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The Irish Tricolour – Its History and Meaning

The Irish National Flag, the Tricolour, was first introduced in 1848. It was directly influenced by the Tricolour of the French Revolution which in turn had inspired many revolutionary movements across Europe – including the Young Ireland movement.
The flag was designed by Francis Meagher as Green, White and Orange. The Green and Orange represented the two traditions on the island and, as Meagre himself said at the time, “The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between the ‘Orange’ and the ‘Green’ and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of the Irish Protestant and the Irish Catholic may be clasped in heroic brotherhood.'”

The flag met with some welcome at the time but fell out of use in favour of the “Green Flag” which consisted of a gold harp on a green background. Only durum the War of Independence in 1916 did the Tricolour re-emerge as the widely accepted flag. It was later adopted as the flag of the Republic.

irish fenian flag

Many people still refer the “Green, White and Gold” and this is partly due to confusion with the colours of the Green Flag being perpetuated. The partition of the island also played a part. With the end of The Troubles the Orange part of the flag is now more widely acknowledged.

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