AN illustration of Galashiels War Memorial's Border Reiver has found itself in the middle of a copyright row.

US-based heritage group 'Clan Bell - North America' have been forced to stop using an image depicting the mounted Border Reiver on their banners due to a 'copyright violation.'

The group posted about the situation in a lengthy Facebook statement where they explained that the image of the memorial was created in 2012 by illustrator Shaun Maxwell who "intends for this image to be used exclusively by Clan Maxwell."

Joseph L. Bell, President of Clan Bell North America added that the group must "stop using the mounted Border Reiver image after Dec. 31, 2019 and will work to replace items with the image throughout 2019."

The illustration was originally incorporated into their signage in 2013 when a member of the group was under the impression the image could be used as it was in the public domain. The member has paid a settlement to the illustrator for his error.

The group said: "Many banners will need to be discarded or have the image covered. Many magnets, license plates, key rings, T-shirts and lapel pins with the image will have to be discarded and will need to be replaced with new items for our tents and online shop to sell."

Clan Bell have their roots in the Borders so the image of the Borders Reiver was fitting of their historic past.

The iconic bronze statue of the horseman forms part of the Galashiels War Memorial and was sculpted by Thomas J Clapperton and unveiled by Field Marshall Haig in 1925.

The group said they have now commissioned an artist to create a new image for the exclusive use of Clan Bell North America.