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Why Ireland is associated with the color green

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Ireland is famous for the color green. Dubbed “The Emerald Isle,” Ireland is well regarded for its lush green landscape and iconic plant life such as shamrocks. The association between Ireland the color green might have started out due to the landscape but, over time, it was adopted by the Irish people to represent more than a mere color.

For the most part, green and the Irish are directly linked to the Roman Catholics who make up the vast majority of the population. Football teams like Celtic have a large following of fans who dress in green…and practically all of these fans are also Catholics of Irish origins (Celtic is considered to be the Irish team even though the club is based in Scotland). Contrarily, Protestant football fans support the Rangers and wear blue (even though Irish Protestants use orange as their representational color). Aside from religion green has also come to represent good luck, nature, and tranquility.

Below is a list of five ways that Ireland the color green are linked.

Landscape
Landscape Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Landscape

Ireland has a lush green landscape mostly due to the extremely cool and rainy weather that occurs throughout most of the year.  These temperatures result in gorgeous green grass, healthy moss growth, and lots of clovers. Thus, the country has been described as having “forty shades of green.”

Shamrocks
Shamrocks Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Shamrocks

Shamrocks are iconic of Ireland. Shamrocks are actually a form of clover which is a plant that grow abundantly in Ireland. Noted for their bright green coloration, clovers are also regarded as being symbols of good luck.

Catholics
Catholics Mario Tama/Getty Images

Catholics

Green is directly linked to Roman Catholics, the religion that dominates the country (especially in the Republic of Ireland which is nearly 90% Catholic). Since much of Irish history has been shaped by conflicts between the Protestant English and the Irish Catholic, the color green has become a symbol of Irish independence and freedom.

Flag
Flag Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Flag

The Irish flag contains three colors: green, white and orange (which is usually referred to as “gold” in many parts of the Republic and Catholic North). The green is representational of the Catholics, the white is representative of peace and the orange is representative of the Protestants.

Football
Football Ian Walton/Getty Images

Football

Both the Republic of Ireland national team and the Irish-supported Celtic football club use green (and some white) as the team color. Once again, this is linked to the long standing association between Ireland and the Roman Catholic religion that many people regard as being the faith of the ethnic Irish.

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