Belfast Telegraph

Orange Order lampoons parades body in range of cheeky festive greeting cards

By Amanda Ferguson

The Parades Commission has found itself at the top of Santa's naughty list, according to the Orange Order's new Christmas card range.

The Orange Institution has just launched greetings cards for the festive season designed by the Belfast artist Brian John Spencer.

Previously, the organisation's cards depicted marching penguins and slogans such as 'Snow Surrender', but this year it has taken aim at the parading body.

The republican movement and parades protesters also come under fire as candidates who should receive coal in their stockings this Christmas morning, according to the Orangemen.

The Order is unhappy with the Parades Commission for placing restrictions on around 8% of the 26,000 parades held over the past decade.

The lyrics to Irving Berlin's White Christmas have been altered for one card, with an Orangeman and his family portrayed singing: "I'm dreaming of a traditional parade route… just like the ones I used to know."

Spencer told the Belfast Telegraph the cards were a good opportunity to get involved with an institution "that is going through change and reform".

"Political cartoons are about conveying a message and trying to inform and change minds," he added. "I hope that everyone can enjoy these images and that they contribute to the ongoing mission of making the Orange Order more understood to people right across Ireland."

Dr David Hume, grand lodge director of services, said the body's Christmas cards had become "something of an institution in their own right, and this year maintains a fine tradition".

"The Institution and its supporters have shown that they have a typical Northern Ireland sense of humour, and in the past we have had the marching penguins to add colour to the Christmas season," he said.

In addition to the humorous drawings, a design intended to replicate a typical First World War Christmas card is available. It depicts the 36th (Ulster) Division logo as "a timely reminder of the forthcoming centenary of the Battle of the Somme".

The cards cost 60-70p each or £5/£6 for 10. Visit

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph