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List of flags of Ireland

List of flags of Ireland

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This is a list of flags which have been, or are still today, used in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

.

Island of Ireland

Flag|UseYoung Ireland
Young Ireland
Young Ireland was a political, cultural and social movement of the mid-19th century. It led changes in Irish nationalism, including an abortive rebellion known as the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848. Many of the latter's leaders were tried for sedition and sentenced to penal transportation to...

 movement and the unilaterally declared Irish Republic
Irish Republic
The Irish Republic was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from Great Britain in January 1919. It established a legislature , a government , a court system and a police force...

 and the official of the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

. This flag is seen by some nationalists as the flag of the whole island. The green symbolises the Gaelic community
Gaelic Ireland
Gaelic Ireland is the name given to the period when a Gaelic political order existed in Ireland. The order continued to exist after the arrival of the Anglo-Normans until about 1607 AD...

 in Ireland, the orange represents the Orange community in Ireland, the white represents peace between them.
A tricolour
Tricolour
A tricolour is a flag or banner more-or-less equally divided into three bands of differing colours...

 of green (hoist side), white and orange.
??
St. Patrick's Saltire, also known as the Cross of St Patrick, after the patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

 of Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. The flag appears within the Union Flag
Union Flag
The Union Flag, also known as the Union Jack, is the flag of the United Kingdom. It retains an official or semi-official status in some Commonwealth Realms; for example, it is known as the Royal Union Flag in Canada. It is also used as an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas...

now the official flag of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. It is used by some Unionists, the Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

 and is incorporated into symbols and emblems of various organisations and bodies throughout Ireland.
A red saltire
Saltire
A saltire, or Saint Andrew's Cross, is a heraldic symbol in the form of a diagonal cross or letter ex . Saint Andrew is said to have been martyred on such a cross....

 on a white field.
?? The Four Provinces
Provinces of Ireland
Ireland has historically been divided into four provinces: Leinster, Ulster, Munster and Connacht. The Irish word for this territorial division, cúige, literally meaning "fifth part", indicates that there were once five; the fifth province, Meath, was incorporated into Leinster, with parts going to...

 flag. This flag, and variants of it, have been used by various all-Ireland sports teams and cultural organisations.
The arms of the four provinces of Ireland
Provinces of Ireland
Ireland has historically been divided into four provinces: Leinster, Ulster, Munster and Connacht. The Irish word for this territorial division, cúige, literally meaning "fifth part", indicates that there were once five; the fifth province, Meath, was incorporated into Leinster, with parts going to...

 are shown in quadrants. The order in which the arms appear varies.
Banner of the Lordship of Ireland
Lordship of Ireland
The Lordship of Ireland refers to that part of Ireland that was under the rule of the king of England, styled Lord of Ireland, between 1177 and 1541. It was created in the wake of the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169–71 and was succeeded by the Kingdom of Ireland...

, the part of Ireland under the rule of the King of England, styled Lord of Ireland, between 1177 and 1541.
Three crowns on a blue field with a white border.
1542–1801 Standard of the Kingdom of Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

. From 1801 has been incorporated in the lower-left quadrant of the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom 
A silver stringed gold harp on a blue
St. Patrick's Blue
St. Patrick's blue is a name applied to several shades of blue considered as symbolic of Ireland. In British usage, it refers to various sky blue shades associated with the Order of St. Patrick. In modern usage in the Republic of Ireland, it may be a darker shade. While green is now the usual...

 field.
?? The green harp flag  of the 17th century Confederacy of Ireland and an unofficial naval jack of Ireland during the 18th and 19th century. Variants have been used as the basis for numerous flags of Ireland. A silver stringed gold harp on a green field.
1916, 1919–1922 The Flag of the Irish Republic
Irish Republic
The Irish Republic was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from Great Britain in January 1919. It established a legislature , a government , a court system and a police force...

