Russian Arctic Convoy Tartan.
“With echoes of the MacLeod and MacKenzie tartans from the clanlands bordering Loch Ewe – departure point for so many of the World War II Arctic Convoys to Archangel and Murmansk – the Russian Arctic Convoy tartan encapsulates the essential colours remembered by convoy veterans. Colours of dread, death and destruction but colours too of bravery, hope and survival. White brings a multitude of memories – ice flows, wind-whipped wave-tops, snow and ice-encrusted superstructures and today the classic white berets of the surviving veterans.
Grey is for the sea and the sky, for the allied battleships and for the ever-threatening enemy U-Boats. Black is for line upon line of the Luftwaffe bombers and their devastating cargoes whilst silver, is the most chilling sight of all – the bubbles in the wake of an oncoming torpedo.
Brightening the hopes of many thousands of those Arctic mariners however, was the Red Ensign of the escorting Royal Naval vessels and red too, was in those merchantmen’s own flag – the Red Duster – and that of the Soviet Union, their final destination.
To heighten the dramatic effect, the ‘silver’ line for the torpedo bubbles only appears in the vertical pattern of the tartan, so that it’s ‘coming straight for’ the viewer!"
Designed by Brian Wilton