Dunvegan Fairy Flag

A few years ago, I went on a road trip through Scotland with my bestie. Dunvegan Castle was on our itinerary because this was my bestie’s ancestral home. We spent some time walking the grounds, took a seal tour (in a really tiny boat!), and then walked through the castle itself. I can only imagine the sense of history she felt knowing she was sharing a path with her ancestors. (I’ve yet to visit any of the many countries my own ancestors come from.)

Am Bratach Sith
(The Fairy Flag of Dunvegan)

One of the really neat things about this castle was the lore of the fairy flag. What is left of the flag (shown in the image to the left) is framed and hanging in the ‘fairy tower’ of the castle. The flag was woven in silk during the fourth century, and it was believed that when the flag was unfurled during battle, it would protect the clan MacCleod – they would be invincible. The magic, it is said, would only work three times, and it has thus far only been used twice. (The Dunvegan Castle website contains three possible origin stories for this flag.)

I knew early on that Lucy’s search for her birth family would land her in Scotland, but it took a little while for me to decide that she, like my bestie, would descend from this particular castle and this particular lore. I really loved playing around with magic realism, especially with it being grounded in actual lore (rather than creating my own). It’s also made me realize that even though I know where my family descends from, I don’t know much about who they were or if there might be lore like this in my own history. (As if I needed a reason to do more research… đŸ‘€)

Dunvegan Castle (taken from the tiny boat while on our seal tour)

I’m super excited for next month’s Lucy post – it’s almost cover reveal time!!

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