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Clan MacLean Badge

Brief History of the Clan:

Scottish Gaelic: Clann Mac’IllEathain is a Highland Scottish clan. We are one of the oldest clans in the Highlands with lands on the islands of Mull, Coll, Tiree, Islay, and Jura in the Inner Hebrides and in Morvern and Ardgour in the West Highlands. 

A World Wide Family

There are conservatively 308,000 Maclean families in 132 countries around the world. Sir Fitzroy Hew Royle Maclean, 1st Baronet, KT, CBE was a Scottish soldier, writer and political said in his book, The Isles of the Sea that the clan had its foundation first and foremost in the deeply rooted Celtic principle of kindness, a mixture of kinship and long tradition, stronger than any written law. As Macleans spread across the globe, the value of kinship is passed down through the generations. Wherever Macleans find themselves and their cousins, there is a distinct feeling of family and friendship, what Sir Fitzroy described as "kindness."

Our current Chief, Sir Lachlan Hector Charles Maclean of Duart and Morven, 12th Baronet, CVO, DL, is the 28th chief of Clan Maclean. Once noted, "The strength of a unified Clan, such as ours today, is no longer found in stone and mortar. The strength of our Clan today is found in the individual - in each one of you, whether man, woman or child, no matter where you be. It is found in your blood, in the pride which you have for your ancient name and the heritage which lies behind it, it is found in your very heart. It is indeed a challenge."

Duart Castle or Caisteal Dhubhairt in Scottish Gaelic is a castle on the Isle of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland, within the council area of Argyll and Bute. The castle dates back to the 13th century and is the seat of Clan Maclean. Duart remains one of the few original clan seats that has survived as the home to the Chief and his wife Lady Rosie while also being open to the public. 

Maclean Armorial

This is the arms of the Chief of the Clan Maclean, House of Duart. These arms are the hereditary personal coat of arms of Sir Lachlan Hector Charles Maclean, Bt, CVO, DL of Morvern and Duart, 28th Chief of the Clan Maclean. It is a hereditary piece of property and is therefore passed to his heirs upon his death. It is not to be used by any other member of the clan as their personal coat of arms. In fact, according to Scottish law, simply affixing a coat of arms to any particular item, makes that item the personal property of the one who owns the coat of arms.

The Maclean badge was created by taking the crest from the Chief's personal coat of arms and encircling it in a strap and buckle. The Chief's motto was added to the strap to complete the badge.  The badge may be used by any member of the clan to identify themselves and their loyalties with the Clan Maclean and its Chief. It may be worn on any occasion and for any reason. 

 Clan War Cry

There are two slogans attributed to Clan Maclean. Slogans, are sometimes said to be war cries, other times they are said to be rallying points for the clan. Slogans used by clans generally appear as a second motto within the chiefs arms.  Slogans of Clan Maclean include: Bàs no Beatha (from Scottish Gaelic: "Death or life") and Fear eile airson Eachuinn (from Scottish Gaelic: "Another for Hector”).  

The Laurel, Axe and Cypress

The Macleans have used an axe surrounded by branches of laurel (left) and cypress (right) as a general symbol of clan association. This symbol is probably the oldest mark of clan and the only truly universal symbol for the Clan Maclean, transcending the family and sept branches. 

The axe was plainly derived from the weapon of choice of our first chief, Gilleain na Tuaighe (Gillean of the Battle Axe). The laurel branches are universally symbolic of victory. The cypress branch is infrequently used as a heraldic symbol, and most often a symbol of death followed by eternal life. The use of cypress to symbolize death may have been carried to Britain by the Romans, who used its branches extensively in their burial rites. The combination is apparently a visual representation of a clan moto, "Death or Life." Death being symbolized by the cypress branch and life (and victory) being symbolized by the laurel branch.

Dr Leslie McLean

President of Clan MacLean Association of the United States

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Clan Motto:        Virtue Mine Honor
Gaelic Name:    Clann Mac’IllEathain 
Clan Plant:         Crowberry
Lands:                 Islands of Mull, Coll, Tiree, Islay, and Jura in the

                             Inner Hebrides and in Morvern and Ardgour

                              in the West Highlands
Seat:                    Duart Castle 

Clan MacLean Coat of Arms

Clan MacLean

Duart Castle, Isle of Mull, Scotland