The colours: White represents the ice-covered continent, ice flows, and the edge of the Antarctic Ocean. Grey represents outcropping rocks, seals and birds. Orange represents lichen, Emperor and King penguin (head) plumage. Yellow also represents penguin plumage and the summer midnight sun. Black and white together depict penguins and whales. Pale blue represents crevasses in the ice and shallow blue icy waters on the ice shelves, whilst dark midnight blue represents the deep Antarctic Ocean and the darkness of the Antarctic winter. The design is based upon the Antarctic's geography. The light square of white at the edge of the sett represents the light of the Antarctic summer on the ice-covered continent. This is quartered by threads of pale blue. These represent the zero / 360, 90, 180, and 270 lines of longitude. The point where they cross represents the South Pole. Two bands of grey surrounding the white heart depicts nunataks, mountain ranges, and exposed coastal rocks. Around the coast Antarctica's life forms are found so the colours that follow in the sett, orange, yellow, black and white, represent the wealth of animal life on land and in the seas. Orange also represents the lichens that encrust the rocks. Surrounding the land, pale blue and white depict the ice shelves whilst the outside is edged by bands of midnight blue for the ocean deeps and dark winters. Each sett is separated by a thin band of white that represents the edge of Antarctica. Where these cross, the Southern Cross is depicted. This viewed diagonally also represents the Scottish saltire, tribute that 2001 is the centenary of Scott's first expedition to the Antarctic in 1901.
This tartan was authorised by B.A.S. - British Antarctic Survey to raise funds for the U.K. Antarctic Heritage Trust.
The tartan is sold in several parts of the world - including Port Lockroy in Antarctica.