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Mar 16 2017
by Maya Ungar

Make America Green Again? Trump's St. Patrick's Day Challenges

By Maya Ungar - Mar 16 2017
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Like any major holiday, the White House celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a lot of festivities. For example, the Obamas started a tradition of coloring the fountain on the south lawn of the White House green in honor of the day. While this specific tradition might not carry into the Trump presidency, some celebration will definitely be undertaken.

For the president, St. Patrick’s Day typically includes unique diplomatic proceedings, with the Irish Ambassador to the to the U.S. presenting a bowl of Shamrocks to the President as a representation of the good relationship between Ireland and the United States. However, this year, this tradition has come under fire in light of President Trump's policies and demeanor. Since shamrocks represent good relations between the two countries, many Irish citizens do not want to relay a message of compliance after the presidential election. A petition was actually started to demand that the shamrocks not be presented this year, in protest over some of Trump’s policies such as the Muslim ban. It has already reached 40,000 signatures and the number keeps climbing. Despite the controversy, the Irish Ambassador is still planning to deliver the shamrocks tomorrow, but with a twist. He will use this time with President Trump to advocate for immigration for undocumented Irish immigrants, those he says “want nothing more than to continue making their contribution to this great country.” 

Along with diplomatic relations, Trump's St. Patrick's Day has been complicated by a mix-up with the St. Patrick's Day "Make America Great Again" hats. The Trump team put a clover, not the shamrock, which is the symbol of Ireland on the back of the hat. While this is a small mistake, it made for some angry Irish and a Twitter uproar. 

These diplomatic and merchandise controversies are sure to be making Trump green with envy about how President Obama was treated on St. Patty's Day. With a new family in the White House, celebrations of any holiday are bound to be different, but come Friday it will be interesting to see how Trump’s White House truly celebrates its first St. Patrick’s Day. 

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Maya Ungar - University of Arkansas

Maya Ungar is a sophomore at the University of Arkansas triple majoring in International Studies, French and Political Science. Maya is obsessed with cheese, the color yellow and politics. Follow her on Instagram @mayaungar

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