, flown alongside the Irish tricolour over the GPO during the Easter Rising
Easter Rising
The Easter Rising was an insurrection staged in Ireland during Easter Week, 1916. The Rising was mounted by Irish republicans with the aims of ending British rule in Ireland and establishing the Irish Republic at a time when the British Empire was heavily engaged in the First World War...

.
A green flag with the inscription "Irish Republic".

Northern Ireland

Flag|UseGovernor of Northern Ireland
Governor of Northern Ireland
The Governor of Northern Ireland was the principal officer and representative in Northern Ireland of the British monarch. The office was established on 9 December 1922 and abolished on 18 July 1973.-Overview:...

.
A Union Jack defaced with the Coat of arms of Northern Ireland
Coat of arms of Northern Ireland
The coat of arms of Northern Ireland was granted to the government of Northern Ireland in 1924, after the Irish Free State had separated from the United Kingdom....

.
1953–1972 The Ulster Banner
Ulster Banner
The Ulster Banner, more commonly known as the Ulster flag, Northern Ireland flag or the Red Hand of Ulster flag, was the flag of the Government of Northern Ireland between 1953 and 1972. Since that government was abolished in 1972, the flag has become a symbol of Ulster loyalism and is not...

, also known as the Ulster flag or the Red Hand of Ulster flag, was the flag of the Government of Northern Ireland between 1953 and 1972. It is still used to represent Northern Ireland in some sporting events in which Northern Ireland competes.
The flag is a heraldic banner taken from the coat of arms granted in 1924 which is based on the flag of England
Flag of England
The Flag of England is the St George's Cross . The red cross appeared as an emblem of England during the Middle Ages and the Crusades and is one of the earliest known emblems representing England...

 and the flag of Ulster, with the addition of a crown to symbolise the loyalty of Ulster unionists to the British Monarchy. As with the flag of Ulster, it contains the Red Hand of Ulster at the centre. The six pointed star represents the six counties that make up Northern Ireland.
1929-1973 Ensign of the former Northern Ireland government. The blue ensign defaced with the letters GNI. Used on merchant shipping.

Republic of Ireland

Flag|UseFlag of Ireland
Flag of Ireland
The national flag of Ireland is a vertical tricolour of green , white, and orange. It is also known as the Irish tricolour. The flag proportion is 1:2...

 
A tricolour
Tricolour
A tricolour is a flag or banner more-or-less equally divided into three bands of differing colours...

, with three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white and orange; (the green symbolises Nationalism, the white Peace and the orange Unionism, therefore the flag represents peace between Nationalists and Unionists). This is the flag of the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

.
1937–present Standard of the President of Ireland
Presidential Standard (Ireland)
Its design consists of a golden Cláirseach with silver strings on a background of azure blue. The design is the same as the Coat of Arms of Ireland, and was based on the Trinity College Harp....

 
A silver stringed gold harp on a blue
St. Patrick's Blue
St. Patrick's blue is a name applied to several shades of blue considered as symbolic of Ireland. In British usage, it refers to various sky blue shades associated with the Order of St. Patrick. In modern usage in the Republic of Ireland, it may be a darker shade. While green is now the usual...

 field

Provincial flags

Flag|UseFlag of Ulster
Flag of Ulster
The Flag of Ulster is a historic banner used to represent Ulster, one of the four provinces of Ireland. It is still used today to represent the province at some sporting events and formed the basis of the Ulster Banner, the flag of the Government of Northern Ireland between 1953 and 1972...

 

The arms of the nine-county province of Ulster form a composite achievement, combining the heraldic symbols of two of that province’s best known families, namely the cross of de Burgo and the dexter hand of O Neill (Ua Néill, later Ó Néill) Kings of Ailech and Tír Eoghan.
Flag of Munster
Flag of Munster
The flag of Munster consists of three gold crowns on a blue field. The crowns were the arms of Ireland before being superseded by the golden harp in the 16th century...

