The Orange Institution commemorates William of Orange, the Dutch prince who became King of England, Scotland, and Ireland in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. In particular, the Institution remembers the victories of William III and his forces in Ireland in the early 1690s, especially the Battle of the Boyne.
 Formation and early years
The 1790s were a time of political and religious conflict in Ireland. On one side were the Irish nationalists (mostly Irish Catholics, but also some liberal Anglicans) and on the other were the so-called "Protestant Ascendancy" and its supporters. In October 1791 the nationalist Society of United Irishmen was founded by liberal Protestants in Belfast. Its leaders were mainly Presbyterians. They called for a reform of the Irish Parliament that would extend the vote to all Irish men (regardless of religion) and give Ireland greater independence from Britain.
Although the United Irishmen were trying to unite Catholics and Protestants behind their goal, northern County Armagh was undergoing fierce sectarian conflict. Catholics and Protestants set up rural "vigilante" groups – on the Catholic side was the "Defenders" and on the Protestant side was the "Peep-o'-Day Boys". In July 1795, the year the Orange Order formed, a Reverend Devine had held a sermon at Drumcree Church to commemorate the "Battle of the Boyne". In his History of Ireland Vol I (published in 1809), the historian Francis Plowden described the events that followed this sermon:
[Reverend Devine] so worked up the minds of his audience, that upon retiring from service, on the different roads leading to their respective homes, they gave full scope to the anti-papistical zeal, with which he had inspired them... falling upon every Catholic they met, beating and bruising them without provocation or distinction, breaking the doors and windows of their houses, and actually murdering two unoffending Catholics in a bog. This unprovoked atrocity of the Protestants revived and redoubled religious rancour. The flame spread and threatened a contest of extermination...
The Orange Order was founded after an incident known as the "Battle of the Diamond", which happened two months after the Drumcree sermon. It took place on 21 September 1795 near Loughgall, a few miles from Drumcree. It was a clash between Defenders and Peep-o'-Day Boys in which four to thirty (mostly un-armed) Defenders were killed. The Governor of Armagh, Lord Gosford, gave his opinion of the violence in County Armagh that followed the "battle" at a meeting of magistrates on 28 December 1795. He said:
It is no secret that a persecution is now raging in this country… the only crime is… profession of the Roman Catholic faith. Lawless banditti have constituted themselves judges….
However, two former grand masters of the Order, William Blacker and Robert Hugh Wallace, have questioned this statement, saying whoever the Governor believed were the “lawless banditti” they could not have been Orangemen as there were no lodges in existence at the time of his speech. According to historian Jim Smyth:
Later apologists rather implausibly deny any connection between the Peep-o'-Day Boys and the first Orangemen or, even less plausibly, between the Orangemen and the mass wrecking of Catholic cottages in Armagh in the months following 'the Diamond' — all of them, however, acknowledge the movement's lower class origins.
Daniel Winter's home near Loughgall
The Order's three main founders were James Wilson (founder of the Orange Boys), Daniel Winter and James Sloan. The first Orange lodge established in nearby Dyan, County Tyrone. Its first grand master was James Sloan of Loughgall, in whose inn the victory by the Peep-o'-Day Boys was celebrated. Like the Peep-o'-Day Boys, one of its goals was to hinder the efforts of Irish nationalist groups and uphold the "Protestant Ascendancy". The Orange Order's first ever marches were to celebrate the "Battle of the Boyne" and they took place on 12 July 1796 in Portadown, Lurgan and Waringstown.
By the time the Orange Order formed, the United Irishmen (still led mainly by Protestants) had become a republican group and sought an independent Irish republic that would "Unite Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter". United Irishmen activity was on the rise, and the government hoped to thwart it by backing the Orange Order from 1796 onward. Nationalist historians Thomas A. Jackson and John Mitchel argued that the government's goal was to hinder the United Irishmen by fomenting sectarianism — it would create disunity and disorder under pretence of "passion for the Protestant religion". Mitchel wrote that the government invented and spread "fearful rumours of intended massacres of all the Protestant people by the Catholics". Historian Richard R Madden wrote that "efforts were made to infuse into the mind of the Protestant feelings of distrust to his Catholic fellow-countrymen". Thomas Knox, British military commander in Ulster, wrote in August 1796 that "As for the Orangemen, we have rather a difficult card to play...we must to a certain degree uphold them, for with all their licentiousness, on them we must rely for the preservation of our lives and properties should critical times occur".
When the United Irishmen rebellion broke out in 1798, Orangemen and ex-Peep-o'-Day Boys helped government forces in suppressing it. According to Ruth Dudley Edwards and two former grand masters, Orangemen were among the first to contribute to repair funds for Catholic property damaged in the violence surrounding the rebellion.
