Northern Ireland, Saturday 13th July 2013: The Royal Black Institution, also known as the Royal Black Knights of the Camp of Israel held their annual parade in Scarva Co. Down.

The Institution, an evangelical Protestant fraternity was established in Ireland in 1797 and draws much of its symbolism from the Hebrew Bible and the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

Covenant of Peace Preceptory carrying a banner depicting Daniel Interpreting Nebuchandezzar’s Dream, Photo credit: Steve Nimmons

The annual event at Scarva attracts upwards of 100,000 spectators who are entertained by traditional pipe and drum bands, silver bands and other marching bands.

King Hiram in The Temple, Photo credit: Steve Nimmons

In June 1690, a Williamite army of 30,000 men camped in the Scarva area for training before marching on to meet the forces of King James II at the Battle of the Boyne on 1 July 1690. The Royal Black Institution mark this historical connection with an annual mock battle (known as the Sham Fight) on July 13th.

Traditional Ulster Scots band leading a Royal Black Preceptory, Photo credit: Steve Nimmons