The Colors of St. Patrick's Day

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

The Chicago River Goes Green For St. Patrick's Day 2017
The Chicago River is turned Green for St.Patricks Day. Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

If you are looking for just the right color green for your St. Patrick's Day design, you need look no further than the green in the flag of Ireland and its close Irish relatives.

The color green is closely associated with Ireland, the Irish and St. Patrick's Day—no matter where it is celebrated. Green is also the color of nature. Originally, blue was the color for St. Patrick, but today it's all about the green. You can't go wrong with these four specific shades of green combined with the orange of the flag and the gold of the leprechauns for your Irish-themed designs.

These greens 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 to avoid being pinched on March 17.

Irish Green

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 colors are PMS 347 and PMS 151, respectively. The Hex codes, RGB and CMYK formulations are:

  • Green PMS 347: Hex #009a49 | RGB 0,154,73 | CMYK 100,0,53,40
  • Orange PMS 151: Hex #ff7900 | RGB 255,121,0 | CMYK 0,53,100,0

An interesting bit of green and orange trivia: Every year, the Chicago River is dyed green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. The powdered dye used to turn the river green is orange until it mixes with water.

Shamrock Green

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 | CMYK 100,0,39,38

Emerald Green

Ireland is nicknamed the Emerald Isle 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 | CMYK 60,0,40,22

Kelly Green

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 | CMYK 59,0,88,27 

Golden Yellow

Shades of yellow or gold are sometimes improperly used in place of the orange in the Irish flag. However, gold is the color of the coins in a leprechaun's pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow, so it's a good choice for your St. Patrick's Day designs. It may be called gold or golden yellow.

  • Gold: Hex #ffd700 | RGB 255,215,0 | CMYK 0,16,100,0