In the early nineteenth century, Orangemen were heavily involved in violent conflict with an Irish Catholic and nationalist secret society called the Ribbonmen. One instance, published in a 7 October 1816 edition of the Boston Commercial Gazette, included the murder of a Catholic priest and several members of the congregation of Dumreilly parish in County Cavan on 25 May 1816. According to the article, "A number of Orangemen with arms rushed into the church and fired upon the congregation". On 19 July 1823 the Unlawful Oaths Bill was passed, banning all oath-bound societies in Ireland. This included the Orange Order, which had to be dissolved and reconstituted. In 1825 a bill banning unlawful associations - largely directed at Daniel O'Connell and his Catholic Association, compelled the Orangemen once more to dissolve their association. When Westminster granted Catholic Emancipation in 1829, Irish Catholics were free at last to take seats as MPs and play a part in framing the laws of the land. The likelihood of Catholic members holding the balance of power in the Westminster Parliament further increased the alarm of Orangemen in Ireland, as to them it meant the possible revival of a Catholic-dominated Parliament controlled from Rome, and an end to the Protestant Ascendancy. From this moment on, the Orange Order re-emerged in a new and even more militant form.
In 1845 the ban was lifted, but the famous Battle of Dolly's Brae between Orangemen and Ribbonmen in 1849 led to a ban on Orange marches which remained in place for several decades. This was eventually lifted after a campaign of disobedience led by William Johnston of Ballykilbeg.
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By the late 19th century, the Order was in decline. However, its fortunes were revived by the spread of Protestant opposition to Irish nationalist mobilisation in the Irish Land League and then around the question of Home Rule. The Order was heavily involved in opposition to Gladstone's first Irish Home Rule Bill 1886, and was instrumental in the formation of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). The strength of Protestant opposition to Irish self-government under possible Roman Catholic influence, especially in the Protestant-dominated province of Ulster, eventually led to six Ulster counties remaining within the United Kingdom, as Northern Ireland.
In the first decade of the twentieth century, the Order suffered a split when Thomas Sloane left the organisation to set up the Independent Orange Order. Sloane had been suspended after running against a Unionist candidate on a pro-labour platform in an election in 1902.
 Role in the partition of Ireland
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In 1912 the Third Home Rule Bill was introduced in the British House of Commons. However, its introduction would be delayed until 1914. The Orange Order, along with the British Conservative Party and unionists in general, were inflexible in opposing the Bill. The Order helped to organise the 1912 Ulster Covenant – a pledge to oppose Home Rule that was signed by up to 500,000 people. In 1911 some Orangemen began to arm themselves and train as a militia called the Ulster Volunteers. In 1913 the Ulster Unionist Council decided to bring these groups under central control, creating the Ulster Volunteer Force, a militia dedicated to resisting Home Rule. There was a strong overlap between Orange Lodges and UVF units. A large shipment of rifles was imported from Germany to arm them in April 1914, in what became known as the Larne gun-running.
However, the crisis was interrupted by the outbreak of the World War I in August 1914. This caused the Home Rule Bill to be suspended for the duration of the war. Many Orangemen served in the war with the 36th (Ulster) Division suffering heavy losses and commemorations of their sacrifice are still an important element of Orange ceremonies.
The Fourth Home Rule Act was passed as the Government of Ireland Act 1920; the six north eastern counties of Ulster became Northern Ireland and the other twenty-six counties became Southern Ireland. This self governing entity within the United Kingdom was confirmed in its status under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, and in its borders by the Boundary Commission agreement of 1925. Southern Ireland became first the Irish Free State in 1922 and then in 1949 a republic under the name of "Ireland".
 Since 1921
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James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon
The Orange Order had a central place in the new state of Northern Ireland. It acted as a basis for the unity of Protestants of all classes and as a mass social and political grouping. The Twelfth of July is not a statutory public holiday in Northern Ireland, but is granted as a holiday each year by the Secretary of State by proclamation. All other public holidays in the UK are by Royal Proclamation. At its peak in 1965, the Order's membership was around 70,000, which meant that roughly 1 in 5 adult Protestant males were members. It had very close ties to the ruling Ulster Unionist Party and the senior leadership of both often overlapped. James Craig, the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, maintained always that Ulster was in effect Protestant and the symbol of its ruling forces was the Orange Order. As late as 1932, Craig still maintained that "ours is a Protestant government and I am an Orangeman". Two years later he stated "I have always said that I am an Orangeman first and a politician and a member of this parliament afterwards…All I boast is that we have a Protestant Parliament and a Protestant State".
In recent decades, the Order's influence has shrunk somewhat as it has lost a third of its membership since 1965, notably in Belfast and Derry. The Order's political influence suffered greatly when the Unionist-dominated Northern Ireland Parliament was prorogued in 1972.
During "The Troubles", the Order had a fractious relationship with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), loyalist paramilitaries the Independent Orange Order, and the Free Presbyterian Church. The Order urged its members not to join these organisations, and it is only recently that some of these intra-Unionist breaches have been healed.
 Drumcree dispute
Main article: Drumcree conflict
Drumcree Church near Portadown
On the Sunday before 12 July each year, the Orange Order holds its "Drumcree parade" in Portadown, when it marches to-and-from Drumcree Church. It has marched this route since 1807, when the area was sparsely populated. However, today most of this route falls within the town's mainly-Catholic and nationalist quarter, which is densely populated. The residents have sought to re-reoute the parade away from this area, seeing it as "triumphalist" and "supremacist".
