No matter where you are from, on a day like today everybody is Irish! The holiday that is known for all things green has become so popular that Time magazine reports it to be the most global national holiday. Irish and Irish descendants have been influencing our history for decades, it’s kind of hard to believe there are some countries that don’t celebrate it! But whether or not you are celebrating your heritage today, everyone can agree that it’s a wonderful day to grab a green beer and enjoy the weather with some lively friends. And if you need any more of a reason to don some green then here are some facts you may or may not have known about Irish influence on our history:
-There were never any snakes in Ireland
Granted, St. Patrick's day was not always as popularly celebrated in Ireland as it is here in the states, but it is still celebrated. Most of what we know about this saint and his life comes from his own writing. He was said to have been born into a wealthy family in the fourth centry in Roman Britain. Irish kidnapped him and took him as a slave back to Ireland. He is also surrounded by many legends, one of which is that he banished all the snakes from Ireland. Although, evidence suggests that Ireland in fact never had snakes to begin with. He is however credited with making the shamrock the popular symbol it is today, by using it as a way to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. Although it is many centuries later, differing points of view among religious groups is not unknown to the Irish. To this day there are still areas of Ireland that are torn between the Catholics and the Protestants. If this seems confusing to anyone here is some footage I took of an amazing tour guide, Ronan McNamara, explaining the tension between the two groups:
-The American Flag is not dipped during the Olympics opening ceremony
In 1908 Ralph Rose carried the American Flag during the summer olympics opening ceremony. As the procession made its way around to the box where King-Emperor Edward VII was seated, Rose did not dip the flag, as is customary during the parade. To this day there is much speculation as to the real reason the flag was not dipped. It's thought that Rose's teammate, Martin Sheridan (born in Bohola, County Mayo, Ireland) influenced him to not dip the flag as a protest to the British Monarch. Another teammate, Wilbur Burroughs, claimed it was purely due to forgetfulness and stage fright. Regardless of the reason the results have been lasting, since that day the flag has only been dipped on 3 other occasions (1912, 1924, and 1932). Then, in 1942, the U.S. Congress established a “Flag Code” which states “No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing.”. Of course these codes are not legally enforceable and is merely codified tradition.