The Fairy Flag of Dunvegan

The Fairy Flag of Dunvegan

The Fairy Flag of Dunvegan

One of the most fascinating items you will find on display at Dunvegan Castle is The Fairy Flag of Dunvegan. The castle, located on the Isle of Skye, has been the stronghold of the Chiefs of MacLeod for nearly 800 years.  The MacLeods consider the Fairy Flag to be  a gift from the fairies and the most treasured possession of their Clan. Is it a true fairy relic?  Many people think so but there are differing theories about the flag’s origins. Here’s one theory, according to Wikipedia:

“…an early clan chieftan spent some time in the fairy realm. In his time there, he fell in love with the daughter of the fairy king, and they were married. Clan duty called, and he and his bride returned to the mortal realm. However, the fairy princess could only live in there for 7 years. Towards the end of this time, she gave birth to a baby boy, whom she tearfully left behind with the chief. Just before crossing over the fairy bridge back into her world, she begged that the baby never be left alone, as the sound of his crying would be too much for her to bear. That night, the clan had a feast to distract the chief from his grief. As the MacLeods are famous for their piping and dancing, the nursemaid in charge of the baby sneaked away from the nursery to join the party.  When she was discovered, the chief immediately ran up to his son, only to find his fairy wife already there, singing the child back to sleep. When the chief entered the room, the fairy vanished, but left behind a blanket on their son, which became the Fairy Flag. The song she was singing is still sung within the clan, known either as the Dunvegan Lullaby or the Fairy Lullaby.”

Another persistent theory says the flag was acquired during the Crusades  and was a consecrated banner of the Knights Templars but experts have dated the flag between the 4th and 7th centuries A.D which is at least 400 years before the First Crusade.

Yet another theory makes a case for this flag being the same one carried by  King Harald Hardrada of Norway and dubbed “Land-Waster” when he invaded England in 1066.

All in all, most Highlanders believe, regardless of the details, that long ago, the flag was a gift from a fairy maiden to a MacLeod Chief.  As the legend goes, this fairy maiden promised the MacLeod Chief that on three–and only three–occasions, when he or his clan were in danger, he might wave the flag  and be saved  by summoning a fairy army.

The flag was waved twice during in the Middle Ages, so there is only one wave left.  The first time, the MacLeods were greatly outnumbered in battle with the MacDonalds and, at the exact moment that the chief waved the Fairy Flag, the battle turned in favor of the MacLeods. The second time,  the clan’s cattle were dying of some devastating disease and the Chief summoned the fairy armies, who magically restored the cattle to health and saved the MacLeods from starvation.

During World War II, the 28th Chief, Dame Flora MacLeod of MacLeod, offered to wave the Fairy Flag over the cliffs of Dover should the Germans look like they would be victorious.   She also cut off pieces of the flag for soldiers during this time to keep them safe and the results of that can clearly be seen in the photo above.

I  would really love to see this flag in person and see if it has a feeling of magic about it.  What do you think?  Is this flag a true gift from the fairies?

By |2011-02-04T12:38:50+00:00|Everything Else|52 Comments

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  1. Jordan May 25, 2009 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    Wow! i would love to see that flag! wow that is an amazing story! that would be wonderful if fairies actually made that flag! and is a wonder that its lasted in tact for so long. Are fairies protecting it? and the pattern kinda looks like a person with a crown on, almost like an egyptian king. i wonder what the orignal blanket looks like (especially the little snipets of blankets that were given). Amazing!

    • Natalie Lynn May 25, 2009 at 11:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Jordan,

      I know, I just love the idea of the fae giving the MacLeods a flag and honoring their pledge to protect them. It does sound like something Elves would do…


  2. Hayley May 27, 2009 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    That’s so interesting.
    I live in Scotland, so maybe I’ll visit there sometime (Isle of Skye).
    Also it’s awesome because some people in my family are called MacLeod.
    I think.
    If it’s pronounced ma-cloud?

  3. Aredhel May 31, 2009 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Sounds very interesting, it is a great story.
    Now i would like to see that flag :). Maybe i visit the Isle of Skye.

    • Natalie Lynn June 9, 2009 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      Aredhel- Yes, it’s on my sister’s and my to do list. We want to go to Scotland and Ireland for sure, once the kids are a little bit older and leaving the country won’t be such a bother.


  4. Sophie June 1, 2009 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Wow that is amazing!It would be sooo cool to be able to see it! I ld wish I could see it! I wonder how much magic is in it. Probably alot!

    • Natalie Lynn June 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm - Reply

      Hi Sophie!

      I know, I really want to see it in person. I think there must still be some powerful magic there…


  5. Natalie Lynn June 9, 2009 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Hayley,

    Wow, let us know if you ever visit there – we would love to hear about it.

