Legends, however fantastic or far-fetched they may appear to be, are rarely without some trace of historical fact. When a relic survives to tell its own story, that at least is one fact it is impossible to ignore. The precious Fairy Flag of Dunvegan, the most treasured possession of the Clan, is just such a relic ...
The traditional tales about its origin, some of them very old indeed, have two themes - Fairies and Crusaders. Fairy stories are difficult to relate to fact; they often occur as a substitute for forgotten truth. The connection with the Crusades can, however, be linked to the only definite information available as to the origin of the Fairy Flag - the fabric, thought once to have been dyed yellow, is silk from the Middle East (Syria or Rhodes); experts have dated it between the 4th and 7th centuries A.D., in other words, at least 400 years before the First Crusade. So was it the robe of an early christian saint? Or the war banner of Harold Hardrada, King of Norway, killed in 1066, or did it emerge mysteriously from some grassy knoll in Skye?
The Legends are all we have to guide us to the answer:
Details of the Legends are contained within the castle guide book from pages thirty-five through to page forty-one. A copy of the Dunvegan Castle guide book can be purchased through the MacLeod Estate office.
MacLeod Estate (Dunvegan Castle)
Isle of Skye IV55 8WF
T: 01470 521206
F. 01470 521205