The Royal Scots Cap Badge


The Blue Ribbon

Wearing a blue ribbon at the time of the persecution of the Covenantors was a badge of honour for many in Scotland who supported the Presbyterian form of worship. Two so-called wars, often referred to as the Bishop's Wars, were fought in the late 1630's when King Charles I attempted to impose an ecclesiastical church system on the Scots.


In 1638, Covenantors held a four-week convention in Glasgow Cathedral and, backed by 40,000 signatories from all parts of Scotland, rejected the King's new Prayer Book and liturgy and also, Bishops. They then took up arms to defend their position and won a temporary reprieve. However, the issue remained unsettled for another 50 years. It was not until after the glorious revolution that King William III in 1689 enacted the Revolution Settlement which ensured that the Presbyterian rather than the Episcopalian form of church organization would have primacy in Scotland.


The composer is unknown. The tune has been claimed by several clans – MacNeill, MacLean, MacQuarrie and Grant. Whatever, the tune with its short phrasing seems intended to incite Covenantors to battle.


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