Thinking Color takes pride in correcting color myths, and this week we tackle a major one. This St. Patrick’s Day you should be wearing blue! Not any blue either St. Patrick has his own personal shade of sky blue known as St. Patrick’s Blue.
Despite the fact that St. Patrick’s snake banishing activities took place in the early fifth-century it was not until the 1780’s he got his own official color. The creation of the Anglo-Irish Order of St. Patrick in the 1780’s decreed that a shade of sky blue with a hint of green would be the official color of the organization. The Order of St. Patrick was created as a pseudo governing body for the Kingdom of Ireland which was then under English occupation. The order was made up of the descendants of the knights who had governed Ireland for centuries. With this pedigree the order held a huge amount of power on the island and soon St. Patrick’s blue became the national color of Ireland.
Shortly after the creation of the Order of St. Patrick the first of several rebellions, that would eventually lead to independence took place. These rebels adopted green as their official color which created the myth of green being the national color of Ireland. Ireland won its independence from London in 1921 and the Green clad rebels formed a republic. However, the traditional St. Patricks blue was kept as the national color. In fact the Hall of St. Patrick in Dublin Castle, where Irish presidents are sworn in, pays homage to the color with it’s carpet.
With this information in mind feel free to wear blue today, dye your beer blue and have a happy St. Patrick’s Day!