St. Patrick’s Day: Donald Trump’s ‘Irish Hat’ Causes Controversy
St. Patrick’s day is fast approaching, and with it comes the sea of green that people often wear to celebrate the day. President Donald Trump decided to get in on the action in the form of an “Irish” version of his “Make America Great Again” hat.
Trump being culturally clueless with a four leaf clover instead of a shamrock @donoghue88 where's your dad from? Bawston. pic.twitter.com/NedHuskpKl
— Olivia Victoria (@oliviavcbrooks) March 6, 2017
Ahead of the celebrations on March 17, Trump’s website was selling green hats for $50 U.S. and they quickly sold out. However, the usage of a four-leaf clover as opposed to a shamrock was called out and the merchandise has since been removed from the site. A Trump spokesperson declined to comment when asked by The New York Times as to why the hat was removed.
It’s a misconception that the four-leaf clover has a connection to St. Patrick or Ireland, when in reality it doesn’t, as the National Post reported. A shamrock (which would have been the correct image to use on the hats) is a three-leaved clover that has great significance to the Irish, as it represents the Holy Trinity. A four-leaf clover is a mutated version that can be found not just in Ireland. While this is a common mistake that the general public often makes, it was seen as a no-no for the U.S. President.
Irish Tee-Shirt company Hairy Baby poked fun at the mistake with their latest St. Paddy’s day shirt:
— Hairy Baby Irish T-Shirts (@HairyBabyTees) March 7, 2017
In fact, many businesses often misrepresent Ireland and mistake symbols in their culture. McDonald’s recently came under fire for a Canadian ad they ran for their annual “Shamrock Shake” that showed a Scottish man pretending to use the drink as bagpipes, with an image of Stonehenge behind him, CTV News reported. Stonehenge can be found in England and the imagery of the ad was reminiscent of Scotland, not Ireland. Even General Mills has made the mistake by representing the Irish with a four-leafed clover as one of the marshmallows in its Lucky Charms cereal.
Trump’s administration is slated to meet with Ireland’s Minister of Defense, Enda Kenny next week. Traditionally, Irish leaders always present the sitting U.S. President with a bowl of shamrocks, but many in Ireland are protesting against the presentation in reaction to Trump’s now infamous travel ban. The two leaders are expected to discuss the issue of illegal Irish immigrant in the United States, the BBC reports.
In addition, March 17 also marks the day where American and Irish progressives are scheduled to rally and protest Trump in New York City. Ó Ríordáin, an Irish senator, recently made an anti-Trump public speech, and he is expected to be one of the many speakers at the rally. The event is called “Irish Stand”.
In the senator’s November speech, he pointed out that the world is between Trump and Brexit, two very divisive moments in the Western world in recent years and he feels that people need to come together now more than ever. On St. Patrick’s day, the Irish culture is celebrated everywhere, which is why it was chosen as the day of the rally.
Furthermore, The Huffington Post has reported that the senator has spoken out against members of Trump’s administration by declaring that, “…quite a number of Irish-Americans surround Trump ? Bannon, Conway, Pence, Spicer, Flynn, Kelly ? these are all Irish-Americans, these are all Irish names… These are all people that in my judgment have completely forgotten their family history.” Tickets for the rally are $15, with proceeds going to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Looks like Trump didn’t have the luck of the Irish on his side to prevent backlash from his attempt to capitalize on the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
What are your thoughts on the controversy? Sound off in the comment section below!
[Featured Image by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/ Getty Images]