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The Colors of St. Patrick's Day


Shades of Green (and Orange and Gold) for Ireland and St. Patrick's Day
Shades of Green for St. Patrick's Day

Shades of green (and gold and orange) associated with St. Patrick's Day and Ireland. What shade of green will you be wearing?

Flag, recolored: Ireland first!; Harp & Shamrock: vector4free.com Leprechaun: © Jacci Bear
The color green is closely associated with Ireland, the Irish, and St. Patrick's Day — no matter where it is celebrated. It's also the color of nature. Originally, blue was the color for St. Patrick but today it's all about the green. Let's take a look at four specific shades of green as well as orange and gold.

You don't have to use these exact greens (unless you want to represent the National Flag of Ireland properly) but they are good starting points for your shamrocks, Irish-themed Web pages, St. Patrick's Day greeting cards and decorations, and the green you'll be wearing so as not to be pinched on March 17.

  • Irish green or Irish flag green is a shade of spring green. Sometimes called Shamrock green, it's slightly greener with less blue tones than the color named Shamrock green. It's the green of the Irish flag.

    The national flag of the Republic of Ireland is a tricolor flag of green, white, and orange. The official Pantone color designations for the green and orange are PMS 347 and PMS 151, respectively.
    (source: The Protocol Section, Department of the Taoiseach, Dublin, Ireland, The National Flag)

    Green PMS 347 | Hex #009B48 | RGB 0, 155, 72
    Top left in illustration
    Orange PMS 151 | Hex #FF7900 | RGB 255,121,0
    Left circle half in illustration

    An interesting bit of green & orange trivia: The dye used to turn the Chicago River green for St. Patrick's Day celebrations starts out orange but turns green.
    (source: netplaces.com St. Patrick's Day Holiday Traditions)


  • Shamrock green is another shade of spring green that is very close to the green of the Irish flag. It is associated with clover and nature.
    Shamrock green | Hex #009E60 | RGB 0, 158,96
    Bottom left in illustration


  • A nickname of Ireland is the Emerald Isle, so named for its lush, green vegetation. Emerald green is a light, slightly bluish green also known as Paris green, Parrot green, and Vienna green.
    Emerald green | Hex #50C878 | RGB 80, 200, 120
    Top right in illustration
    (source: PerBang.dk RGB Chart & Multi Tool)Emerald green | Hex #00C957 | RGB 0, 201, 87
    (source: cloford.com 500+ named colors)


  • A bright sap green, Kelly green is associated with nature and with the surname Kelly (a popular name in Ireland). It's more yellowish than the other greens of St. Patrick's Day.
    Kelly green | Hex #4CBB17 | RGB 76, 187, 23
    Bottom right in illustration


  • Some shade of yellow or Gold is sometimes improperly used in place of the orange in the Irish flag. Gold is the color of the coins in a Leprechaun's pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow. It may be called gold or golden yellow.
    Gold | Hex #FFD700 | RGB 255, 215, 0
    Right circle half in illustration

So which shade of green do you prefer?

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