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The importance of the Twelfth

"Tradition does not mean that the living are dead; it means that the dead are living".  Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, Prime Minister 1957-1963, Grenadier Guards 1914-1918.


I’M AN avid loyalist and supporter of the 12th July celebrations. I believe it’s important to always look to the future, but we must be careful we do not forget the past. It is the past which makes us part of what we are in the future.

The Orange demonstrations are a commemoration of a very important event. King William of Orange won an important battle at the Boyne. In England, we still have parades for VE Day, VJ Day and Remembrance Day. The Americans still celebrate the 4th of July. So what’s the difference between that and the Orange parades? The answer is ‘None’.

I have seen two Orange walks in my time, and they were truly wonderful events. My most abiding memories are of the following: bright coloured banners, which are pleasing to the eye; lovely music from fifes and Lambeg drums; smartly dressed men who are proud of their heritage.

And what is wrong with being proud of the past? What’s wrong with displaying a sense of national pride and respect for history? In England, we don’t see so much of this pride in one’s country. However, I still smile whenever I see a house with a Union Flag flying.

As I write this, I remain loyal and support the 12th July marches. I couldn’t care a jot for the Sinn Fein republican lie machine. I know myself that the Orange walks are not provocative as republicans claim - unless you found beautiful music and proud men provocative! (In which case you need to get a life, and let others get on with theirs!)

I say let the Orange celebrations continue, despite republican intimidation. This July I will be singing again to the loyal strain of ‘The Sash’.

Steve Clark.


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