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The Fairy Flag of Clan MacLeod, Scotland

Last modified: 2021-05-20 by rob raeside
Keywords: fairy flag | clan macleod | scotland |
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The Fairy Flag reports on the Mysterious Fairy Flag of Clan MacLeod and its Legendary Protective Powers
(2 July 2016)

The Fairy Flag is one of the treasures kept by the chief of Clan MacLeod, a Highland Scottish clan associated with the Isle of Skye. Today, the flag resides in Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the clan’s chief, on the Isle of Skye, and has been described as “rather tattered, made of faded brown silk and carefully darned in places”. Although the flag does not look like much, it is believed to possess mystical powers, and several stories have been told about how this magical object has protected Clan MacLeod over the centuries.

There are two main stories that have been traditionally told about the origin of the fairy flag. The first of these links the flag to the Crusades, thus indicating that the flag came from somewhere in the East. The second one, by comparison, involves fairies, and places events surrounding the flag’s appearance on the Isle of Skye itself.

It has been determined that the fabric of the Fairy Flag is silk from the Middle East (more specifically, Syria or Rhodes). This lends some credence to the story that the flag has its origin in the East. Nevertheless, this object has been dated to between the 4th and 7th centuries AD, at least 400 years before the First Crusade. Still, it may be possible that the Fairy Flag was already treated as a relic by the time of the First Crusade, and only found its way to the British Isles following this military campaign.

See for images and more details.
Jason Saber, 11 April 2021