If you are looking to be a little different on this St. Patrick's Day then orange may be your color.
Though green is the traditional color to sport on March 17th, orange is fast becoming the color to wear during the celebration of all things Irish.
St. Patrick's Day began in New York in the early 19th Century as a day for Irish Catholics to celebrate the day named for a 3rd Century English missionary.
Green became the color associated with the day but now orange is the color of choice for a large segment of the Irish and non-Irish population.
"It's clearly a growing trend." says Joshua Claybourn an attorney in Evansville, Indiana. "More and more people are wearing orange on St. Patrick's Day," he said.
Claybourn was 14 when his grandfather Jim Claybourn suggested he wear orange on St. Patrick's Day.
"My grandfather said that, as kind of a joke. But after I did some research I discovered that it wasn't just a joke. There was some historical foundations to wearing orange."
The tradition of wearing orange began as a celebration of the Protestant King William of Orange's defeat of the Catholic King James II at Boyne near Dublin in 1690.
In 2005 Claybourn, a Lutheran, published an article titled "An Orange St. Patrick's Day?" where he recounted the history and tradition of Protestants wearing orange.
In 2009 The Evansville Courier and Press picked up the article where it garnered a tremendous response Claybourne said.
"Every day around this time of year maybe 60 people read the article. But on St. Patrick's day it's in the hundreds."
Claybourn said after the article was published in 2009 he got a call from a man in Ireland who had a negative response to the article. "He was, I presume, Catholic. He didn't take it too kindly."
Claybourn notes that parades of the Orange Order have met with negative reactions and violence in parts of Northern Ireland. The Orange Order is a fraternal organization that holds parades on July 12 to celebrate Williams' defeat of James at Boyne.
Claybourn says that he can't foresee that violence spreading to America because, "being able to wear orange is a testament to the diversity of America."
"It's so much of who we are as Americans to live side by side with our differences. We can see it as something that's not negative. Here in America it's a cultural phenomenon and not so much religious. It's fun to celebrate on those grounds."
Another interesting note Claybourn said is that St. Patrick was English and not Irish. "And he lived before the Protestant/Catholic split and so that opens him up to everyone."
Claybourn says that in Protestant areas such as the American South the wearing of orange will become more popular. "It should really catch fire and it will be something they can celebrate on St. Patrick's Day."
Claybourne says on this St. Patrick's Day he will be wearing a bright orange tie.
"It's a great conversation piece. People always say 'hey you're not wearing green.' Then you can go into the heritage and history of why you are wearing orange."
This story first appeared in 2010. Reach Michael E. Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org