My parents were both born in Belfast, Northern Ireland but St. Patrick’s day was never celebrated in our house. Why, you ask? Because we are proud Orange-Irish! (Or British, or English, depending on who you ask.)
Growing up, my sister Jacqueline and I were NEVER allowed to wear green to school. We would try to sneak out the door and Daddy would turn us about saying, “No child of mine is wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. Go and put on your orange.” No matter how we pleaded about getting pinched, Daddy was always true to his heritage. And I passed that on to my children and grandchildren.
And just what is the difference between “Orange” and “Green” Irish? The easy answer is “Orange” is Protestant and “Green” is Catholic. The hard answer is a deep delve into a long-standing battle for political power that has little to do with religion, in my humble opinion. What follows is my own take on it, provided by stories handed down by my Nana and Daddy and a bit of research. I’m not trying to sugar-coat any of it; the Irish have shed far too much blood in the name of so-called “pride.”
And now, for your reading pleasure and education, my annual explanation on why this 100% Irish, first generation American, wears Orange on St. Patrick’s Day.Continue reading