The Orange Order was formed in 1795 (as the Association of Orangemen) for the defence of Protestantism and maintenance of Protestant ascendancy in Ireland. It was probably named from the wearing of orange badges as a symbol of adherence to William III (William of Orange). In the early 20th century it was strengthened in the north of Ireland in its campaign to resist the Home Rule bill and has continued to form a core of Protestant Unionist opinion since
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