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St. Andrew's Star

Logo of the AFSPB



Following the formation of the Arizona Fire Service Pipe Band in 2013, among other things, we began to develop an image and a branding of which we could be recognized, produce merchandise, and so forth. Being that we were fire service related, naturally our brand would need to represent that. The original logo, designed by Nat Erickson consisted of a black maltese cross shape with the center being the shape of the state of Arizona. The shape was filled with the flag of the state, with a bass drum, snare drum, bagpipes, and an axe. Across the top in yellow lettering read Arizona, and across the bottom Fire Service Pipe Band. This was our first logo and our first uniform patch.

Roughly a year later, P/M Cahill drew up a napkin design of a star & X design that he imagined as a logo for the band. Nat again got to work turning that into the band's logo. After doing a bit of research on the design, he learned that it was called St. Andrew's Star and commonly used throughout Scotland and with Scottish related topics, including pipe bands. 

Looking through the various styles and expressions of the St. Andrew's Star and the Saltire found representing various organizations, a design was constructed. St. Andrew's Star overlaid with the Saltire became the shape of the logo. A red ring makes up the center with the text Arizona Fire Service Pipe Band MMXIII, in yellow. In the center of the text ring is a black filled circle with a maltese cross filled with the Arizona flag. 

This logo was presented to P/M Cahill and immediately accepted as the new logo of the band. From there a new uniform patch was produced as well as minted metal hat pins for our Glengarry's.




Origins and Canonization

St. Andrew's journey to becoming the patron saint of Scotland is a remarkable tale that intertwines divine intervention, apostolic authority, and historical events. As one of the original twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, his role in early Christian tradition was pivotal, paving the way for his eventual canonization.

However, it was the arrival of St. Andrew's relics in the 8th century that cemented his connection to Scotland. Guided by divine visions, a Greek monk named St. Regulus embarked on a mission to safeguard a portion of St. Andrew's bones, fearing their destruction in the Eastern Roman Empire's political turmoil. His journey led him to the eastern coast of Scotland, where he established a chapel in what is now St. Andrews. This momentous event not only enshrined the saint's relics but also marked the beginning of Scotland's deep devotion to St. Andrew.

St. Andrew's apostolic status, coupled with the miraculous preservation and arrival of his relics, culminated in his canonization as a saint. His presence became synonymous with Scotland's identity, symbolized by the Saltire, Scotland's national flag. This iconic cross, with its diagonal white cross on a blue background, is a visual testament to St. Andrew's enduring influence on the nation's history, culture, and spirituality.

St. Andrew in Scottish History

The presence of St. Andrew's relics in Scotland held profound significance for the nation. Andrew's cross, a diagonal white cross on a blue background, became the iconic Saltire flag of Scotland, symbolizing his enduring influence on the country. His feast day, celebrated on November 30th, was established as a national holiday, a day of both religious observance and civic pride. Over the centuries, St. Andrew became a symbol of Scottish identity and resilience, particularly during challenging times.

St. Andrew in Scottish Bagpipe Bands

The rich tradition of Scottish bagpipe bands also draws inspiration from St. Andrew. His patronage is celebrated in the stirring tunes and music performed by these bands. Bagpipes have been an integral part of Scottish culture for centuries, and the inclusion of St. Andrew in their repertoire pays homage to the saint's role in shaping Scotland's spiritual and historical landscape.

In many Scottish bagpipe bands, tunes dedicated to St. Andrew are played with great reverence. These melodies often evoke a sense of national pride and unity among band members and audiences alike. Additionally, the haunting sound of bagpipes, echoing across the Scottish landscape, further reinforces the deep connection between St. Andrew and the country's cultural heritage.


St. Andrew's history and significance to Scotland are intertwined with the nation's religious, cultural, and musical traditions. His origins in the Holy Land, the veneration of his relics, and his enduring role as the patron saint of Scotland have left an indelible mark on the country's identity. In the realm of Scottish bagpipe bands, the melodies and tunes dedicated to St. Andrew continue to honor his legacy and remind all who hear them of the enduring ties between faith, heritage, and music in Scotland.

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