Rollin’ of the green! We need to take advantage of the fact that our nation has a monopoly on the color green.
Isn’t it time that we took advantage of the reality that in global terms we have a virtual monopoly on the most attractive of all the small clan of primary colors?
Isn’t it long past the time when we should stress to the world family our special links with the color green?
Aren’t we known by all as the Emerald Isle and deservedly so?
Is it not right and fitting, accordingly, that we should mark that distinction by rolling out a sparkling green carpet for visiting dignitaries and world leaders rather than the traditional red carpet deployed everywhere else? It would have a mighty impact everywhere.
The modern reality that environmental issues right around the globe are dominating the headlines almost every day significantly strengthens the case. Political parties under the “green” umbrella are sprouting up everywhere and gaining force by the day.
There is genuinely sincere worry in about all societies about the impact upon all of us by a tainted environment. The oceans are poisoned by plastic products, the Poles are melting as a consequence of undeniable global warming, those poisonous oceans are threatening to flood low-lying coasts right across our world, TV images from anywhere urbanized show folk attempting to protect themselves from smog by wearing face-masks. We are in the midst of a rapidly worsening environmental crisis.
Against that reality, wouldn’t it send a powerful message to the world if Ireland totally abandoned the traditional red carpet protocol for powerful visitors and instead rolled out a brightly hopeful and significant green carpet?
As an island on the western edge of Europe we have not yet suffered the worst effects of global pollution, thank God, and our image, indeed, is of a beautiful little island garnished by what the songwriters call 40 shades of green.
In my view we should dump all those symbolic red carpets immediately and replace them with green carpets, ideally from the workshops of Navan in the county Meath where ‘tis known they now fabricate carpets even more attractive than those which made Persia famous in the past.
Or from any other native carpet workshop either just as long as they are green rather than that dire ritual red. Surely this suggestion makes good common sense at the moment.
As far as I know, the tradition of rolling out the red carpet for powerful visitors goes away back across the centuries to well before the time of Christ even. There are suggestions that red carpets were being rolled out to lie underneath the feet of power and prestige as far back across history as three or four centuries BC.
It has been suggested to me that the custom began in Greece about 500 BC and that indeed the first red carpet deployed there was offered as a kind of oblique challenge to the leader who was expected to stride home across it. I think he was wise enough at the time to decline the offer, saying he felt unworthy.
That attitude, I suggest, would not be too often shared by the majority of the leaders and stars who expect to be greeted by red carpets today on their arrival in foreign states. Judge for yourselves.
Would it also be a significant gesture across the diaspora for all Irish organizations everywhere to stress their truly green inheritance on big occasions by rolling out green carpets for their visitors?
Should the ceremonial carpets in use for big occasions like St, Patrick’s Day parades everywhere across the globe not be emerald green rather than ritual red?
When you think about it in any depth at all, for example, red is the hue of all the bloods of many nations who perished horrifically, and who still perish horrifically to this day, because of the clashes between nations and religions and cultures. Those were often created by the plots and plans of the Hitler-types who strode down the red carpets of our history. And those demented creatures are still out there in numbers as we all know.
No organization has ever seen fit to roll out a red carpet for my visiting feet anywhere. That is probably the case for many of you readers out there as well, wherever you dwell.
However I want to make it clear here and now, to all and sundry, that, just like that Ancient Greek leader, I will never stride down a welcoming red carpet for any occasion. It will have to be a carpet in any one of those 40 shades of green which garnish our great country.
I’ll leave it there for now.