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Orangemen, members of the Loyal Orange Institution, familiarly called the Orange Order, a Protestant Irish society founded and flourishing mainly in Ulster. It was established (1795) to maintain the Protestant ascendancy in Ireland in the face of the rising agitation for Catholic Emancipation. Its name is taken from the family name of King William III of England, who defeated King James II in the battle of the Boyne in 1690. July 12, the anniversary of this victory, is the principal holiday of the order, on which the members wear orange-colored flowers and orange sashes and march in parades; parades passing through Catholic sections of Northern Irish cities have been a source of interreligious friction. Branches of the society have been formed in many parts of the English-speaking world.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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