From the Bangor Daily News:
Despite a very divided vote by the legislature’s IFW Committee, the state’s Amish hunters won the right to wear red instead of orange while deer hunting in Maine.
LD 426 was sponsored by Representative McCrea of Fort Fairfield, who was joined at the hearing by several young Amish men who testified that their religion forbid them from wearing orange because it is “too flashy.”
The amended bill, which won the support of 7 IFW Committee members while being opposed by 5 members, provides that a person with a religious opposition to wearing hunter orange may substitute articles of bright red clothing for the required articles of hunter orange clothing. The term “bright” was added to the original bill.
This resolves a conflict which has been going on for some time in the Pine Tree State.
Many Amish do use bright colors to draw attention to themselves in special situations (when hunting, or in cases such as children walking or scootering to and from school, where bright yellow safety vests are common in some larger communities).
Fort Fairfield, located in the state’s massive Aroostook County, is home to a conservative Swartzentruber Amish community (a few years back, Down East magazine featured an excellent profile of this settlement).
It might seem absurd to outsiders that red is alright where orange is not permitted, but objections over brightness of colors is nothing new for the plainest Amish.
In Swartzentruber communities, it’s a common objection to the bright orange slow-moving vehicle triangle.
Opponents of the bill voiced concerns, but for naught. One state representative called this “one of the toughest bills I’ve seen since I’ve been here.”
Hopefully bright red will prove as effective as bright orange. But with hunters accustomed to watching out for a certain standardized color, that may not be the case.
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