16 March 2006

Wear White on St. Patty's Day

Have you ever heard of someone purposely wearing orange on St. Patrick's Day? Some people not only do, but are obligated to do so. Why? Well, let's look at the Irish flag above; green represents Catholic Ireland; orange represents Protestant Ireland; white stands for a peace not yet obtained between the green and orange wearing Irish.

Then there's the LGB organization in New York. Apparently, the city has consistenly denied LGB organizations the right to participate in the Fifth Avenue St. Patty's day. Ultimately, I'm left with two reasons to wear orange:

1. I'm Protestant;
2. I support a gay group in New York.

I'm not saying either are inherently bad, just not the reasons I would choose to wear orange. Both exhibit the spirit of defiance against the dominant culture. That's something the rogue writer can abide. So maybe I should wear orange, or should I?

The hardest thing to deal with is not wearing green. I wear green all the time anyway and love all things Irish, but I can't wear it on that day if it means showing support for one particular religion.

Suppose wearing green doesn't really mean support for Catholics, but a celebration of the national color: green. Who doesn't think of lush rolling hills of grass and moss-covered dolmens? "Verdant" be the word. Shamrocks. And leprechauns, who existed pretty exclusively as cranky cobblers for the faeries until Disney gave them sunny dispositions and a kick in their step. Leprechauns made it into the permanent St. Patty's psyche thanks to Walt and his Darby O'Gill and the Little People.

I feel I need to honor the country I've not-so-secretly longed as my ancestral home. What color should I wear? Green (which I love) or Orange (for the spirit of defiance)? Perhaps, I should wear white for the peace between them.

Other than as a way to avoid getting pinched, do you think it matters what color you wear? If so, what color would you pick?

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Anonymous said...

who needs a reason to wear orange. Its the best color.but, i wore whit on pattys day.amanda

Anonymous said...

We don't celebrate St. Patty's, being good honest heathens, so I like to wear black (mourning, protest) on the day. Christianity is the greatest sorrow ever to befall the Irish, and that's saying something.


Anonymous said...

Since I am protestant, I will be wearing an orange AND white striped shirt to represent my heritage AND peace between the two sects. P.S. I expect to get pinched. someone pinches me every year, even if I wear green. I must be too cute.

Kyle Stich said...

Lots of great variations on colors to wear on St. Patty's - White for peace, black in protest, orange and white to show affiliation with the hopes of peace. Love 'em!