“I didn’t know about the Orange Order until I was stuck in a parade with them surrounding me," US tourist Liz White said in one of her follow-up TikToks after she went viral this week.

Liz posted what she likely thought was a harmless TikTok while in Ireland on July 7 - it showed her sitting in a car, donning a tricolor friendship bracelet, smiling and bopping her head along as an Orange Order parade passed her by.

"When you're trying to take a shortcut on your Ireland road trip but you end up in the middle of an Irish parade," Liz wrote in text over her video.

In her caption, she wrote: "Can someone please tell me what kept me stuck here for 45 mins," adding an Irish flag emoji at the end.


Can someone please tell me what kept me stuck here for 45 mins 🇮🇪

♬ original sound - LizWizdom

Her TikTok, which has since been viewed more than 2.5 million times, was soon met with plenty of spirited reactions.


“As an Irish person don’t know whether to cry or laugh,” another wrote.

“not even comedy writers could create something so funny girl im crying,” said another.

For the unfamiliar - like Liz - it would be an easy mistake. The Orange Order, based in Northern Ireland, describes itself as "a membership organisation comprised of Protestants who are committed to the protection of the principles of the Protestant Reformation and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 which enshrined civil and religious liberty for all."

Among their self-proclaimed values are "maintenance of the Union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland," and "Service to the Crown."

The Orange Order are staunch loyalists; members would not refer to themselves in any way as Irish.

Some critics view the organization as sectarian. Their annual marches marking the 12th of July often spur controversy - and sometimes violence - when routes go near or through predominantly Catholic neighborhoods.

Liz nad her parents got caught up in the Rossnowlagh march in Co Donegal on Sunday, which featured some 40 bands and drew thousands of people.

June 12, 2016:  An Orange Order parade marches down the Crumlin Road past Ardoyne shops in Belfast as Nationalists demonstrate behind police lines. (RollingNews.ie)

June 12, 2016: An Orange Order parade marches down the Crumlin Road past Ardoyne shops in Belfast as Nationalists demonstrate behind police lines. (RollingNews.ie)

Liz has since offered some context for the situation, explaining that she’s an American who is traveling around Ireland after attending Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in Dublin. (Liz admitted that in of itself is controversial - there are lots of Irish fans angry about not getting Swift tickets while American fans did.)

"Here's how I ended up in the middle of an Orange Order parade that I mistakenly thought was just an Irish Celebration," she said in a follow-up.

Liz said after being in Sligo, she and her parents' GPS led them down a narrow road and "straight into a parade route" when they were attempting to reach Slieve League in Co Donegal.

"There were hundreds of coach buses and absolutely nowhere to go," Liz said.

"My dad was not happy that we ended up parked in the middle of the road for 40 minutes.

"I thought, well let's just make the best of it and enjoy the parade from the car, not knowing what the context was.

"I saw a lot of orange but I just thought, America has red, white, and blue, Ireland has green, white, and orange.

"Turn out there's a lot more to it than that.

"When traffic started moving, we asked a policeman how to get out of there and he started laughing at us.

"So now I understand why."

Liz and her parents successfully continued their journey to Slieve League for some hiking.

@lizwizdom Replying to @Mrs Diment ♬ original sound - LizWizdom

In fairness to Liz, it probably wouldn’t be accurate to totally paint her with the ‘clueless American tourist’ brush - she revealed that while he had done some research before visiting Ireland, she is eager to learn more in light of the reaction to her TikTok. 

She's also been quite good-humored about the generally lighthearted Irish ribbing she's receiving.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know that this was a controversial thing,” Liz said in a follow-up TikTok.

“I thought I just stumbled upon a parade out in the Irish countryside. 

“Turns out, major politically divisive situation going on. 

“How was I to know? How was I to know!”

She added: “The Irish Facebook travel groups that I was a part of did not cover this. They did not cover this at all.”

Later, when one commenter commended her for being a good sport, Liz acknowledged: “It is objectively hilarious now that I know the context.”

Of course, some commenters pointed out the similarities of Liz’s experience to one iconic “Derry Girls” scene where the (Catholic) gang gets stuck in the middle of an Orange Parade.

The scene features Orla waving and smiling, fascinated by the procession, even after she notes that a "cop is pointing his gun at us."

Liz took heed of the comparisons and shared another TikTok of her watching the "Derry Girls" scene "to educate herself."

 Poignantly, the Derry Peace Bridge was in the background of that update.

@lizwizdom Replying to @moon emoji why is this scene exactly what happened to me #derrygirls ♬ Dreams - The Cranberries