What Is The Orange Order?
We are a Protestant fraternity with members throughout the world. Autonomous Grand Lodges are found in Scotland, England, the United States of America, West Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Our name comes from William III, Prince of Orange, and is kept because his victory over despotic power laid the foundation for the evolution of Constitutional Democracy in the British Isles.
Support for William of Orange in the British Isles led to the formation of Orange Societies to commemorate his victory at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690, but the largest and longest lasting groups were the Boyne Societies in Ireland.
In 1795, following the culmination of attacks on Protestants in County Armagh at the Battle of the Diamond, in which Protestants routed those who had attacked them and attempted to burn properties, it was decided to form an organization which would protect Protestants. This body, drawing on existing Orange Clubs in the neighbourhood, was named the Loyal Orange Institution.
In modern times the Loyal Orange Institution continues to function, with thousands of members in Ireland many others across the world. Today defending Protestantism is not so literal as it was in 1795, but it requires us to take a stand for truth in an age of secularism and in order to defend our culture and traditions.