Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Is St. Patrick's Day Blue, Green or Orange?

Here's a little bit of interesting history regarding St. Patrick, and his special day.

Blue - not green - was the color associated with St. Patrick. In fact, there is a blue that is called St. Patrick's blue, which can be seen on the flag of the President of Ireland and the Coat of arms of Ireland, as well as other places.
Green became associated with St. Patrick's Day due to the phrase "wearing of the green" which referred to wearing a green shamrock on your clothing. St. Patrick used the three -leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to non-Christian Irish, so wearing a shamrock was a sign of Irish nationalism and loyalty to the Roman Catholic Faith.

The change to green, rather than blue, began in the 1750s.

So, where does orange make its appearance?

In 1690, William of Orange (King of England, Ireland and Scotland) defeated King James II, a Roman Catholic, causing Protestant military dominance. Although the 'Orange' in William's name actually referred to a province in France, Protestants began wearing the color orange on St. Patrick's day, in the late 1700s, as a sign of defiance.

Orange now appears on the Irish flag to symbolize the Protestant minority in Ireland.


1 comment:

My ADHD Me said...

Thanks for the trivia. I'm Irish but had no idea of those facts!

Happy St Paddy's Day!