History of Ireland (Eire) Flag - Flagmakers

Trivia

The Easter Rising Rebels originally adopted the modern green-white-orange tricolour flag.

Technical Specifications 

Adopted Officially 1937 (unofficial 1916 to 1922)
Proportion 1:2
Design A green, white and orange vertical tricolour.

 

View Ireland (Tricolor) Flag
Ireland national flag

Brief History

The first historical Flag was a banner of the Lordship of Ireland under the rule of the King of England between 1177 and 1542. When the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 made Henry VII the king of Ireland the flag became the Standard of the Kingdom of Ireland, a blue field featuring a gold harp with silver strings.

When Ireland joined with Great Britain to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801, the flag was replaced with the Flag of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.  This was flag of the United Kingdom defaced with the Coat of Arms of Ireland. During this time the Saint Patrick’s flag was also added to the British flag and was unofficially used to represent Northern Ireland.

The modern day green-white-orange tricolour flag was originally used by the Easter Rising rebels in 1916. It was then chosen to represent the Irish Republic during the War of Independence between 1919 and 1921. It wasn’t until 1937 that it was given official status during the Constitution of Ireland.

The green is said to represent Gaelic tradition, the orange is William of Orange and the white is the need for peace between them.

The protocol for using the flag includes not allowing it to touch the ground when raising and lowering and it can only be on display between sunset and sunrise, excluding public meetings, processions or funerals. In addition when the national anthem is played everyone must salute it and stand attention till the last note is played.

The Standard of the President of Ireland

The Standard of the President of Ireland has been used since 1945 and is very similar to the old Royal Standard of the Kingdom of Ireland.

It features a blue flag with the Arms of Ireland, a golden harp, in the centre.  It is flown on his vehicles and when the president is in residence at Dublin Castle. It is never flown at half-mast.

The Flags of Northern Ireland

From 1922 there was a specific flag of Northern Ireland that represented the Governor of Northern Ireland of the British Monarch. This lasted until the abolishment of the role on the 18th of July 1973.

The Personal Flag features a Union Jack defaced with the Coat of Arms of Northern Ireland. There was also an Ensign which featured a blue flag with the Union Jack in the top left hand corner and a white circle with red GNI on the right centre.

There was also the Ulster Banner that represented the Government of Northern Ireland used from 1953 to 1973. At sporting events this flag is still sometimes used to represent Northern Ireland.

The Provincial Flags of Ireland

There are five Provincial Flags of Ireland;

  1. The Flag of Munster, a dark blue flag with three antique Irish crowns.
  2. The Flag of Connacht, a vertical bicolour white and dark blue flag with and eagle and armed hand.
  3. The Flag of Ulster, a yellow flag with a heraldic red cross of de Burgo and the hand of O Neill which is the symbol of the Kings of Ailech and Tír Eoghan.
  4. The Flag of Leinster, a green flag with a golden harp with silver strings.
  5. The Flag of Mide, a blue flag with a image of a royal person sat of a green and gold thrown.

All of the flags, except the Flag of Mide, are representing in the Four Provinces Flag, used to represent all-Ireland sports teams and organisations.

The Defence Force Flags of Ireland

From 1946 the Naval Jack of Ireland has remained the same. Similar to the Flag of Leinster and the Presidents Flag; it features a green field and a golden harp with silver strings. The double-sided Navel Service Colour Flag was introduced in 1996; it features a Defence force badge over four silver anchors on one side and a golden harp surrounded by knotted rope on the other.

The Flag of the Air Corps Ireland features a blue field split up with diagonal red and yellow stripes. On the upper left hand side is the Defence Forces emblem and lower right is the Air Corps roundel. In the centre is the emblem of the Irish Air Corps. The Air Defence Regiment Flag is an orange field with a purple emblem of the Air Defence Regiment in the middle.

From 1946 the Naval Jack of Ireland has remained the same. Similar to the Flag of Leinster and the Presidents Flag; it features a green field and a golden harp with silver strings. The double-sided Navel Service Colour Flag was introduced in 1996; it features a Defence force badge over four silver anchors on one side and a golden harp surrounded by knotted rope on the other.

The Flag of the Irish Republic

In 1916 and from 1919 to 1922 the dark green flag of the Irish Republic was flown alongside the Irish green-white-orange tricolour during the Easter Rising.

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