There have been intermittent violent clashes during the yearly parade since at least 1873. The dispute was intensified by "The Troubles", which began in 1969. Before the 1990s, the most contentious part of the parade was the outward leg along Obins Street. When the parade was banned from Obins Street in 1986, the focus shifted to the parade's return leg along Garvaghy Road.
In 1995, the dispute drew the attention of the international media as it led to widespread protests and rioting throughout Northern Ireland. This wave of violence began when Catholic and nationalist protestors prevented the march from continuing along Garvaghy Road. This pattern was repeated every July for the next four years. During that time the dispute led to the deaths of at least five civilians and prompted a massive police and army operation. Since 1998 the parade has been banned from most of the nationalist area, and the violence has subsided. However, regular moves to get the two sides into face-to-face talks have failed.
 Beliefs and activities
Orange Order poster depicting historical and religious symbolism
The basis of the modern Orange Order is the promotion and propagation of "biblical Protestantism" and the principles of the Reformation. As such the Order only accepts those who confess a belief in a Protestant religion.
The Order considers the Fourth Commandment to forbid Christians to work, or engage in non-religious activity generally, on Sundays, to be important. When the Twelfth of July falls on a Sunday the parades traditionally held on that date are held on the Monday instead. In March 2002 the Order threatened "to take every action necessary, regardless of the consequences" to prevent the Ballymena Show being held on a Sunday. The County Antrim Agricultural Association complied with the Order's wishes.
Some evangelical groups have claimed that the Orange Order is still influenced by freemasonry. Many Masonic traditions survive, such as the organisation of the Order into lodges. The Order has a system of degrees through which new members advance. These degrees are interactive plays with references to the Bible. There is particular concern over the ritualism of higher degrees such as the Royal Arch Purple and the Royal Black Institutions.
As noted beforehand, the Orange Order is strongly linked to British unionism, especially in Northern Ireland and in Scotland. This is a political ideology that supports the continued unity of the United Kingdom. Unionism is thus opposed to, for example, the re-unification of Ireland and Scottish independence.
An Orange Hall in Ballinrees bedecked with Union Flags
The Order, from its very inception, was an overtly political organisation. In 1905, when the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) was formed, the Orange Order was entitled to send delegates to its meetings. The UUC was the decision-making body of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). Between 1922 and 1972, the UUP was consistently the largest party in the Northern Ireland Parliament. Due to its close links with the UUP, the Orange Order was able to exert great influence. The Order was the force behind the UUP no-confidence votes in reformist Prime Ministers O'Neill (1969), Chichester-Clark (1969–71) and Faulkner (1972–74). The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) attracted the most seats in an election for the first time in 2003. DUP leader Ian Paisley, who was not a member of the Orange Order, maintained a bitter campaign of conflict with the Order since 1951, when the Order banned members of Paisley's Free Presbyterian Church from acting as Orange chaplains and openly endorsed the UUP against the DUP. Recently, however, Orangemen have begun voting for the DUP in large numbers due to their opposition to the Good Friday Agreement. Relations between the DUP and Order have healed greatly since 2001, and there are now a number of high profile Orangemen who are DUP MPs and strategists.
In December 2009, the Orange Order held secret talks with Northern Ireland's two main unionist parties – the DUP and UUP. The main goal of these talks was to foster greater unity between the two parties, in the run-up to the May 2010 general election. Sinn Féin's Alex Maskey said that the talks exposed the Order as a "very political organisation". Shortly after the election, Grand Master Robert Saulters called for a "single unionist party" to maintain the union. He said that the Order has members "who represent all the many shades of unionism" and warned, "we will continue to dilute the union if we fight and bicker among ourselves".
In the October 2010 issue of The Orange Standard, Grand Master Robert Saulters accused 'dissident' Irish republican paramilitaries of being "fancy names" for the "Roman Catholic IRA". SDLP MLA John Dallat asked Justice Minister David Ford to find if Saulters had broken the hate speech laws. He said: "Linking the Catholic community or indeed any community to terror groups is inciting weak-minded people to hatred, and surely history tells us what that has led to in the past".
Orangemen parading in Bangor on 12 July 2010
Main articles: Orange Walk and The Twelfth
Parades form a large part of Orange culture. Most Orange lodges hold an annual parade from their Orange hall to a local church. The denomination of the church is quite often rotated, depending on local demographics.
The highlights of the Orange year are the parades leading up to the celebrations on the Twelfth of July. The Twelfth, however, remains in places a deeply divisive issue, not least because of the triumphalism, anti-Catholicism and anti-nationalism of the Orange Order. In recent years, most Orange parades have passed peacefully.
