Symbols of the Clan MacInnes

Official MacInnes Arms, Crest and Motto Legacy Crests Other Arms Tartans Bagpipe Music

Gaelic Name: MacAonghais, literally "Sons of Aonghais" ("mac" son of or family of ;"aon" meaning one, and "gusa" meaning choice) thus Unique Choice or Choice One.

The International Association of Clan MacInnes has matriculated a new arms for Clan MacInnes.
Why a new Arms? The older arms and crests were either from past legacy or other families, but there was not a formal arms matriculated by the Association for our members to use. Matriculation is the term used to express qualification, approval, admittance and registration in the official Public Registration of all Arms and Bearings in Scotland by the Lord Lyon and his court. It is a lengthy and somewhat expensive endeavor. This Arms is now considered the official Arms, Crest and Motto of the Association of Clan MacInnes. It will be sent to the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs and to Vendors to use in merchandising.
What about the old arms, crests and mottos? Whatever is in the public domain will remain, history cannot be erased. These new arms will be recommended from now on, but the old symbols still remain part of the MacInnes heritage.

Arms: The document approved by the Lord Lyon, a matriculation of our arms. It is called the Ensigns Armorial of the International Association of Clan MacInnes.

New Arms Matriculation

Click on the image for a larger view (very large)

Official ArmsClick for a larger image

The first sketch of the arms by Ross MacAngus

Crest and Motto: artwork by Ross MacAngus

New Crest
Click on images for larger view
Crest on plaque

MacAonghais a-rithist - Again MacInnes

The rallying cry adopted to bring our Clan together after years of being scattered to the four corners of the earth.

Badge: Cuilean Holly (Rex Aquitolium)

‘A Christmas Robin Amidst ’MacInnes’ Holly’

Holly: The plant badge of Clan MacInnes.  Plants had mystical qualities for some clans, like a sacred or good luck charm. The late Patrick Barden, an expert on Scottish heraldry, told me that the correct adornment for a MacInnes clansman or clanswomen to wear was a sprig of holly. Patrick scorned the present practice of wearing a chief’s personal arms encircled in a belt and buckle as a relatively recent innovation.

Legacy Crest and Motto

There are two found in the public domain. The ancient one uses the bee sucking on a thistle flower and is said to have originated with a Lord of the Isles story with Clan Donald. The second one, found in most gift stores, is the bow and arm from the Malagawatch shield. Registration of a clan tartan with the Arms is unusual.
Bee and Thistle Crest

Motto: E Labore Dulcedo ("Pleasure arises from work" or "Toil yields delight")

The background about this crest from the Chieftain of Kinlochaline and the MacDonald Clan.

Motto: Ghift Dhe Agus an Righ (By the Grace of God and the King)

Hear about the Skye Bowmen and Neil of the Bow .

Armigers of Clan MacInnes and legacy (Five are presented):
Note: these pages are rather large due to the crests presented in JPEG format. The matriculated arms are accessible at the Lyon Court in Edinburgh. Two are not matriculated, but have been found in the public domain.

These are official MacInnes Armigers registered in The Public Register of all Bearings and Arms in Scotland. They are listed in sequence of registration reference at the Lyon Court and exclude the newly matriculated Colin McInnes and the Associations.
MacInnes, RT. REV. Bishop Duncan: Episcopal Bishop of See of Moray (39/59)
MacInnis, William John,(43/147)
MacInnis, Albert Garland.(43/148)
MacInnes, William Beverage,(44/73) 
MacInnis, Murdock, (44/79)
The above are the only MacInnes Armigers, or another way of saying, Armigers of Clan MacInnes who have matriculated Arms and the Arms belong personally to the individuals or groups. 
The Arms granted to Bishop Duncan MacInnes are Episcopal Church Arms.
William Beverage MacInnis is a descendent of Hugh McInnes of Carradale on the Mull of Kintyre, Scotland. (Crest - Boar with bow)
William John and Albert Garland MacInnis are descendents of Murdock MacInnis of Malagawatch Farm in Canada but Murdock was born on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.  A Shield only was granted to Murdock but Shields and Crests (Crest - Arm grasping a bow) granted to the two descendents. The three shields although very similar, all differ according to the rules for depicting heraldic cadence (descendants).  It is the Arms of William John MacInnis together with his personal Grant of Arms that appears on the MacInnes website representing "Malagawatch".

Ancient MacInnes - (MacIan shield) three six-point stars with the motto E Labore Dulcedo. Latter seen with the thistle and the bee in the crest. Not matriculated. More detail here and arms here.

MacInnes of Crathie - (Rev. John MacInnes of Crathie Church) twin tower castle - a sailing galley, a gyronny of eight - and a wild boar's head as the crest. Not matriculated. More detail here and arms here.

MacInnes of Carradale- Similar to the Crathie crest, but added three ram's head and a bow and arrow in the boar's hooves. Matriculated. More detail here and arms here.

MacInnes of Malagawatch. Dropped the three ram's head and boar's head, added the bow and arrow. Matriculated. Found most often with vendors as Clan MacInnes crest. More detail here and arms here.

McInnes of Pitlochry Colin McInnes has just received his matriculation for his own arms. This is very new information, we have only the matriculation sheet. More to come. See the arms here.

Thanks to Ross MacAngus of Banton for the professional artist shield prints and the large tartan pdf files;, and Donald MacInnes of Cumbernauld, Scotland for information on the crests.


To see a larger view of the tartans, click on one of the tartans. These are very large files.

A fourth Clan Tartan(TS189),
the old Dress MacInnes

(erroneously referred to as the "Innes tartan")

Red Tartan
From the Scottish Tartans Authority

Here is a description of the MacInnes tartan from the Scottish Tartans Society

Clan Tartans - Used by permission of the Scottish Tartan Society, please do not copy
For more information on all the public registered tartans, see this excellent site.

A new MacMaster tartan based on the ‘Red’ MacInnes has been designed by David J MacMaster and Blair Urquhart.


Some bagpipe tunes on a separate page here.


Tartans of Scotland

Clan Postcard from Lang Syne Publishers,
permission pending. This postcard is what you will see in the shops.

An old post card from the 1940's. The motto is "Sine Crimine Fiat" meaning "It may be done". The motto and the three six-point stars on the shield are often attributed to the Innesses of Morayshire.
See it here.