    Yes, I do think it is pronounced ma-cloud so maybe you have some fairy blood, eh? 🙂


  6. dianne June 13, 2009 at 9:24 am - Reply

    wow! i hope someday i could go and visit there… 🙂 *sigh*

    • Natalie Lynn June 20, 2009 at 1:39 am - Reply

      Dianne- Yes , me too 🙂 Someday I would love to visit all of Europe.


  7. Lisa A. June 13, 2009 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    Wow , that is fascinating! You just never know about these things. I believe the Shroud of Turin is real as well-never say “never”!

    The Faeries and Elves do seem to use various symbols on flags- so it wouldnt surprise me this account was true.

    • Natalie Lynn June 20, 2009 at 2:21 am - Reply

      Hi Lisa A.,

      Yes, isn’t this an amazing artifact? I agree, the Elves and fairies are very big on banners and flags with symbols so this is not a big stretch of imagination for me.


  8. Justine Raine Mueller June 14, 2009 at 6:04 am - Reply

    Hello.. Y did the fairy give him that flag in the last theory?

    • Natalie Lynn June 20, 2009 at 2:52 am - Reply

      Hi Justine Raine Mueller,

      Well there are several legends about how they actually were given the flag but one of the more popular stories is that it was given by a fairy woman to her human husband.


  9. Hayley June 19, 2009 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Cos, like half of my family have that name.

  10. Hayley June 19, 2009 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Also, I hope you guys get to visit Scotland sometime.
    Lived there my whole life.

  11. Justine Raine Mueller June 20, 2009 at 5:36 am - Reply

    oohhh… thats so cool..isnt that supposed to be some kind of forbidden love?

  12. dianne June 20, 2009 at 5:39 am - Reply

    hi susan
    hehehe same here when i grow up and have a good job im planning to visit europe but that would take many years.. but i can wait 🙂

    • Natalie Lynn July 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      Hi dianne – Well, there have been stories and legends about humans and fairies falling in love but I don’t have any first hand knowledge about it. I does sound interesting tho…

      Yes, I am so looking forward to visiting Scotland and other enchanted parts of Europe!
      Take care!


  13. dianne June 20, 2009 at 5:49 am - Reply

    about justine raine mueller’s question i was also wondering about that too! i mean can fairies be in love with humans? im confused…

  14. Hayley June 21, 2009 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    Ah, I’m excited, maybe I have some faery blood in me? 😀 Haha. Okay, I suppose I am taking it to the extreme now, just because my family have that name.
    Are places like Scotland, Ireland and Germany more, shall I say ‘enchanted’?

    • Natalie Lynn July 2, 2009 at 11:20 pm - Reply

      Hi Hayley,

      Well….you never know, right? The MacLeods of Dunvegan certainly believe that they do have fairy blood so who can say for sure?

      Yes, I have been told by the Elves that the veil between the two worlds (ours and the faery realm) is the thinnest in Ireland and Scotland so that would make sense to me. I’m not sure how Germany fits in there though, I’d have to ask them.

      All the best,

  15. cindy June 24, 2009 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    hey every one its me
    i have a question!

    ok sooo are how are fairys born
    wierd question i know but u dont really got to answer them!
    umm i saw a fairy movie..tinkerbell-disney
    and they said that the fairy was born from hapiness !
    plz respond

    • Natalie Lynn July 3, 2009 at 12:29 am - Reply

      Hi Cindy,

      As far as I know, elves and pixies are born the same way humans are and I imagine that would be the same for other types of fairies too.


  16. cindy July 14, 2009 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    oh that makes sense!

    cool…i guess 🙂

  17. Hayley July 29, 2009 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Half of my family are the MacLeods.
    Haha, my mum says I look elvin. (sp)? >.<

    • Natalie Lynn July 30, 2009 at 1:43 am - Reply


      Hmmm, could be you have some fairy blood! 🙂


  18. Hayley August 2, 2009 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    I sound pretty crazy.
    Are they quite petite and have like kinda pointed features?

  19. Navneeta ray August 6, 2009 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    how do fairy babies look like
    i wonder i bet they would be
    the cutest babies in the world

  20. Bri3 August 14, 2009 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    um if they are quite petite then i might have some fairy blood too lol but it is quite possible because no matter how much i eat i don’t gain any weight and i have extremely small feet for my age. 🙂 but i’m not saying it’s definite it could just be coincedence and i can’t ask my mom because she is a non believer.

  21. Stephanie August 25, 2009 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    I believe the fairy legend, definately. The other possible origins just seem mocking to me.

    Also, I tried to find a recording of the Fairy Lullaby on youtube but had no luck. Where can I find it? I would very much like to hear it.

  22. Layla n Amentia August 30, 2009 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    My feet used to be small when I was little and my sister looks just like a fairy she is thin and has tiny feet. I’m average but I am about 5 feet tall and have size 6 feet. I guess I have some in me. And my dad says I look fair of face!!!!! cool. And I believe humans can turn into fairies and have powers and also the kind that doesn’t and is any size.

