Just in Time for St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated for centuries — long before there was the United States of America — but American traditions have kept St. Patrick's Day celebrations in perpetual bloom. From New York City hosting the world's first ever St. Patrick's Day Parade (March 17, 1762) to Chicago's annual dyeing of its river green, St. Patrick's Day has been a holiday for Americans to celebrate with ever-increasing fervor. Here are seven facts to further amplify your St. Patrick's Day glee!
1. Everyone is Irish for a Day, But...
Every American is Irish on March 17th (or so the saying goes,) but millions of Americans are Irish all year long! With an Irish-American population nearing 35 million, Ireland is responsible for nearly 10% of the overall population of the United States! Only Germans make up a larger share.
Oh, and that 35 million is more than 7 times the population of Ireland itself (a lucky calculation).
2. Looking for an Authentic Taste of Ireland?
Look no further than Breezy Point, Queens, NY. This neighborhood has the highest concentration of Irish-Americans per capita of any neighborhood in the United States at 54.3%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
By comparison, the next highest concentration of Irish-Americans is somewhere in the mid-30s.
3. Stay Right Here and Visit Dublin!
There are 19 cities in the United States whose namesakes are all the capital city of Ireland.
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia all have cities or townships called Dublin.
That means that wherever you are, you're just a wee-short drive away from Dublin!
4. Ten American Lucky Charms
We've got shamrocks galore! These 10 states all have cities named Shamrock; Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Missouri.
We think that's a pretty good distribution of Irish luck!
5. Nine Irishmen Declared for the United States
Of the 56 men who signed the American Declaration of Independence, nine of them were Irish. By comparison, only eight were British.
The nine men were Thomas McKean, Charles Caroll, James Smith, George Taylor, Matthew Thornton, Edward Rutledge (also the youngest man to sign the document), Thomas Lynch Jr. (representing Thomas Lynch Sr., his father), George Read, and John Dunlap.
6. The Most Honorable Service
The Medal of Honor is the United States of America's most prestigious personal military decoration. In the history of the United States military, Irish-Americans have been awarded this medal more than any other ethnicity.
As of this writing, 2,021 Irish-American servicemen of the United States military have been awarded a Medal of Honor for their acts of valor during military operations.
7. Erin Go Bragh Means "Ireland Until the End of Time"
The current Erin Go Bragh flag has a green field with a gold harp in the center and the words "Erin Go Bragh" inscribed below the harp.
The original banner, dating back to the 1640s, had just a simple harp.
Updates in the 1800s modified the harp to include the "Maid of Erin" and the text. The words "Erin Go Bragh" are actually the Anglicization (surviving several declensions) of a traditional Irish language phrase, "Éirinn Go Brách." This translates to "Ireland forever," or more literally to "Ireland until the end of time."
May the Road Rise to Meet You!
Send us your pictures of the St. Patrick's Day festivities, American flags, flagpoles, ropes, or other accessories! We would be honored to feature your photography in our blog or on Facebook. Remember, photos of damaged flags and accessories are valuable, too.
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Have a great day, from your friends at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.