As of 2007, Grand Lodge of Ireland policy remained non-recognition of the Parades Commission, which it sees as explicitly founded to target Protestant parades since Protestants parade at ten times the rate of Catholics. Grand Lodge is, however, divided on the issue of working with the Parades Commission. 40% of Grand Lodge delegates oppose official policy while 60% are in favour. Most of those opposed to Grand Lodge policy are from areas facing parade restrictions like Portadown District, Bellaghy, Derry City and Lower Ormeau.
 Orange halls
Rasharkin Orange hall daubed with republican graffiti
Clifton Street Orange Hall in Belfast, which has a protective cage. The statue on the roof is the only one of King William on any Orange hall in Ireland
Monthly meetings are held in Orange halls. Orange halls on both sides of the Irish border often function as community halls for Protestants and sometimes those of other faiths, though this was more common in the past. The halls quite often host community groups such as credit unions, local marching bands, Ulster-Scots and other cultural groups as well as religious missions and Unionist political parties.
Stoneyford Orange Hall near Lisburn has been reported to be a focal point for local loyalist paramilitaries. In 1999 files on 300 republicans were found in the hall
Of the approximately 700 Orange halls in Ireland, 282 have been targeted by arsonists since the beginning of the Troubles in 1968. Paul Butler, a prominent member of Sinn Féin, has claimed the arson is a "campaign against properties belonging to the Orange Order and other loyal institutions" by nationalists. On one occasion a member of Sinn Féin's youth wing (Ógra Shinn Féin) was hospitalised after falling off the roof of an Orange hall. In a number of cases halls have been severely damaged or completely destroyed by arson, while others have been damaged by paint bombings, graffiti and other vandalism. The Order claims that there is considerable evidence of an organised campaign of sectarian vandalism by republicans. Grand Secretary Drew Nelson claims that a statistical analysis shows that this campaign emerged in the last years of the 1980s and continues to the present.
One of the Orange Order's activities is educating members and the general public about William of Orange and associated subjects. Both the Grand Lodge and various individual lodges have published numerous booklets about William and the Battle of the Boyne, often aiming to show that they have continued relevance, and sometimes comparing the actions of William's adversary James II with those of the Northern Ireland Office. In addition, historical articles are often published in the Order's newspaper the Orange Standard and the Twelfth souvenir booklet. While William is the most frequent subject, other topics have included the Battle of the Somme (particularly the 36th (Ulster) Division's role in it), Saint Patrick (who the Order argues was not Roman Catholic), and the Protestant Reformation.
There are at least two Orange Lodges in Northern Ireland which represent the heritage and religious ethos of St Patrick. The best known of which is the Cross of Saint Patrick LOL (Loyal Orange lodge) 688, instituted in 1968 for the purpose of reclaiming the heritage of St Patrick. The lodge has had several well known members, including Rev Robert Bradford MP who was the lodge chaplain who himself was killed by the Provisional IRA, the late Ernest Baird. Today Nelson McCausland MLA and Gordon Lucy, Director of the Ulster Society are the more prominent members within the lodge membership. In the 1970s there was also a Belfast lodge called Oidhreacht Éireann (Ireland's Heritage) LOL 1303, which argued that the Irish language and Gaelic culture were not the exclusive property of Catholics or republicans.
Thiepval Memorial Lodge parade in remembrance of the Battle of the Somme.
The Order has been prominent in commemorating Ulster's war dead, particularly Orangemen and particularly those who died in the Battle of the Somme. There are numerous parades on and around 1 July in commemoration of the Somme, although the war memorial aspect is more obvious in some parades than others. There are several memorial lodges, and a number of banners which depict the Battle of the Somme, war memorials, or other commemorative images. In the grounds of the Ulster Tower Thiepval, which commemorates the men of the Ulster Division who died in the Battle of the Somme, a smaller monument pays homage to the Orangemen who died in the war.
The Orange Order's view of history is usually not inaccurate, but could be criticised as outdated. It is reminiscent of the nineteenth century English historian Thomas Babington Macaulay, who argued that the Glorious Revolution which brought William into power was a major turning point in British and world history. Macaulay's interpretation was very influential but has come under sustained criticism in recent decades.
Orange historiography tends also to be strongly biased in favour of William and against James, painting the former as an ideal ruler and the latter as a bigoted tyrant. It should be noted that few professional historians have a positive opinion of James, although most are also critical of William.
William was supported by the Pope in his campaigns against James' backer Louis XIV of France, and this fact is sometimes left out of Orange histories. However it appears in others.
Occasionally the Order and the more fundamentalist Independent Order publishes historical arguments based more on religion than on history. British Israelism, which claims that the British people are descended from the Israelites and that Queen Elizabeth II is a direct descendant of the Biblical King David, has from time to time been advanced in Orange publications.
Main article: Orange Charities and Societies
The Orange Order runs a number of charitable ventures including:
* The Grand Orange Lodge of British America Benefit Fund
* Lord Enniskillen Memorial Orange Orphan Society
* Orange Foundation
* The Orange Orphans Society - Registered Charity Number 1068498
 Requirements for entry
Members are required to be Protestant. Most jurisdictions require both the spouse and parents of potential applicants to be Protestant, although the Grand Lodge can be appealed to make exceptions for converts. Members have been expelled for attending Catholic religious ceremonies. In the period from 1964 to 2002, 11% of those expelled from the order were expelled for their presence at a Catholic religious event such as a baptism, service or funeral.
