Jandra Sutton
March 17, 2018 8:37 am
Paul Warner / Getty Images

You might be breaking out the green today to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but if you think that color choice is rooted in Irish history, you might be wrong. We know what you’re thinking — if it isn’t green, just what was the original color associated with St. Patrick’s Day? Turns out it’s actually blue, and our minds have been completely blown with this fascinating bit of St. Patrick’s Day trivia.

According to St. Patrick’s Day tradition, early depictions of St. Patrick actually showed him wearing *blue*. The official color — called St. Patrick’s Blue — is a lighter shade, almost sky blue, and has historical significance. Not only did St. Patrick seem to favor the color, but King George III even made “St. Patrick’s blue” the official color of the Order of St. Patrick when he created it.

So, where did the green come in?

While blue can still be seen on ancient Irish flags (and the current presidential flag of Ireland), the use of green on St. Patrick’s Day started during the 1798 Irish Rebellion. As the divide between Ireland and the English continued to grow over the years, the color green and the clover (or St. Patrick’s shamrock) became a symbol of nationalism that is definitely recognizable today.

Honestly? We’re not even surprised. Given the fact that Ireland is, well, *very* green — it is called the Emerald Isle, after all — we think embracing green is a great way to celebrate Irish pride. And now that you know what was the original color associated with St. Patrick’s Day, maybe you want to dive a little deeper into the history of St. Patrick’s Day.

Whether you embrace the green or run the risk of getting pinched, just remember to have fun and stay safe. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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