 

The province of Munster has been heraldically symbolised by three golden antique crowns on an azure blue shield. A crown of the type now known as antique Irish forms an integral element of a thirteenth century crozier head found near Cormac’s Chapel on the Rock of Cashel. In the case of the ‘king-bishops’ of Cashel, the placing of the antique crown on their crozier was a symbolic assertion of their right to the political sovereignty of Munster.
Flag of Connacht
Flag of Connacht
The flag of Connacht is a heraldic banner of the arms of Connacht, a dimidiated eagle and armed hand. The arms of are recorded as such on a map of Galway dated 1651, now in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin....

 

The arms of Connacht use a dimidiated (divided in half from top to bottom) eagle and armed hand. Ruaidhri O'Conchobhair, King of Connacht, is surmised to have been conceded the arms of Schottenkloster or the Irish monastery founded in Regensburg, which approximate to the Connacht Flag of 1651
Flag of Leinster
Flag of Leinster
The flag of Leinster consists of an Irish harp in gold on a green background: vert a harp or stringed argent. The arms of Leinster are represented on the flag of the provinces of Ireland, as well as in a stylised version in the logo of the Leinster Rugby team...

 

A silver stringed golden harp on a green background. Possibly the oldest and certainly the most celebrated instance of the use of the harp device on a green field was the flag of Owen Roe O’Neill. It is recorded that his ship, the St Francis, as she lay at anchor at Dunkirk, flew from her mast top ‘the Irish harp in a green field, in a flag’.
Flag of Mide
Flag of Mide
The flag and arms of the medieval Irish province of Mide consist of a monarch seated on a throne.The arms reflect the fact that Tara, seat of the High King of Ireland, was in Mide. The symbolism is derived from iconography rather than classical heraldry. Medieval royal seals portrayed a majesty...

 

The old province of Mide (Meath), comprising the present-day counties of Meath and Westmeath, and parts of others, was heraldically personified by a representation of a royal personage seated on a throne on an azure field. The arms of Mide were apparently used at one time as the arms of Ireland.


City flags

Flag|UseDublin, the capital city of the Republic of Ireland
Flag of Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

, the capital city of Northern Ireland

International flags

Flag|UseUnited Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, flown to display Ireland's UN membership
Flag of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. Flown to display Ireland's EU membership
A circle of 12 gold stars on a blue background
1973–2002 Flag of the defunct European Coal and Steel Community
European Coal and Steel Community
The European Coal and Steel Community was a six-nation international organisation serving to unify Western Europe during the Cold War and create the foundation for the modern-day developments of the European Union...

, of which Ireland was a member.

Sporting flags

Flag|UseIrish Rugby Football Union
Irish Rugby Football Union
The Irish Rugby Football Union is the body managing rugby union in Ireland. The IRFU has its head office at 10/12 Lansdowne Road and home ground at Aviva Stadium, where Irish rugby union international matches are played...

 
Flag of the Ireland national field hockey team
Ireland national field hockey team
Ireland national field hockey team represents Ireland at men's international field hockey. It is organised by the Irish Hockey Association. Usually the team represents the entire island of Ireland and plays under a special flag. The exception is Olympic hockey, where the team represents only the...

 
Flag of the Ireland cricket team  Three shamrocks on a blue background.

Military flags

Flag|UseIrish Brigade
Irish Brigade (French)
The Irish Brigade was a brigade in the French army composed of Irish exiles, led by Robert Reid. It was formed in May 1690 when five Jacobite regiments were sent from Ireland to France in return for a larger force of French infantry who were sent to fight in the Williamite war in Ireland...

 of the French Army
red and green cross, with motto "In Hoc Signo Vinces
In hoc signo vinces
In hoc signo vinces is a Latin rendering of the Greek phrase "" en touto nika, and means "in this sign you will conquer"....