The Laws and Constitutions of the Loyal Orange Institution of Scotland of 1986 state, "No ex-Roman Catholic will be admitted into the Institution unless he is a Communicant in a Protestant Church for a reasonable period." Likewise, the "Constitution, Laws and Ordinances of the Loyal Orange Institution of Ireland" (1967) state, "No person who at any time has been a Roman Catholic … shall be admitted into the Institution, except after permission given by a vote of seventy five per cent of the members present founded on testimonials of good character …" In the 19th century, Rev. Mortimer O'Sullivan, a converted Roman Catholic, was a Grand Chaplain of the Orange Order in Ireland. In the 1950s, Scotland also had a former Catholic as a Grand Chaplain, the Rev. William McDermott.
Orange Order, 1998. Troubled Images Exhibition, Linen Hall Library, Belfast, August 2010
The Orange Institution in Ireland has the structure of a pyramid. At its base are about 1400 private lodges; every Orangeman belongs to a private lodge. Each private lodge sends six representatives to the district lodge, of which there are 126. Depending on size, each district lodge sends seven to thirteen representatives to the county lodge, of which there are 12. Each of these sends representatives to the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, which heads the Orange Order.
The Grand Lodge of Ireland has 373 members. As a result, much of the real power in the Order resides in the Central Committee of the Grand Lodge, which is made up of three members from each of the six counties of Northern Ireland (Londonderry, Antrim, Down, Tyrone, Armagh, and Fermanagh) as well as the two other County Lodges in Northern Ireland, the City of Belfast Grand Lodge and the City of Londonderry Grand Orange Lodge, two each from the remaining Ulster counties (Cavan, Donegal, and Monaghan), one from Leitrim, and 19 others. There are other committees of the Grand Lodge, including rules revision, finance, and education.
Despite this hierarchy, private lodges are basically autonomous as long as they generally obey the rules of the Institution. Breaking these can lead to suspension of the lodge's warrant - essentially the dissolution of the lodge - by the Grand Lodge, but this rarely occurs. Private lodges may disobey policies laid down by senior lodges without consequence. For example, several lodges have failed to expel members convicted of murder despite a rule stating that anyone convicted of a serious crime should be expelled, and Portadown lodges have negotiated with the Parades Commission in defiance of Grand Lodge policy that the Commission should not be acknowledged.
Private lodges wishing to change Orange Order rules or policy can submit a resolution to their district lodge, which may submit it upwards until it eventually reaches the Grand Lodge.
 Related organisations
An Orangewoman marching in an Orange Order parade in Glasgow.
Several organisations are closely linked to the Orange Order, and are often confused with it, or thought to be a part of the Order. Protestant marching bands, particularly flute bands of the 'blood and thunder' or 'kick the Pope' type, are also often inaccurately assumed to be a part of the Order, with their parades referred to as Orange marches.
 Association of Loyal Orangewomen of Ireland
A distinct women's organisation grew up out of the Orange Order. Called the Association of Loyal Orangewomen of Ireland, this organisation was revived in December 1911 having been dormant since the late 1880s. They have risen in prominence in recent years, largely due to protests in Drumcree. The women's order is parallel to the male order, and participates in its parades as much as the males apart from 'all male' parades and 'all ladies' parades respectively. The contribution of women to the Orange Order is recognised in the song "Ladies Orange Lodges O!".
 Independent Orange Institution
Main article: Independent Orange Institution
The Independent Orange Institution was formed in 1903 by Thomas Sloane, who opposed the main Order's domination by Unionist Party politicians and the upper classes. The Independent Order originally had radical tendencies, especially in the area of labour relations, but this soon faded. In the 1950s and 60s the Independents focussed primarily on religious issues, especially the maintenance of Sunday as a holy day. With the outbreak of the Troubles, Ian Paisley began regularly speaking at Independent meetings, although he is not and has never been a member. As a result the Independent Institution has become associated with Paisley and his Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and Democratic Unionist Party. Recently the relationship between the two Orange Institutions has improved, with joint church services being held. Some people believe that this will ultimately result in a healing of the split which led to the Independent Orange Institution breaking away from the mainstream Order. Like the main Order, the Independent Institution parades and holds meetings on the Twelfth of July. It is based mainly in County Antrim.
 Royal Black Institution
Main article: Royal Black Institution
The Royal Black Institution was formed out of the Orange Order two years after the founding of the parent body. Although it is a separate organisation, one of the requirements for membership in the Royal Black is membership of the Orange Order and to be no less than 17 years old. The membership is exclusively male and the Royal Black Chapter is generally considered to be more religious and respectable in its proceedings than the Orange Order.
