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The Chiefs banner

I have been requested to write for the Clan something about my banner, which was paraded for the first time in some seventy years at the Ballater Games in August 2005.

In size, it is four square feet, the Coat of Arms largely occupying this space and being hand painted onto its cream silk, the flag's border being trimmed in red silk. It is old, exactly how old I do not know. However, I do know that it is one of a pair of banners that were carried by the contingent of Farquharson men when they paraded annually at the Braemar Games in full Highland uniform, which they continued to do up until the start of the Second World War. Existent early photographs taken more than a century ago give proof of this.

The Coat of Arms displayed are those granted to my ancestor Catherine Farquharson of Invercauld who registered them in 1805 when she succeeded her father, being the only surviving child of a family of eleven.

Alan Caig leads the Clan Farquharson parade at the
Ballater Games 2005 with the Chief’s Banner

The wildcat supporters of these arms may appear somewhat feminine in style, artistic license perhaps in deference to the succession of a Chieftainess?

In factual nature, wild cats have short bushy tails, which together with distinctive tufted ears give them a more aggressive appearance; and they are depicted in this manner in my own Coat of Arms.

These banners when paraded used to be attached to long slender poles painted in heather colour, with small finials at their tops in the shape of thistles painted white. Alas, these poles have disappeared.

Banners such as these bearing the Chief's Arms should only be paraded in his presence.
This banner is indeed a treasured and historic heirloom, and it will therefore be understood that because of its age and fragile condition permission for it to be paraded outdoors can be given only on occasion when the weather is sufficiently favourable.
Alwyne Farquharson of Invercauld, November 2005

History of the Clan Farquharson