Before green, this was the color of St. Patrick’s Day

Holidays

PHILADELPHIA – MARCH 14: Bill Hare, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania participates in the 53rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade dressed as a leprechaun March 14, 2004 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 10,000 people came out to watch parade which featured more then 120 marching units and included musical bands, Irish dancers, and Irish culture groups. St. Patrick’s Day is March 17, 2004. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) — While we all associate green everything St. Patrick’s Day, that wasn’t always the case.

If a few things went down a little differently, you may be wearing blue to celebrate the holiday.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, blue became the color of choice when Henry VIII, King of England, declared himself the King of Ireland in the 16th century. To mark the announcement, he created a coat of arms for Ireland that used the color blue.

With that as the color of the country, artists at the time often depicted St. Patrick wearing blue. In fact, it became such a thing that the shade of sky blue was named “St. Patrick’s Blue.”

So how did we end up with green?

In the 19th and 20th century, we saw an increasing division between British royalty and the Irish people. Over time, green was adopted as the color of the Irish rebellion — and the shamrock became a key symbol.

In the end, green won out.

Even though green is now associated with St. Patrick, the members of Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir still wear the color blue on their robes.

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