 Apprentice Boys of Derry
Main article: Apprentice Boys of Derry
The Apprentice Boys of Derry exist for their acts during the siege of Londonderry from James II. Although they have no formal connection with the Orange Order, the two societies have overlapping membership .
 Throughout the world
The Orange Institution spread throughout the English-speaking world and further abroad. It is headed by the Imperial Grand Orange Council. It has the power to arbitrate in disputes between Grand Lodges, and in internal disputes when invited. The Council represents the autonomous Grand Lodges of Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Ghana, Togo, and Wales.
Famous Orangemen have included Dr Thomas Barnardo, who joined the Order in Dublin, William Massey, who was Prime Minister of New Zealand, Harry Ferguson, inventor of the Ferguson tractor, and Earl Alexander, the Second World War general.
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The first Orange Institution Warrant (No. 1780) arrived in Australia with the ship Lady Nugent in 1835. It was sewn in the tunic of Private Andrew Alexander of the 50th Regiment. The 50th was mainly Irish, many of its members were Orangemen belonging to the Regimental lodge and they had secretly decided to retain their lodge Warrant when they had been order to surrender all military warrants, believing that the order would eventually be rescinded and that the Warrant would be useful in Australia.
Main article: Orange Order in Canada
The Orange Order played an important role in the history of Canada, where it was established in 1830. Most early members were from Ireland, but later many English, Scots, Italians and other Protestant Europeans joined the Order, as well as Mohawk Native Americans. Toronto was the epicentre of Canadian Orangeism: most mayors were Orange until the 1950s, and Toronto Orangemen battled against Ottawa-driven initiatives like bilingualism and Catholic immigration. A third of the Ontario legislature was Orange in 1920, but in Newfoundland, the proportion has been as high as 50% at times. Indeed, between 1920 and 1960, 35% of adult male Protestant Newfoundlanders were Orangemen, as compared with just 20% in Northern Ireland and 5%–10% in Ontario in the same period.
The Toronto Twelfth is North America's oldest consecutive annual parade.
An Orange Order parade in Hyde Park, London, June 2007
The Orange Order reached England in 1807, spread by soldiers returning to the Manchester area from service in Ireland. Since then, the English branch of the Order has generally been allied with the Conservative and Unionist Party. From 1909 to 1974, however, it was also associated with the Liverpool Protestant Party.
The Orange Order in England is strongest in Liverpool including Toxteth and Garston. Its presence in Liverpool dates to at least 1819, when the first parade was held to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne, on 12 July.
The Orange Order in Liverpool holds its annual Twelfth parade in Southport, a seaside town north of Liverpool. The Institution also holds a Juniors parade there on Whit Monday. The Black Institution holds its Southport parade on the first Saturday in August.
The parades in Southport have attracted much controversy in recent times, with Southport locals criticising the marches due to the disruption that they cause. Events that are staged in the town mean closure of the main street in the town centre, Lord Street. Some businesses choose to stay shut on Lodge days after some trouble caused in the 1980's, however many pubs and the restaurant trade welcome the day and the revenue it brings - particularly on an otherwise quiet weekday.
Other parades are held in Liverpool on the Sunday prior to the Twelfth and on the Sunday after. These parades along with St Georges day; Reformation Sunday and Remembrance Sunday go to and from church. Other parades are held by individual Districts of the Province - in all approximately 30 parades a year.
The Orange Order in Ghana appears to have been founded by Ulster-Scots missionaries some time during the 19th century. Its rituals mirror those of the Orange Order in Ulster though it does not place restrictions on membership to those who have certain Roman Catholic family members. The Orange Order in Ghana is currently being subjected to attack by charismatic churches.
In 1915 John Amate Atayi, a member of the Lagos Fine Blues LOL 801 moved to Lome, Togo, for work. Here he founded the Lome Defenders of the Truth LOL 867, under warrant of the Grand Orange Lodge of England. In 1916 a second lodge, Paline Heroes LOL No 884 was constituted.
The first Orange Lodge in Nigeria was the Lagos Fine Blues LOL 801, which was first listed in 1907 in the returns of Woolwhich District 64 to the Grand Orange Lodge of England. Altogether there were three male lodges and one female lodge. They all appear to have died out some time in the 1960s, due to political unrest. Conversely the Ghana lodges increased greatly in popularity with the return of Democracy.
 New Zealand
Former Orange hall in Auckland, New Zealand. Now a church.
New Zealand's first Orange lodge was founded in Auckland in 1842, only two years after the country became part of the British Empire, by James Carlton Hill of County Wicklow. The lodge initially had problems finding a place to meet, as several landlords were threatened by Irish Catholic immigrants for hosting it. The arrival of large numbers of British troops to fight the New Zealand land wars of the 1860s provided a boost for New Zealand Orangeism, and in 1867 a North Island Grand Lodge was formed. A decade later a South Island Grand Lodge was formed, and the two merged in 1908.
