BADGES AND BANNERS
For centuries pipers have carried the Arms of their Clan Chief on their drones in the form of a Pipe Banner. When pipers joined the ranks of the British Army, this practice was encouraged, and since the 19th century pipers in Full Dress have carried banners with Regimental badges on one side and officer's crests or coats of arms on the other. Many of these miniature banners, replete with Regimental badges, battle honours, and officers' crests, can be seen in Regimental Museums in Scotland.
Unfortunately, pipe banners have not enjoyed the popularity they had formerly, mainly due to high cost and lack of availability - thirty years ago they cost almost as much as a set of pipes! Today, with internet communications with the makers, we have access to these embroidered banners and badges like never before.
Cuillinn Craft can now offer this beautiful adornment to your pipes at reasonable cost. Hand embroidered in gold and silver bullion by a firm which makes banners and flags for the British Army, our Pipe Banners are exquisite examples of military embroidery.
Pipe Banners make a beautiful gift to retiring pipe majors, are probably the finest of piping trophies, and are the final 'dress item' for a set of pipes in a formal setting. They also make the perfect gift for a Corporate Sponsor for a pipe band, and can be worn by the Pipe Major on parade. Traditionally made in either the 'swallow-tail' (as below) or 'fishtail' shape, they are approximately 15" square without the fringe, and tie onto the bass drone with three tapes. Any colour or material backing can be used, including tartan, with gold or silver fringe. Shown below are banners we recently had made:
Top left, Colonel's Pipe Banner, Atholl Brigade, White Rose Society, in white and buff backgrounds; top right, Pipe Banner of The Prince's Life Guard, White Rose Society. These two banners are in the $325.00 price range
bottom, left to right, The Hawaiian Thistle Pipe Band ; a 'pirate' theme of 'skull and crossed drones!' (Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of MacAllen?) This banner was made for Black Part himself; middle right, a Lion Rampant banner; Far right, a Piobaireachd Society banner in silver on dark green - simple and striking. These banners are in the $300.00 price range
above left, a Stuart of Bute banner, executed in black on black with silver highlighting - very striking! The subtle shading of the strap and buckle is not evident in the photo, but it IS there - $300.00; Middle, a banner with the arms of Fullerton - $300; Right, the 'Pet Cemetary' banner; $325
Pipe Banners start at $300.00 (with your own design) and typically take between three and four months to make. This is all hand embroidery and is painstaking work, but the final result is absolutely worth it. For best results we require an exact design drawing of the banner before production can commence. Our design staff can consult with you on correct heraldry and execution for your banner should you need it. Artwork is billed at $75 per hour for heraldic design, with a two hour minimum. Designs can be combined for both banners and badges, and, of course, re-used for later orders.
Left, the 'official' side of the Marine Corps pipe banner; right, the 'personal' side; this is a memorial banner for my late uncle who fought on Guadalcanal in 1942 and died in 2000 - contact us for pricing and designs for Marine Banners
We also make hand-embroidered badges for pipe bags, blazers, epaulettes, custom brassards (arm badges) for Pipe Majors Drum Majors, and reproduction badges and rank stripes for re-enactors, in gold, silver, and colours on any colour backing. Prices vary depending on size, detail, and quantity ordered; a typical blazer badge starts at $25 as shown below. Contact us at 510-569-1689 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation. Again, these are hand made and require three to four months for delivery. Here are samples of badges and brassards:
L to R: Edinburgh Ladies blazer badge; Fassifern Rose badge (on red); PLG pipe bag badge; PLG blazer badge
Argyll Militia bonnet badge; Fassifern arm badge (on black); Atholl Brigade pipe bag or blazer badge; Fassifern badge (on tan)
Epaulettes, collar badges, and pipe bag badges
a note on the background image: William MacDonald, piper to the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), and uncle and tutor of the famous John MacDonald of Inverness, who in turn tutored the Bobs of Balmoral. Knowing 'Bertie's' distaste of things Scottish, I was surprised to learn he had a piper, and even more surprised that the piper was of MacDonald's calibre.
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all banner and badge designs copyright © Tamarsha Designs, Sharp & Co., and Cuillinn Craft and are proprietary to the owners