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Dunvegan Castle

Photograph Dunvegan Castle Scotland

Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye is famous for the precious Fairy Flag, which is kept in the castle. An
extremely old, discoloured and worn piece of material, it hardly resembles a flag at all, but it is said to possess remarkable supernatural power. Dunvegan is the seat of the MacLeod clan, and their attachment to the Fairy Flag stems from the ancient belief that, if the MacLeod family is ever in dire peril, the flag, if unfurled, will protect them from harm. This superstition has been given weight by
the fact that on two separate occasions in history; the flag was unfurled in battle and the MacLeod clan and their soldiers were able to overcome their enemies in spite of what had seemed to be insurmountable odds.

Photograph Dunvegan Castle Scotland

Dunvegan Castle, ancestral home of the Clan MacLeod, Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides, Highland region, Scotland. Photographic Print of Dunvegan Castle from Robert Harding.

How the flag came into the possession of the family is a matter of some debate, but one story tells of a party in the castle many years ago. The nursemaid who was left in charge of the baby of the family left the child for a few moments to watch the revelries, and while she was gone the child kicked off its covers. When the nurse returned, she found that the child had been covered up by the fairies with the Fairy Flag. When she picked up the child in its new silken cover, fairy voices were heard telling the MacLeod family that if ever the flag was unfurled in battle the enemy would see twice as many MacLeod clansmen as were actually facing them. The flag could only be used three times, for whoever tried to use it
a fourth time would disappear, along with the flag.
The Fairy Flag has been used twice, and no one would want to have to use it a third and final time, but its very presence in Dunvegan is considered by many to be some sort of lucky talisman in itself.


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