Tartans had been in Europe since the 1400’s. There are dozens of Irish Tartans, most are arranged by county and district and are reminiscent of each particular County with soft warm colors One distinctive weave has been designated as the Irish National Tartan.
The trefoil or Shamrock, at one time called the “Seamroy”, symbolizes the cross and blessed trinity. Before the Christian era it was a sacred plant of the Druids of Ireland because its leaves formed a triad.
The well known legend of the Shamrock connects it definitely to St. Patrick and his teaching. Preaching in the open air on the doctrine of the trinity, he is said to have illustrated the existence of the Three in One by plucking a shamrock from the grass growing at his feet and showing it to his congregation. The legend of the shamrock is also connected with that of the banishment of the serpent tribe from Ireland by a tradition that snakes are never seen on trefoil and that it is a remedy against the stings of snakes and scorpions.
These two legends of Ireland have been combined to form a simple image that speaks to the heart of all things Irish.