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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 21:42 GMT
Orange Order creates superhero

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's... well he doesn't have a name yet, but the Orange Order hopes to win a new generation of fans with their own superhero.

The origins of the Orange Order may date from the 17th century battle for supremacy between Protestantism and Catholicism, but they have high hopes for this 21st century makeover.

King William has been an Orange icon for more than 300 years, but it seems the curly wig and pointed hat combo were not doing it for the kids any more.

While the unnamed character still sports a sash, the traditional bowler hat has been replaced by a trendy purple cape.

Modern nutrition has also made him a bit more muscular than the comparatively scrawny-looking King Billy.

'Less stuffy'

Orangeman David Hume says the idea is to make themselves more relevant to the young and "appear less stuffy".

King Billy
317 years later, William of Orange has a new rival
"We usually have comic Christmas cards every year, so we decided to ask a graphic artist to come up with something new to represent the institution," he says.

"He features on the Christmas cards as Santa's little helper, but it also has a wider appeal so we've launched a competition for people to come up with a name for him.

"The institution covers such a wide spectrum age-wise, grandfathers and grandsons are both involved - there is the junior institution up until the age of 16 or 17, so it's something they can hopefully get involved with."

Any suggestions can be sent to the Orange Order's headquarters, but be warned, Orangeman has been deemed too obvious.



SEE ALSO
Order to 'kick out' sex offenders
11 Jun 07 |  Northern Ireland
Paisley and Ahern visit 1690 site
11 May 07 |  Northern Ireland
King Billy painting a 'mixed blessing'
18 Aug 06 |  Northern Ireland
Profile: The Orange Order
04 Jul 01 |  Northern Ireland

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