The SCOTS on exercise in the Scottish Highlands
The SCOTS on exercise in the Scottish Highlands

Uniform heritage

Cap Badge

The cap badge is bespoke to the Regiment and was approved by the Lord Lyon King of Arms with the matriculation authority being issued on the 26 September 2005. The heraldic description of the cap badge includes a saltire Argent surmounted of a loin rampant ensigned in chief by a representation of the Crown of Scotland Or and in base on an Escrol Argent the Motto “NEMO IMPUNE LACESSIT”:

  • Saltire. A diagonal cross taken from the national Arms of Scotland, being a silver saltire on a blue background.  The saltire is traditionally said to be the shape upon which St Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland, was crucified, and the colours are reputed to have been taken from the apparition of the cross shining in the sky to encourage the king of the Picts in his advanced battle with Athelstane, the king of the Saxons, before the 7th century. Athelstaneford in East Lothian is the site of this presumed site of this battle.  The saltire has formed part of the national Arms of Scotland from a very early period and is recorded in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland in 1672 as the national badge.  
  • The Crown of Scotland. The Crown of Scotland is a physical object housed in Edinburgh Castle and the crown on the cap badge is a representation of the actual Scottish Crown.
  • The Lion Rampant. A lion rampant is found throughout heraldry in Europe and particularly is found in the Arms of a many of the European Sovereigns both past and present.  The lion rampant has appeared in the Royal Arms of Scotland since at least the early 13thcentury.  There is a misconception that in some way the lion rampant is uniquely Scottish, but this is not the case.
  • Motto. The motto ‘Nemo Me Impune Lacessit’ is inextricably linked to the Order of the Thistle and has been designated by the Statutes of the Order to be the motto of that Order since at least the late 17th century. The older Royal motto of Scotland is ‘In Defens’, and this appears on the Royal Arms from an earlier period.  However, the motto of the Order of the Thistle has long been associated with the Royal Arms.  The translation of the motto is‘ No one invokes me with impunity’.


The Regiment in kilt and trews wears the Government military pattern 1A tartan which was inherited from The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (A and SH). Tartan was first worn in the British Army when the Highland regiments were raised. The normal uniform tartan was the Government (or universal) pattern, but as the Highland regiments proliferated, they sought to encourage their individual identities by introducing differences into the Government tartan.  The A & SH adopted the Sutherland tartan from the 93rd (Sutherland Highlanders) Regiment of Foot who merged with the 91st (Princess Louise’s Argyllshire) Highlanders in 1881 under the Childers reforms. The Sutherland tartan then formed the basis of Government pattern 1A tartan.   The Regiment has also inherited several other tartans which are worn in ceremonial dress by the Regiment’s Pipes &Drums bands.

The Black hackle

The black hackle can claim its heritage from the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) uniform which goes back to at least the pre-World War 1 era when the hackle appears on solar helmets. Black plumes were worn on the 1881 rifles shakos, and it’s said that this heritage can go back as far as Marlborough’s time in the early 1700’s butat that time black hackles were widely worn and not just by the 26th Regiment of Foot. On formation of the Regiment in 2006, the1st Battalion, The Royal Scots Borderers (1SCOTS) were granted authority to wear the black hackle.  When 1 SCOTS became 1 RANGER in November2021, the black hackle was adopted as the Regimental hackle and is now worn by all ranks when not serving at Regimental Duty.