The Legend of the silverbacks
During the centuries of conflict between the Scottish /Irish against the English, many legends where born. Stories were shared of great feats of heroism on behalf of the Scots and Irish facing insurmountable odds on the battle field confronting their adversaries. Bands of clans would unite together to form a small army or militia, taking on much larger, better equipped English forces as well as invaders from other lands (Romans, French, Vikings) by maximizing their strengths such as greater mobility, fierce fighting tactics, spirited to be an independent nation. Most notably, William Wallace commanded an epic stand against the British which became an inspiration to all those who face down tyranny and suppression in the name of equality and the right of individual pursuits.
These tales of bravery and perseverance were carried from village to village by the art of storytelling. Whether the tales were exact translations of the facts or mythic variation, the recollections captured the true spirit of Scotland’s desire to stand against aggression and perpetuate the dream of peace and freedom.
Such a tale recalls the impending invasion of Norseman upon the Isle of Skye, a part of Scotland separated by a channel of water from the mainland. Depleted of militia who had departed to Scotland to join other militia to fight back an English army, the Isle of Skye was virtually defenseless to the oncoming invaders. With only forty men to stand between their homeland and the relentless Vikings, The Isle was sure to fall. It was at this darkest moment that inspiration came upon this small band of brothers united to stand in the gap for their people. The invasion would most certainly take place at night to maximize the enemy’s ability to overcome any resistance. The Skyelanders (as they were known) anticipating such a strategy, lit a thousand torches that illuminated the shores of Skye communicating a clear message to the Vikings that they would extend no surprise to those for whom they thought to be a simple conquest. The Skyelanders were on horseback atop a ridge that overlooked the channel. Dressed in their clan kilts, bearing their shields and banners, each defender wore silver chest armour and forearm and hand armour that was acquired from battles with the British army. This was a common occurrence that Scots would wear such armour to increase their advantage in future battles with the English. However, the Scots would not wear the head gear as to not be confused with English soldiers or Knights to their fellow Scotsmen. Translated from the fables of the standing stone, a skyscraper size monolith that towers over the land of Skye known as the "Old Man of Storr", this fateful night was plagued by a moonless sky due to overcast weather. Translated from Gaelic, the fable notes that the militia knelt before God and prayed for deliverance and forgiveness for any lack of faith that they may have in carrying out such a task on behalf of Scotland. It is said that at the moment the Viking ships were visible from the light of the torches, a full moon emerged from the clouded sky and shone down upon the silver armour of the defenders which shimmered in the night "like the uncountable stars in the sky". The account of this the Vikings chronicled as "an unexpected army of untold proportions awaited our arrival and assured slaughter. What pillage we may have possible acquired could not warrant such a sacrifice, it was at this conjuncture that we returned from whence we came"
Such a tale became immediate legend and spread throughout the land of Scotland and the Isle of Skye was tormented no more by those who thought it a land with no defender. And the men who stood for her where known as the "SilverBacks", for in Celtic lore it is the "back" that "carries the burden of the commission". . .", and what greater commission could one be bestowed than the protector of those for whom God has place in one's care!"
The SilverBack's uniform recalls the silver armour with a "silver" back panel on the jersey. The helmet is white, denoting the absence of a silver "knight" helmet with a crest on the right side of the helmet only. This is symbolic of being on the right hand of God. The crest is divided into four quadrants. The first and last quadrants are traditionally of primary importance thus the color white is used. White is the specific color of Christ and Christianity as is the second color being burgundy, symbolic of the blood of Christ (note: Purple is the third color that is associated with Christ). The "three pillared" monolith directly above the crest is the Celtic symbol for the" first sons of the order". This was awarded to each boy who formed the first year team of the SilverBacks 2007. A symbol is assigned to each new teammate for each subsequent year i.e. year two-second sons of the order (crescent moon), year three- third sons of the order (star) and the fourth year-fourth sons of the order (falcon-bird). The later symbols are placed above the monolith symbolizing the foundation of the team for which that first year group established.
The seal of the team fashions the crest (sign of the order) with the Latin motto "NOLI ME CALCARA-OMNIS GLORIA DEO" which is translated, "DON'T TREAD ON ME-ALL GLORY TO GOD", recalling the deposition of the SilverBacks who defended the Isle of Skye so many years ago.