Happy Orangeman's Day
Have a Happy July 12th - a day that should be celebrated as a foundation stone of the Anglosphere. And a day hated by bigots, so raise a small glass just to annoy them!
And I have finally found out why a Battle fought on 1st July is celebrated on the 12th...
Originally, Irish Protestants commemorated the Battle of Aughrim on the 12th of July, as symbolising their victory in the Williamite war in Ireland. At Aughrim, which took place a year after the Boyne - virtually all of the old native Irish Catholic and Old English aristocracies dispossessed of lands to accommodate the newly established colony were wiped out. The Boyne, which in the old Julian calendar, took place on the first of July, was treated as less important, third in commemorative value after Aughrim and the anniversary of the Irish Rebellion of 1641 on the 23rd of October. What was celebrated on the Twelfth was not William's "victory over popery at the Battle of the Boyne", but the extermination of the natural leadership cadre of the native Irish.
However, by the time the Orange Order was founded in the 1790s, amid sectarian violence in Armagh, a new Gregorian calendar had been introduced in which the date of the Boyne was also the twelfth of July. Because the date was more familiar and because the Boyne was more prominent in British history, the Orangemen shifted their main commemoration to the battle of the Boyne, which is still commemorated with parades every year on the Twelfth. There are also smaller parades and demonstrations on the first of July, the old anniversary of the Boyne, which also commemorate the decimation of the 36th Ulster Division on the first day of the battle of the Somme in 1916.
The Battle of the Boyne remains a controversial topic today, especially in Northern Ireland where Protestants remember it as a great victory over Catholics and responsible for the sovereignty of Parliament and the 'protestant monarchy', while Catholics mourn it as a great disaster when the legitimate 'true' king sympathetic to Irish Catholics and Irish nationhood was deposed in a protestant coup — both views having more to do with each sides' agendas and perspectives than any historical facts.