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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day

A little Irish history for you... Wearing of the orange vs. the green.

The "Tricolour," the national flag of the Republic of Ireland, has three equal stripes which illustrate the Irish political landscape.

orange — standing for Irish Protestants
green — signifying Irish Catholics and the republican cause
white — representing the hope for peace between them

The color orange is associated with Northern Irish Protestants because of William of Orange (William III), the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland who in 1690 defeated the deposed King James II, a Roman Catholic, in the fateful Battle of the Boyne near Dublin. William III's victory secured Protestant dominance over the island, to the enormous benefit of the 17th-century colonizers of northern Ireland — the English (mainly Anglicans) and Scots (mostly Presbyterians). Sometimes called Orangemen, Protestants in Northern Ireland celebrate the anniversary of the battle each July 12th.

Green as the color standing for the Irish Catholic nationalists of the south may have something to do with shamrocks and verdant landscapes, but more importantly, green symbolizes revolution.

One of the reasons that one wears green on St. Patrick's Day is because the Catholic side of Ireland is identified with green, and St. Patrick is a Catholic Saint credited with converting the island to Christianity. Whereas the Protestants are identified with orange, and are often called "Orangemen", as in King William the Orange. The clashes in Ireland between the Catholics and Protestants are often clashes of the green and the orange.

I've got some Irish heritage. These are my great-great-grandparents. Daniel and Sarah McConaghie. This was back in Ireland, on the farm they owned outside of Belfast. We're Northern Irish. I still wear green - don't want to get pinched! ;-)

Hope you enjoy your St. Patrick's Day, orange or green!

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  1. I had both orange and green sweaters out this morning and went with the green as well. Sorry grandma! Happy St. Patty's!

  2. What a great image! I wonder what type of camera it was shot with.