In the 1700's all of Ireland's lands were confiscated by the British. Over 500,000 Irish Irish families were evicted, or were forced to pay rent for the homes and lands they'd previously owned.
In response to this injustice, a full-fledge rebellion broke out. In 1791, in opposition to British rule, the Irish formed a political group called the "United Irishmen." The symbol of this group became the green banner with a golden harp on it.
After attempts by the British Government to extinguish the United Irishmen, a series of small battles broke out in the countryside. In 1798, the rebels stood their ground at the battle of Vinegar Hill, near Enniscorthy. The Irish were sadly outnumbered and many brave men died. From that time onward the "wearing of the green" has been a symbol of Irish unity and cultural identity.
During the great famine, when millions of Irish left their homeland for America, the "green" came with them, symbolic of the Irish struggle for independence.
In the U.S, the first St. Paddy's Day parade took place in 1779. Since that time there are parades all across America celebrating the wearing O' the green.
I am proud of my Irish heritage. The Irish are big-hearted, sometimes hot tempered, spunky and tough--as well as innovative, smart and creative. And not to mention a bit fey!
Have a lovely weekend, and Happy Postcard Friendship Friday!
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