In Scotland's turbulent past it was custom for Clan Chiefs to give their followers a metal plate of their crest, to be worn as a badge of allegiance which fastened to their clothing with a strap and buckle. When not in use the belt was coiled around the crest and this convention is used in the clan crest badges of today. Only a Clan Chief may wear the crest without the strap and buckle.
The intricately detailed clan crest design is approved by the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs, as authentic representation taken from the arms of the Chief of the Clans. Every Clan Chief or family head has a Coat of Arms granted by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, which is listed in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland. The Register, established in 1592 and kept in the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh, is acknowledged as being the most magnificent heraldic manuscript in Scotland.