Holiday traditions are an interesting thing. They have roots that go so far back that many people don’t even know where they came from. For example, St. Patrick’s Day is probably best known for the color green. What would you say if I told you that the color originally associated with St. Patrick was blue? Believe it or not, it’s true and it wasn’t green was used as a unifying color during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 that the color became the unofficial color most associated with the country and St. Patrick’s Day.
You can learn more about this interesting fact in this Time post.
“In fact, blue is believed to have been associated with Ireland before green was. Henry the VIII claimed to be king of Ireland in the 16th century, and his flag at that point would have been blue. That’s at least one reason why a blue flag with a harp is associated with the Irish President. (The harp is one of the two main symbols of Ireland, along with the Shamrock, and it dates back to the bards whose songs and stories were the chief entertainment in medieval Gaelic society.) A light blue became associated with the Order of St. Patrick, an 18th century era order of knights, perhaps to create a shade of blue for the Irish that was different from the royal blue associated with the English, says Timothy McMahon, Vice President of the American Conference for Irish Studies.”
Traditions are much like brands, they’re comprised of symbols, colors, imagery, etc. And like brands, they can evolve and change as time goes on, to the point that their meanings can even change. It’s important to note that it’s not what the symbols or colors themselves are—it’s the meaning that we place and the associations we make with these things that creates the tradition. The same is true with brands.
Just something to chew on while you’re out drinking your blue, ER… GREEN BEER!
Also, more interesting facts like this one in this great post by 99 Designs.