I wear orange on St. Patrick’s Day. Not because I know anything about Ireland and their traditions on this day. Not because I am Protestant and not Catholic (I usually tell people this). I really have no business wearing either color. Some say that the colors of the Irish flag (Green, Orange, White) represent the Irish Catholics (green), the Irish Protestants (orange), and the desire for peace between the two (white). I hope there is truth to that and that peace will reign in Ireland.
In America we have hijacked St. Patrick’s Day. No one knows who St. Patrick is, and many Protestants have a problem with the veneration of the saints anyway, so we don’t care. In America we wear green because leprechauns wear green and the day has become another reason to drink. In our typical American provincialism and dare I say, arrogance, we have made St. Patrick’s day a day where we pinch each other. So I wear orange. It is a protest. An itty bitty one mind you, but a protest.
If you want to read about St. Patrick visit my friend Dave DeVries at the Missional Challenge. He has written two posts on St. Patrick: Patrick of Ireland and Who Was St. Patrick? Maybe I should wear white?