From the 1870s the Order was involved in local and general elections, although Rory Sweetman argues that 'the longed-for Protestant block vote ultimately proved unobtainable'. Processions seem to have been unusual before the late 1870s: the Auckland lodges did not march until 1877 and in most places Orangemen celebrated the Twelfth and November 5 with dinners and concerts. The emergence of Orange parades in New Zealand was probably due to a Catholic revival movement which took place around this time. Although some parades resulted in rioting, Sweetman argues that the Order and its right to march were broadly supported by most New Zealanders, although many felt uneasy about the emergence of sectarianism in the colony. From 1912 to 1925 New Zealand's most famous Orangeman, William Massey, was Prime Minister. During World War I Massey co-led a coalition government with Irish Catholic Joseph Ward. Historian Geoffrey W. Rice maintains that Bill Massey’s Orange sympathies were assumed rather than demonstrated.
Te Ara: The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand argues that New Zealand Orangeism, along with other Protestant and anti-Catholic organisations, faded from the 1920s. The Order has certainly declined in visibility since that decade, although in 1994 it was still strong enough to host the Imperial Orange Council for its biennial meeting. However parades have ceased, and most New Zealanders are probably unaware of the Order's existence in their country. The New Zealand Order is unusual in having mixed-gender lodges, and at one point had a female Grand Master.
 Republic of Ireland
The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland represents lodges in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, where Orangeism remains particularly strong in border counties such as Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan. Before the partition of Ireland the Order's headquarters were in Dublin, which at one stage had more than 300 private lodges. After partition the Order declined rapidly in the Republic of Ireland. The last 12 July parade in Dublin took place in 1937. The last Orange parade in the Republic of Ireland is at Rossnowlagh, County Donegal, an event which has been largely free from trouble and controversy. It is held on the Saturday before the Twelfth as the day is not a holiday in the Republic of Ireland. There are still Orange lodges in nine counties of the Republic of Ireland - counties Cavan, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Laois, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Wicklow, but most either do not parade or travel to other areas to do so.
In 2005, controversy was generated when the organisers of Cork's St Patrick's Day parade invited representatives of the Orange Order to parade in the celebrations, part of the year-long celebration of Cork's position of European Capital of Culture. The Order accepted the invitation and was to parade with their wives and children alongside Chinese, Filipino and African community groups in an event designed to recognise and celebrate cultural diversity. Subsequently, after consultation with An Garda Síochána, the Order's grand secretary, Drew Nelson, said both his organisation and the parade organisers were disappointed that the Order would not be attending the festivities. He added that he welcomed the invitation and hoped the Order would be able to participate in the event next year. A Church of Ireland clergyman, Rev. David Armstrong, spoke out against the invitation.
In February 2008 it was announced that the Orange Order was to be granted nearly €250,000 from the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. The grant is intended to provide support for members in border areas and fund the repair of Orange halls, many of which have been subjected to vandalism.
Main article: Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland
Orange parade in Glasgow (1 June 2003)
The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland is the largest Orange Lodge outside Northern Ireland. Most lodges are concentrated in west central Scotland around Glasgow, Motherwell, and parts of Renfrew and Ayr. However, the Order is also very strong in West Lothian, and, to a lesser extent East Lothian. Lodges are also based in the North East of Scotland, the most northerly lodges are located in Aberdeen, Alford, Peterhead and Inverness. The orders presence in the North of Scotland can be located to the fishing industry and importation of workers from Belfast and Glasgow to the north and north east and migration of fishermen in the opposite direction.
In 1881, fully three quarters of Orange lodge masters were born in Ireland and, when compared to Canada, Scottish Orangeism has been both smaller (no more than two percent of adult male Protestants in west central Scotland have ever been members) and more of an Ulster ethnic association which has been less attractive to the native Protestant population. The strongest predictor of Orange strength in a Scottish county for the period 1860–2001 is the proportion of Irish-Protestant descent in the county.
Scottish Orangeism's political influence crested between the wars, but was effectively nil thereafter as the Tory party at all levels began to move away from Protestant politics toward a more neo-liberal economic agenda.
In 2004 former Scottish Orange Order member Adam Ingram sued MP George Galloway for saying in his autobiography that Ingram had "played the flute in a sectarian, anti-Catholic, Protestant-supremacist Orange Order band". Judge Lord Kingarth ruled that the phrase was 'fair comment' on the Orange Order and that Ingram had been a member, although he had not played the flute.
The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland has spoken out against Scottish independence, and on 24 March 2007, a parade of 12,000 Orangemen and women marched through Edinburgh's Royal Mile to celebrate the Act of Union.
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Cymru LOL 1922 is the only Orange lodge in Wales.
 United States
Participation in the Orange Institution was not as large in the United States as it was in Canada. In the early nineteenth century, the post-Revolutionary republican spirit of the new United States attracted exiled Protestant United Irishman such as Wolfe Tone and others. Most Protestant Irish immigrants in the first several decades of the century were those who held to the republicanism of the 1790s, and who were unable to accept Orangeism. Loyalists and Orangemen made up a minority of Irish Protestant immigrants during this period. Most of the Irish loyalist emigration was bound for Upper Canada and the Canadian Maritime provinces, where Orange lodges were able to flourish under the British flag.