  23. Eshalom Samuel September 4, 2009 at 9:46 pm - Reply


    I understand that Iceland has a large percentage of their population seeing and talking with the faerie realm most of the time. They actually have more gnomes, trolls and elves than the other faerie clans. Do you know anything about the elfen stories of Iceland or have you seen the movies about the faerie realms through the Sundance Film Series? There is an Elf School there as well.

    The flag story reminds of when a sacred blanket showed up in my living room in July, 1987 with the instructions, “It is time to get to work!”. The blanket is very Native America with all the colors of the rainbow, however it is mostly red. It is estimated to be many hundreds of years old. The Navajo bid upon the blanket in 1990 up to $5000 and when I told them I was not selling it. Their comment was “You do not know what you have!” and my comment was “Yes I do and you are not buying it!”. It is a magic blanket and has taken people into other realms, provided protection and is a stargate for divine and sacred energies. It was a gift from the gods & my guides from the other realms. It is used on my music massage table when I do my healing work or as a protector from abstract energies. In fact, Peter Calhoun recently slept with the blanket and said it was first good sleep he has had in more than seven years.

    Anyway, it would be interesting to touch into the energies of the Fairy Flag just to see if any messages are found within it.

    Be In Joy! Eshalom

  24. Anne September 6, 2009 at 8:32 am - Reply

    i still can contact any ive done veveyhing!

  25. Anny September 8, 2009 at 4:26 am - Reply

    my friend lives in Scotland, when I visit him I’ll try to pay a visit to the Dunvegan Castle!

  26. Uapa September 16, 2009 at 11:21 am - Reply

    In the post where you talk about amulets, if I understood, you said we can draw our own ones and anyway we give them power, activating them. maybe this flag is human, but they empowered it with their energy, with fairies help, activating it as amulet?
    This site is really great, thank you 🙂

    • Natalie Lynn September 26, 2009 at 5:23 pm - Reply

      Hi Uapa,

      That is always a possibility. You never know with the fae 🙂


  27. dante September 27, 2009 at 9:33 am - Reply

    yeah hi i really want to meet an elve but i dont live near the woods but i read the storie about the elves singing at the funeral and sometimmes when i g visit my mom at the cemetary near a forest i feel like im not alone and its a great place for them if i ask do you think they would come near our house!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  28. dante September 27, 2009 at 9:36 am - Reply

    oh srry so fun to say!!!

  29. Layla n Amentia October 8, 2009 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    admin do you think I’m a mermaid or water fairy?? I have brown hair and small feet n im smallest in my class and my shoulder blades stick out and i am a wayyyyy better swimmer than runner. sometimes ifeel uncomfortable on land like pollution buses bother me like big ships do tell me your opinion.


  30. Layla n Amentia October 8, 2009 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    I also can make HHHUUUGGE water bubbles and draw water up with my fingertips

  31. Layla n Amentia October 8, 2009 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    And this weird thing… I LOVE to sing and my mom said my voice is good but who knows? Apples are yummy! Random…

  32. kalvin October 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Flag looks intresting.

  33. dante October 15, 2009 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    yeah i sound like an elve but im not …i have little points on the tip of my ears …but not an elve

  34. rico paulo December 11, 2009 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    hey natalie!
    hey! i had a book called wizardology….and inside there is a flag called the fairy flag and it’s the same thing on what the real fairy flag looked like…..could you attract fairies with it??? and also…it says on the book that you could make only one wish…is that true???

    • Natalie Lynn December 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm - Reply

      Hi rico,

      If you are talking about the actual Fairy Flag of Dunvegan, you would have to have that exact flag to attract the fae with it. As far as the wish thing goes, there are lots of different legends about this particular flag so it’s hard to know what is really true anymore.

  35. rico paulo December 13, 2009 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    hi natalie,
    so you mean that the fairy flag that is in my book wasn’t real???

  36. Rhiannon December 23, 2009 at 3:43 am - Reply

    I always wondered why Fae wifes/husbands had to go back to the other side or fairy land. Usually 7 is the number of years in the human world and they always have to return. Why is that?

  37. teekamarie MacLEOD March 18, 2010 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    I am a MacLEOD and love faeries ! 🙂 Pure magic…

  38. livie42 August 4, 2010 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Is it possible that i have fairy blood? I am phisically small and have pointy ears and am irish and scottish but live in america

  39. Spiritofnature September 17, 2010 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Very interesting… I went to that place if only I knew about the flag!

  40. Ibelieveinfairies October 2, 2010 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Hi, this is very useful information thank you. But I need to ask you something. I feel like a fairy is watching me, but when someone is with me, I feel no presence. How do I know if they’re watching me?

    Thank you very much and I’m looking forward to your reply. Please say hi to Susan and Mr E 🙂

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