Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Am Wearing White Today!

Happy March 17th! No, I did not say Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Most of you will be joining in the various types of celebrations or means of commemorating this annual “holiday.” The most visible means of lending support or expressing solidarity with this holiday is “the wearing of the green.”

Of course that is followed by green hair, green beer, green water fountains, and green shamrocks. Most folks, who think about today, will get up and browse through their closets looking for something green to wear; from underwear to outerwear. The funny thing to me is that most folks don’t know what they are “conveying” by the wearing of the Green.”

As I get up this morning, among the many things tasks of the day, I will do two things. First, I will rummage around my closet looking for something white to wear today. Secondly, I will call my youngest daughter Stacy and wish her happy 28th birthday!

Now, you ask, why will you wear white? And What does the wearing of the green mean? Glad you asked, let me fill you in.

Since 1691 Ireland had been ruled by Protestant forces of the British Empire. Ireland had tried to put off this rule for years. Ireland was Catholic in faith and resented the protestant rule of England.

In 1798 the “Irish Rebellion” broke out in an attempt to win Catholic freedom. The wearing of a green shamrock in one’s hat was a sign of support or solidarity with the Catholic forces (Society of United Irishman) trying to overthrow the Protestant rule.

Unfortunately, the protestant regime of Britain responded with horrible tactics of murder, torture, wrongful imprisonment. I deplore the tactics of my “so-called Protestant” predecessors" and in no way support either their British rule over Ireland or forced imposition of Protestantism while suppressing Catholic freedom.

By the way, the wearing of green and the shamrock in the hat was a hanging offense. This was a very painful time during Ireland’s history. That is why if one is found not wearing “green” they are pinched. This way they can feel the pain of this oppression.

Where does the white come in? Orange is symbolic of Irish Protestants while green is symbolic of Irish Catholics. On the Irish flag, there is an orange stripe, a green stripe and a white stripe. The orange is for the Protestants, the green is for the Catholics and the white is for the hope of peace between the two.

The orange on the Irish flag stands for the Protestants widely known as Orangemen in Ulster after William of Orange. They dress in Orange for the day if they celebrate it.

Since, I am not catholic nor do I sympathize in any way with catholic dogma (theology) I choose not to wear green. However, as a “protestant” (I am really a baptistic non-denominationalist rather than “protestant”) I do not condone as I have said the behavior of the “Orangeman.”

The last few years, however, after learning the distinction and purpose of the colors green and orange, I took to wearing orange. I loved it when people who had no clue as to why everyone was suppose to wear “green” asked me why I was wearing orange.

However, this year, I realized something as I visited this subject again, I had forgotten about the third color on the Irish flag, white. I am going to wear white today to symbolize my solidarity and support for peace in this still war torn country.

I have no plans to dye my hair green or orange. Nor do I think I will put green or orange food coloring in my Merlot tonight. Regardless of what color my daughter wears today, I still am going to call her and tell here happy birthday and how much I love her.


ilovepink1078 said...

Hi, Gregg!
How are you? What keeps you busy? hope to hear you soon.
By the way,you got an award! Hope you like it.

Please claim it to:

John said...

Excellent and interesting post. I'm going to wear white. Now pass the green beer!

IanH said...

There have been a lot of bad things done in the name of Christianity. As I am not irish, I will wear whatever is first out of the drawer.

Scott said...

Very informative Gregg. Thanks I wasn't aware of the history of Green. Usually I just wear the first thing out of the drawer. Next year I'll join you in white if my aging memory doesn't fail me.

Raymonde said...

I learned a lot. Thank you for a very informative post. I wore white today without realising! In Christ.

Kelly said...

Was sent here from the Old Geezer :o)
Great article!

Mike said...

Never knew that! Thanks

Mike said...

And who was St. Patrick. Thanks for doing the research for me :)

Lisa said...

Interesting stuff. I love what the white symbolizes, but I wish it was a bright color! :)

I only wore green eyeshadow today and not intentionally. And I didn't get pinched. haha

Happy Birthday to your daughter -- I hope she has a wonderful birthday!!

Scott Weldon said...

Having some dominant Irish heritage in our family, we've always enjoyed the 17th, as well as the real story behind Patrick. Had never really thought of the color thing, but appreciate the information. Plan to share it with the kids. They'll love another chance to do something "different!"