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What are a few historical clans of Scotland?

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Quick Answer

Historical clans of Scotland include the Clan Bannerman, the Clan Gregor and the Clan MacLeod. All three clans originated in the 13th or 14th century, although exact origins are unknown.

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Full Answer

Scotland legally recognizes clans, and each clan has a chief. Until 1746, Scotland's primary political system was the clan system. Clans began as families that were loyal to a chief, and each clan typically had an area of Scotland it occupied. Some clans have a crest and a motto.

The prefix "Mac" is common in clan names. "Mac" means "son of," so the clan name originally indicated that person's father.

The Clan Bannerman crest is a demi man wearing armor and holding up a sword in his right hand. The top of the crest has the words "Pro Patria," the clan's motto, which means "for my country." One possible explanation for the clan's name is that this clan carried the king's banner during times of war.

The Clan Gregor, also known as the Clan MacGregor, may descend from an ancient Celtic royal family. The clan's motto, "S Rioghal Mo Dhream," reflects this, as it means "royal is my race." The clan's crest is a side profile of a lion's head, with a crown atop the head.

Two branches of the Clan MacLeod exist, each claiming it descends from Leod. While there isn't any confirmed information about Leod, traditions state that he was the son of Olaf the Black. The clan's crest is a bull's head positioned between two flags, and its motto is "hold fast."

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