I used to wonder the same thing when I was a kid. At that time I figured my grandfathers didn't know any better and were at a loss for names. Then I met a fellow named Francis Xavier [last name withheld] who told me that his grandfather and my grandfather would have come to blows. When I asked why, he said his family was staunch Irish catholics and orange was the protestant color. We have always thought our family came from Ireland, although most history I read show George Geer coming from England being the primary father of the Geers. Our family oral history references Armaugh County, Ireland, where they lived in homes that were little better than caves. (I'm no historian, but am sure that England also had a history of catholic and protestant skirmishes). Some time in the late 1700's before moving to West Virginia, my Grandfather Hosea lost an ear in Connecticut for some alleged wrongdoing. He said his ear was nailed to a fence post and cut off. After learning of the catholic/protestant scenario, I figure Hosea's problem was a religous fray and when he got to West Virginia, he or his son named their son Orange to show their protestant heritage. This is all conjecture on my part, but it fits pretty well with what I've always heard. I think one of the biggest accomplishments of United States as a nation is our religious freedoms and the respite from religious strife, and am happy to have catholic friends as well as protestants. Regarding present day politics however, radical muslims are making me wonder if Christan ideals are once again challenged and perhaps my heirs or I might lose an ear.
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