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JRWB

All my books on George Crabbe are either green or purple.

Nick Schandler

http://www.formlessmountain.com/KW-WTC/footnotes/fn-orange.html

Author doesn't do a good job of explaining context. Don't know where his description comes from (doesn't seem to have anything to do with the AQAL he links to), but it seems headed down the correct path.

Matthew Whitfield

Aha, yes, this orange issue is extremely interesting once you scratch the surface. The Liberal Party in Britain was only formally created in 1859 from a merger of the longstanding (and aristocratic) grouping of the Whigs and the nascent middle class liberals who has begun to represent industrial northern constituencies from the beginning of the 19th Century. Before 1859, the two groups had enjoyed an uneasy and informal alliance but it was with the inclusion of the Peelites, a pro-Free Trade breakaway faction of the Conservative Party (founded earlier in 1835) into the new party that allowed all the progessives to unite and coalesce around the one issue they could all agree on - Free Trade.

It is in fact the Whig branch of Liberal history which tells us why orange is so important. As the progressive wing of the British aristocracy, it was the Whigs who most keenly supported William of Orange in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 when William (grandson of Charles I) and his wife Mary (daughter of James II, still very much alive but unappealingly Catholic) were invited by Parliament to rule jointly in exchange for a huge and irreversable decapitating of the powers of the monarch and a corresponding beefing up of Paliamentary powers. William was the head of The House of Orange and Nassau from the Netherlands and, quite naturally, his heraldic colour was orange. The colour has forever since carried with it connotations of Protestantism, especially in relation to Irish affairs - it was William who finally crushed James II and Catholic insurgency in Ireland, ensuring English Protestant supremacy for many years to come.

In terms of the Liberal Party, I would argue that religion plays only a superficial role in the significance of orange - from the liberal point of view William's accession was far more significant in producing Parliamentary supremacy and forming the basis of a genuine democracy than it was for securing Protestantism in Britain. However, the link with religion is pretty much inseparable, even today. Every member of the European Paliament with even an ounce of liberal blood in them were roused to codemn the appointment of Rocco Buttiglione as a potential EU Commissioner due to his hard line Roman Catholic views on homosexuality, women and (reading between the lines) anyone who isn't a straight, white, RC man from Italy. Liberals still partly define themselves against such authoritarian and dogmatic paradigms as Roman Catholicism (there are, of course, many other examples) across the social and economic spheres.

So, William was Orange, and his supporters (including the liberal Whigs) became orange, too. Clearly, after more than 200 years of the colour having a meaning for an entire poltical mindset there is probably a good deal of subconcious (as well as obvious) use of its symbolism, hence the book covers you've noticed. I think that the link is a fabulous survival of history and says something very meaningful about the supporters of the liberal cause. Maybe it's just an accident of history that the colour itself is orange, but something so bright and zesty is, I feel, an entirely appropriate identity for people who are, by nature, optimists and visionaries.

Ari Dale, MD

Orange has become the colour of the Israel Resistance Movement (those of us who don't plan to roll over and play dead while the world craps on us) as well as a sign of support for research on Multiple Sclerosis, Leukaemia, Lupus, and Diabetes.

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