The flag of Ireland is the national symbol of this country. Its history began hundreds of years ago. Over the years, the appearance of the flag has changed significantly, changing the meaning of colors. The modern Irish national symbol emphasizes the independence and autonomy of the country, which proclaims democracy.
This is how the modern flag of Ireland looks like:
History of the flag
At first the flag of Ireland was a monochrome cloth of green hue. It depicted a Gaelic instrument, the golden harp. This symbolism was widely used on the island by the Catholic Confederation, which included the Anglo-Norman population. The organization existed on the island until 1651.
At present the green cloth with a harp is used by the province of Leinster, located in the eastern part of Ireland. Such a flag can be found in the country’s navy.
The green cloth depicting the harp was unofficially recognized as the flag of Ireland. This continued until 1922.
The emergence of the orange hue on the green background of the country’s national symbol originally denoted the enmity between Catholics and Protestants. It is known that Protestants were on the side of King William II of England, nicknamed William the Redhead.
Orange is the traditional color of the royal dynasty of William III of Orange. This king won the momentous battle of the Boyne River, which helped maintain Protestant influence on the island. Subsequently, the white stripe on the flag marked the reconciliation of Catholics with Protestants.
There are two versions of the appearance of the Irish tricolor. Both are associated with the real revolutionary, the nationalist Thomas Meger. The first time he displayed the banner was in the French capital, Paris. It happened in 1848.
According to one version, the color of the Irish flag is directly related to the flags of the islands: Newfoundland, Labrador. In addition, the first island is the home of Meger. According to the second assumption, the modern form of the flag originated from the French banner.
In 1906, the tricolor flag was used by the Sinn Fein movement. Active independence fighters spoke with this banner. Flags were present at mass political meetings. The flag was proclaimed the symbol of Sinn Fein. Notably, at the time, the stripes on the cloth could be arranged horizontally. Green and orange hues were sometimes swapped out.
For the first time the Irish tricolor banner with vertical stripes was erected over the post office in Dublin City in 1916. This significant event occurred during the Easter Uprising, dedicated to the struggle for the independence of the Republic. Three years later the Irish parliament approved the tricolor symbol of the country. In 1919 until 1921 the banner was used in the Civil War.
December 1921: Great Britain recognized Ireland as a Free State with Dominion status. The country became independent as part of the Commonwealth. Recognition of the tricolor at the state level as the flag of Ireland occurred in 1937 (December 29).
The flag in Ireland is present in almost all government offices. Disrespect for it is punishable under Irish law.
It should be noted that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. It is independent from the Republic of Ireland, and also has its own national symbols. The official flag of the Northern State is the British flag.
The Irish flag is a rectangular cloth, twice as long as it is wide. It is divided into three vertical stripes, identical in size but different in color. There are no additional symbols on the cloth.
The cloth of the Irish flag is tricolor. There is a green stripe at the top, a white stripe in the center, followed by an orange stripe.
The Irish tricolor bears a striking resemblance to the tricolor cloth of Côte d’Ivoire (a state in Africa). Both cloths are delineated by vertical stripes of white, green, and orange hues. In the African flag, however, the orange color is located at the staff.
Meaning of the colors of the flag
Each shade on the Irish tricolor has a specific meaning:
- Green is symbolic of the Catholic faith and is the traditional color of the country.
- Orange is the symbol of Protestant society.
- The white shade signifies the peaceful coexistence of the two faiths.
The tricolor Irish flag symbolizes the religious diversity of society as well as the unity of its citizens. The Irish are proud of their tricolor and its history. This national symbol is present at all festivals, sporting events, and other significant events.
General information about Ireland
|Official language||Irish, English|
|Territory||70 273 km2|
|Currency||Euro (EUR, code 978)|