17 March 2012

The Wearing of the Blue: St. Patrick's Day

Blue was the original color of St. Patrick's Day. The color known as St. Patrick's Blue describes a sky blue associated with the Order of St. Patrick.as depicted in the badges from Sir Nicholas Harris' (1799-1848) History of the Orders of Knighthood of the British Empire, of the order of the Guelphs of Hanover; and of the medals, clasps, and crosses, conferred for naval and military service. Irish peer Gustavus Hamilton, 2nd Viscount Boyne (1710-1746) is wearing a cobalt blue Masquerade costume in the pastel portrait by Venetian Rococo painter Rosalba Carriera. Flemish artist Lucas de Heere (1534-1584) captures a sixteenth century Irish woman dressed in a pale blue frock. "The Wearing of the Green" came from St. Patrick using the shamrock as a metaphor for the Christian Trinity when converting the pagan Celts. Green shamrocks latter became a symbol of the fight for Irish freedom.


  1. I did not know that.
    I know of the trinity connection, but not the blue.
    Thanks for the tidbit, next year, I will wear blue, green and orange!
    Take care,

  2. Thanks Len, I was totally unaware of it until my recent blog research. Of course I do love the color blue. I hope all is well with you and the family. xo, Kendra

  3. And remember the green and orange of the political upheavels in Ireland's troubled past.

    Ted Neuhaus

    1. Yes, and the white of the flag is meant to bridge the differences and give unity.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this! I had no idea. I've just read a book called 'Blue The Hstory of a Color' by Michel Pastoureau and it did not mention the Irish connection. It did say that blue was not a popular colour until much later in history than we would imagine, red was apparently the colour of choice early on for royals and aristocrats.

  5. Blue is the colour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and as such is the official colour of Ireland, whatever "official" may mean.

    The coat of arms of Ireland and the Standard of the President of Ireland are a gold Irish harp with silver strings on a field of azure blue.

  6. Thank you Anon for the clarification. Best, Kendra


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