Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Ireland celebrates March 17 as the country’s national holiday, and the rest of us celebrate it because so many Irish immigrated to America. Indeed, the American practice of having a parade on St. Patrick’s Day supersedes Ireland’s. March 17 is not the date of Patrick‘s birth, but the date of his death, in 461 A.D., and the date has been commemorated in Ireland ever since.
The date of the Republic of Ireland‘s independence day is December 6, 1921, the day the treaty was signed between Ireland and the United Kingdom, bringing an end to the long and terrible war between them.
The tricolored flag symbolizes a delicate balance between the two political groups which hold Ireland together. The green represents Roman Catholics and has historically always been associated with Ireland. The orange color is for the Protestants who were always a minority in Ireland. The white represents peace and reconciliation between the two traditions.