New Arms of the International Association of Clan MacInnes

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. Arms are usually granted to a clan chief, who then have the people with the clan name use them. But Clan MacInnes is an armigerous clan, meaning without chief. The last chief and sons were killed in about 1358, and the Clan has remained without a chief. The International Association of Clan MacInnes is incorporated, and is an organization that works to promote the clan of MacInnes and its derivative names. Technically, to use this shield and arms you should be a member of the IACM according to Lord Lyon that controls these symbols. These are in a class called corporate arms. But the use of these arms is better than using the "official" arms which are the Malagawatch arms, matriculated by John William MacInnes of Malagawatch Nova Scotia.

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. The arms selected by the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs is actually the Malagawatch arms, owned by a family in Canada. 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 Ensigns Armorial as approved/matriculated by the Lord Lyon in 2004 specifically for members of the International Association of Clan MacInnes. These arms were obtained at considerable expense and are both protected by the Court of Lord Lyon in Scotland and copyrighted in the United States of America. The Crest and/or Arms may not be used in any manner or for any purpose by non-members and/or vendors without the express written consent from the IACM board.

The first sketch of the arms by Ross MacAngus

Lyon Court
We have discovered that our arms delivered by Lord Lyon are not in line with the arms description. Our shield has four cross crosslets, symbolizing our connect to St. Columba. But the description in our arms says the two vertical crosses should be "cross crosslets fitchée" and the two side ones as is. The first drawing from Mrs. Elizabeth Roads, Lord Lyon Clerk and Keeper of the Records, shown at the left is correct. The cross crosslet represents the four fold mystery of the cross, where the fitchée is a combination cross and sword, represents unshakeable faith.

The IACM is not sure what to do with this issue as we have much history now with the four crosslets, merchandise, etc.
The Shield on this website has been updated from the changes from the Lord Lyon.

Crest and Motto: artwork by Ross MacAngus

New Crest

Click on image for larger view

Crest on plaque

Click on image for larger view

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)

MacInnes holly

‘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.

MacInnes Malagawatch crest

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 Past and Present

What is an armiger and coat of arms?

A coat of arms is a symbol that represents a specific family or person. Originally appearing on shields or flags, coats of arms were once used as a way of distinguishing one knight from another on a battlefield.

Once arms have been granted (by the Lord Lyon of Scotland) the person is consider to be an Armiger of the clan. Armigers are registered in The Public Register of all Bearings and Arms in Scotland

All of our Armigers past and present,coat of arms
have been moved to a new Armigers page.


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 Tartan slideshow can be found here.

MacInnes Onich taran
Clan Tartan (TS1464)
Design by John MacInnes of Onich

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

MacInnes Ancient hunting tartan

Hunting Tartan (TS1614)
Ancient hunting

MacInnes Dress taran
Dress Tartan (TS923)

MacInnes dress Dalgliesh tartan
Dalgliesh Dress Tartan (TS6766)

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

(erroneously referred to as the "Innes tartan")

MacInnes red tartan not registered
Red Tartan
From the Scottish Tartans Authority

MacInnes grey Homecoming tartan
Homecoming Clan Tartan (TS7815)

Created for the Homecoming Scotland 2009 MacInnes gathering

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

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.


Clan Postcard

The post card found in most shops and at most Scottish Games. The warrior is the same as the Bow Warrior in "The Clans of the Scottish Higlands" by R. R. McIan , and the crest found in most commercial products is from the Sky Bowmen.
The copyright here is owned by: Lang Syne Publications
Clydeway Centre
45 Finnieston Street
Glasgow, Scotland G3 8JU

Copyright, Lang Syne Publishers

Old Clan Postcard

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.

Old postcard

Cigarette silk

This is a printed silk Clan Tartan & Arms. These silks were an alternative to paper printed cigarette cards and given away in packets of cigarettes in the early 1920's. The silks were issued by Godfrey Phillips Ltd in England around 1922. This silk is of MACINNES Red Clan Tartan & Arms Motto: E Labore Dulcedo "Toil yields delight". The silk approximate size is 65 x 50 mm (2.5" x 2"). Note the thistle and the bee in this 1922 card.

Cigarette Silk

This is another crest that is similar to the two crests above. 
This is sometimes referred to as the MacIan crest.

Old MacInnes coat of arms