Royal Stewart Tartan was a popular pattern for the fashionable upper crust of British society in Victorian and Edwardian times. Its subsequent association with the aristocracy meant the pattern denoted civility and authority. Punks reappropriated the plaid, and wore the pattern in torn-up strips, as bondage wear, and other unconventional means. This was yet another way to give the middle finger to the established rulers of British society and showcase punk's dissatisfaction with the way things were.
Punks’ preferred tartan plaid has always been Royal Stewart Tartan, the personal tartan of Queen Elizabeth II.