The Irish tricolor turns 170 years old today
The Irish tricolor celebrates its anniversary today, March 7, 2018. iStock
Happy birthday to the Irish tricolor. The flag turns 170 today.
What is the meaning of the Irish flag? Where does the Irish tricolor have its origins? Here are some of the top facts about âBratach na hÃireannâ to celebrate it turning 170 years old on March 7, 2018.
When was the Irish tricolor first flown?
The Irish tricolor was flown publicly for the first time during the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848. It happened on March 7 in Waterford City at the Wolfe Tone Confederate Club.
What are the origins of the Irish flag?6
Thomas Francis Meagher. Image: WikiCommons.
It was flown first by Thomas Francis Meagher, then a leader of the Young Irelander movement, who would go down in history as Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher of the U nion Army during the American Civil War.
When Meagher hung the tricolor in Waterford, it boldly flew for eight days and nights until it was taken down by the British. It wasn't until after the 1916 Easter Rising and partition, however, that the tricolor began to be fully adopted as the new Irish flag.
Read more: Meet Donald Trumpâs favorite refugee - Irish hero Thomas Francis Meagher
What is the meaning of the Irish tricolor?6
The Irish flag is shown proudly every March. Image: iStock.
While very much influenced by a number of rebellions throughout Europe in 1848, Meagher lived in Ireland during the worst years of the famine. Ireland at the time was a deeply divided nation. Meagher dreamed, however, of a country in which the Catholics and Protestants would come together to win independence from England and take rule over themselves. As such, he created a flag which he felt exemplified that coming together of the different peoples and religions.
The green represents Irish nationalism; the orange, Irelandâs Protestant minority, and the Orange Order; the white, lasting peace between the two.
âThe white in the center signifies a lasting truce between the orange and the green,â Meagher said, âand I trust that beneath its folds the hands of the Irish Protestant and the Irish Catholic may be clasped, in generous and heroic brotherhood.â
Read more: Do you know the story behind the Irish flag?
What was the Irish flag before the tricolor?6
The old Erin go Bragh flag. Image: WikiCommons.
Up until the Easter Rising in 1916, the tricolor was not yet regarded as the predominant flag of Ireland. Before this, the primary flag of Ireland was green flag with a harp in the center, often known as the "Erin go Bragh" flag. That flag was used as early as 1642, by Owen Roe OâNeill, an Irish soldier, and leader of the OâNeill dynasty.
During the Easter Rising, both flags were flown above the GPO, the headquarters of the rebels, but after this point, the tricolor became more widely accepted.
This was because after the Rising the tricolor was adopted by the IRA during the Irish War of Independence (1919 â" 1921). It was then a symbol of the Irish Free State from 1922 â" 1937, and then, when the Irish constitution came into law later that year, it was confirmed as the official flag of Ireland by Article 7, which reads: âThe national flag of Ireland is the tricolor of green, white and orange.â
The harp remains as Irelandâs national symbol; Ireland is the only country in the world that has a musical instrument as such.
Read more: Irish Olympian forced to compete for Britain smuggled in an Irish flag
How can I celebrate the tricolor this St Patrickâs Day? Tricolor recipes, of course!6
Add some green, white and oran ge to you St Patrick's Day meals. Image: iStock.
You can find loads of St Patrickâs Day recipes in IrishCentralâs dedicated March 17 section but some of our favorites are this tricolor drink recipe and this tricolor St Patrickâs Day cookies recipe.
Are there any flags similar to the Irish flag?6
The Ivory Coast flag. Image: WikiCommons.
Yes, the Ivory Coast flag is extremely similar to the Irish tricolor. In fact, the Irish flag was recently used by an athlete from the Ivory Coast at the World Indoor Championships 2018 in England. When Murielle AhourÃ© stormed to gold in the 60m sprint, securing her countryâs first gold medal at the championships, her team were a little unprepared and didnât have their flag ready for her victory lap. Thankfully, she found an Irish flag in the crowd and the audience member allowed her to borrow it, flip it over and once again represent the Ivory Coast.
Read more: The Irish flag and the Ivory Coast flag - the two most confused flags in the world
The Irish tricolor celebrates its anniversary today, March 7, 2018. iStockSource: Google News