By 1870, when there were about 930 Orange lodges in the Canadian province of Ontario, there were only 43 in the entire eastern United States. These few American lodges were founded by newly arriving Protestant Irish immigrants in coastal cities such as Philadelphia and New York. These ventures were short-lived and of limited political and social impact, although there were specific instances of violence involving Orangemen between Catholic and Protestant Irish immigrants, such as the Orange Riots in New York City in 1824, 1870 and 1871.
The first "Orange riot" on record was in 1824, in Abingdon, NY, resulting from a 12th July march. Several Orangemen were arrested and found guilty of inciting the riot. According to the State prosecutor in the court record, "the Orange celebration was until then unknown in the country". The immigrants involved were admonished: "In the United States the oppressed of all nations find an asylum, and all that is asked in return is that they become law-abiding citizens. Orangemen, Ribbonmen, and United Irishmen are alike unknown. They are all entitled to protection by the laws of the country."
The later Orange riots of 1870 and 1871 killed nearly 70 people, and were fought out between Irish Protestant and Catholic immigrants. After this the activities of the Orange Order were banned for a time, the Order dissolved, and most members joined Masonic Orders. After 1871, there were no more riots between Irish Catholics and Protestants.
America offered a new beginning, and "...most descendents of the Ulster Presbyterians of the eighteenth century and even many new Protestant Irish immigrants turned their backs on all associations with Ireland and melted into the American Protestant mainstream."
There are currently two Orange Lodges in New York, one in Manhattan and the other in the Bronx.
 Parallels with the Ku Klux Klan
Tim Pat Coogan states that in America, Orangeism also manifested itself in movements such as the Know Nothings and the Ku Klux Klan and that it also proved useful to employers as a device for keeping Protestant and Catholic workers from uniting for better wages and conditions. On the right of Orangemen to march in quasi-military fashion through areas, regardless of the views of the residents, Orangemen often cite the example of the Klan and the American Nazi Party. In the Orders petition to the Northern Ireland Parades Commission in June 2002, on the Orders right to march, they cited American case law which had upheld the right to public demonstrations by both the Klan and the American Nazi Party.
In Ireland Civil Rights activists often dismissed Loyalist paramilitaries as the Irish version of the Ku Klux Klan. The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, identifying with the American civil rights movement, described them as 'Britain's Ku Klux Klan' who wrote Fionnbarra O Dochartaigh
“ We viewed the [Orange Order] as similar to the KKK - so bare-faced and confident enough in the bigoted status quo that they wore bowler hats and sashes rather than white robes and pointed hoods. ”
Brian Dooley says it would be 'grossly inaccurate' to suggest that the Orange Order 'mirrored' the KKK, they did he notes share obvious similarities, not least their hostility to Catholicism. Both organisations paraded in bizarre costumes, with the Klan in their white hoods and sheets and the Orangemen in their bowler hats and sashes, with leaders of the Klan going by titles such as Grand Goblin or Imperial Wizard and the Order having less exotic titles as Worshipful Master. Dooley, citing Wyn Craig's history of the Klan notes that during the 1920s the Klan targeted Catholic Churches to fill an 'emotional need for a concrete, foreign-based enemy...the Pope', with these attacks providing a unifying force in support for the Klan among Protestant Churches.
US Congressman Donald Payne, who according to John McGarry is one of the most influential black politicians in Congress said in an article in the Sunday Times that 'there are many parallels between Catholics in and the situation the black community faced in the United States.' Payne would be present in July 2000, to observe the Orange Orders attempts to march through a nationalist area. According to McGarry, Bill President Bill Clinton refused a request by British Government Leader Tony Blair to put pressure on Irish Republicans to make concessions on police reform because he considered bowing to Unionist demands would be like 'leaving Alabama and Georgia under all-white cops.'
 'Diamond Dan'
As part of the re-branding of Orangeism to encourage younger people into a largely ageing membership, and as part of the planned rebranding of the July marches into an 'Orangefest', the 'superhero' Diamond Dan was created - named after one of its founding members, 'Diamond' Dan Winter - Diamond referring to the Institution's formation at the Diamond, Loughgall, in 1795.
Initially unveiled with a competition for children to name their new mascot in November 2007 (it was nicknamed 'Sash Gordon' by several parts of the British media); at the official unveiling of the character's name in February 2008, Orange Order education officer David Scott said Diamond Dan was meant to represent the true values of the Order: "...the kind of person who offers his seat on a crowded bus to an elderly lady. He won't drop litter and he will be keen on recycling". There were plans for a range of Diamond Dan merchandise designed to appeal to children.
There was however uproar when it was revealed in the middle of the 'Marching Season' that Diamond Dan was a repaint of illustrator Dan Bailey's well-known "Super Guy" character (often used by British computer magazines), and taken without his permission., leading to the LOL's character being lampooned as "Bootleg Billy".
 Grand Masters