “Plaid” time
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