The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 8, 2008

Celts, Vietnam vets, coal, chancery resolutions pass

Official state tartan gains approval

By Mannix Porterfield

CHARLESTON — If your ancestry harks back to the rolling, lush hills of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, you’re going to love a House resolution passed Friday in a bundle.

By voice vote, delegates agreed to designate a “West Virginia Shawl” as the state’s official tartan.

“A majority of West Virginia’s early settlers were descendants of Celtic people, who came from their native lands to find freedom and adventure in the new world,” the resolution, introduced by Delegates Ron Fragale, Samuel Cann, Richard Iaquinta and Tim Miley, all D-Harrison, declared.

The proposal says Dr. Philip Smith, a renown world authority on Celtic history, found an unknown shawl at the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum in Barboursville and decided to designate it in his book as the West Virginia Shawl.

Its colors symbolize those that “most fully represent” state history, the resolution says.

Thus, the proposal declares, the state tartan must be of symmetrical design, starting at the dark yellow pivot point and containing a specific thread count: dark yellow 4, forest green 4, muted blue 8, forest green 4, azure 6, scarlet 24, white 1, black 6, scarlet 24, forest green 8, scarlet 8, muted blue 8, forest green 4, and dark yellow 4.

Red represents the official bird, the cardinal; yellow is for autumn’s splendor; dark blue reflects the rivers and lakes; black is for the bear, coal and oil; green represents the rhododendron and mountain meadows; azure for the sky; and white symbolizes “all the colors of this great nation intertwined” with West Virginia.

Another resolution sets apart a portion of U.S. 52 as the “Vietnam Veterans Highway.”

Its sponsor, Delegate Steve Kominar, D-Mingo, put in 13 months in the Vietnam War from 1967 to 1968.

Other resolutions call on the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to study the development of clean coal technologies, including coal liquefaction, and for an interims study on the prospect of launching a chancery court in West Virginia.

House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, sponsored the court idea, saying it would be devoted solely to settling contractual disputes between companies so that such issues could be resolved swiftly rather than linger for years in circuit court.

— E-mail: mannix@register-herald.com