The spectacle of Orangemen sporting daffodils proved a talking point at the Twelfth demonstrations in Cloughmills.
For the first time in its history, Rawlins White Memorial LOL 803 – one of only two Orange lodges in Wales – was in Ulster for Twelfth proceedings.
Ian McFarland, who moved to Cardiff from the Province in 2000, said it was a proud day to bring the lodge to Northern Ireland for the biggest marching day of the calendar.
He said: “We walked in from the country with Garryduff LOL 536 – our hosts – to Cloughmills.
“We were here a couple of hours before the demonstration was due to start. We just enjoyed the harmony.
“I think we raised a bit of interest in the village.
“We all had daffodils on our hats and our bannerette has both daffodils and orange lilies on it. We stood out pretty well.”
Mr McFarland explained that there is no Grand Orange Lodge of Wales, and that the lodge comes under the Grand Orange Lodge of England.
Formed in 2012, the lodge became the first lodge in Cardiff since 1921 and is named after Rawlins White, a Protestant martyr who was burnt at the stake in Cardiff in 1555.
“We’re part of Plymouth District, which has three lodges,” he said. “Our district parade is in Brixham every year which celebrates where King William landed.
“It’s a very different day from the Twelfth, much smaller than over here.”
He added: “We’ve a good spread of people in the lodge – three or four Ulstermen, about six Scots lads, two or three English and two or three Welsh. All four corners of the UK are represented. Eight of our brethren were on parade in Cloughmills.”
Approximately 50 lodges from five districts – Cloughmills, Bushmills, Ballycastle, Rasharkin and Ballymoney – took part in the north Antrim demonstration yesterday.
At the head of the parade was King William on a white horse, while there was a rich variety of music on offer, incorporating over 40 bands and four sets of Lambeg drums.
The parade set off at 1pm from the assembly point at Drumadoon Road, making its way through the village of Cloughmills to the demonstration field on the Ballycregagh Road.
Addressing brethren assembled there, Ian Wilson, a former Grand Master of the Orange Order in Scotland, attacked “the appalling reaction by some of the London establishment” to the DUP/Tory pact.
He said: “It was open season, not just on the DUP but on all believing Protestants and Orangemen.
“The more repellent elements of the London media, who would hesitate to utter a critical word against Islamic fundamentalism, had no hesitation where we were concerned.
“Among the more choice descriptions that I heard were Protestant extremists, bigots, homophobes and white supremacists.
“It was embarrassing, it was demeaning and it was an utter disgrace.”
The senior Orangeman maintained that although the election was unnecessary, the result was a good one for unionism across the UK.
Referring to electoral losses by the Scottish Nationalist Party, Mr Wilson said: “Ms Sturgeon is staring failure in the face – Scotland is staying in the United Kingdom.
“British we are and British we stay.
“Another good consequence was a hung parliament that has created a massive opportunity for Ulster.
“The involvement of the DUP is good news not only for the Province but for the entire United Kingdom.
“And by the way, you shouldn’t be bashful or embarrassed about the extra money coming your way. That money is deserved and needed and will surely be put to good use.
“And if Gerry Adams has any sense, he’ll drop his crackpot Irish language posturing and get on with the business of delivering government for the good of the whole community here in Northern Ireland.”