"
1710–1815 Flag of the Regiment of Hibernia
Regiment of Hibernia
The Regiment of Hibernia, called by many O´Neills in Spain, the "O'Neill's Regiment" was formed in 1710 from some of the many Irishmen who fled their own country in the wake of the Flight of the Earls and the penal laws and who became known as the Wild Geese a name which has become synonymous in...

 aka the "O'Neill's Regiment" of the Spanish Army
1793–1881 Flag of the 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot
86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot
The 86th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1793 and amalgamated into The Royal Irish Rifles following the Childers Reforms in 1881....

 of the British Army
1798 Flag carried by the United Irishmen at the Battle of Arklow
Battle of Arklow
The second Battle of Arklow took place during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 on 9 June when a force of United Irishmen from Wexford, estimated at 10,000 strong, launched an assault into County Wicklow, on the British-held town of Arklow, in an attempt to spread the rebellion into Wicklow and to...

Green background with white Christian cross and the slogan "Liberty or Death".
1846–1848 The green silk flag of the Saint Patrick's Battalion
Saint Patrick's Battalion
The Saint Patrick's Battalion , formed and led by Jon Riley, was a unit of 175 to several hundred immigrants and expatriates of European descent who fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848. Most of the battalion's members had...

 of the Mexican Army may have incorporated the old Irish Harp flag (illustrated), which may date back to the Irish Confederacy. However, no original depictions are extant, and period descriptions of it differ.
Green background with Irish Harp, shamrocks and Motto Erin Go Bragh
Erin Go Bragh
Erin go Bragh , sometimes Erin go Braugh, is the anglicisation of a Gaelic phrase, and is used to express allegiance to Ireland. It is most often translated as "Ireland Forever."-Origin:...

 in Gold
1861–1864 Color of the 28th Massachusetts Infantry regiment
28th Massachusetts Infantry regiment
The 28th Massachusetts Infantry regiment was the second primarily Irish American volunteer infantry regiment recruited in Massachusetts for service in the American Civil War. The regiment's motto was Faugh a Ballagh ...

 of the Irish Brigade (U.S.) of the Union Army
Green background with Irish Harp and motto Faugh a Ballagh
Faugh A Ballagh
Faugh a Ballagh is a battle cry of Irish origin, meaning "clear the way". The spelling is an 18th-century anglicization of the Irish language phrase Fág an Bealach, also written Fág a' Bealach. Its first recorded use as a regimental motto was by the Royal Irish Fusiliers in 1798...

 (Clear the Way!)
1861–1864 2d Irish Color of the 69th Infantry Regiment (United States)
69th Infantry Regiment (United States)
The 69th Infantry Regiment was a Regular Army infantry regiment in the United States Army.-History:There have been three different lineages started under this number: The Famous 69th Infantry Regiment , and two under the Federal designation....

 of the Irish Brigade (U.S.) of the Union Army
Green background with Irish Harp

Ensigns

Flag|UseGreen Ensign
Green Ensign
The Green Ensign is an historical flag flown by some Irish merchant vessels from the 17th century to the early 20th century. The flag consists of a green field with a golden harp and a canton containing either the English Flag or a version of the Union Flag or "Union Jack".This flag has appeared...

 flown by some Irish merchant vessel
Merchant vessel
A merchant vessel is a ship that transports cargo or passengers. The closely related term commercial vessel is defined by the United States Coast Guard as any vessel engaged in commercial trade or that carries passengers for hire...

s.
A gold harp on a green background with the English Flag in the canton.
post 1800 - c.1922 A later version of the Green Ensign. A gold harp on a green field with the Union Flag
Union Flag
The Union Flag, also known as the Union Jack, is the flag of the United Kingdom. It retains an official or semi-official status in some Commonwealth Realms; for example, it is known as the Royal Union Flag in Canada. It is also used as an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas...

 in the canton.

Organisations

Flag|UseSt. John Ambulance Brigade of Ireland
St. John Ambulance Brigade of Ireland
The St. John Ambulance Brigade of Ireland is a charitable voluntary organisation in the Republic of Ireland. For constitutional reasons it is not a full member association of the Venerable Order of Saint John and the international St. John Ambulance movement, but rather is classed as an...

.
Flag of the Orange Order, a Protestant fraternal organisation based mainly in Northern Ireland, though it has lodges throughout the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 and a small number in the Republic of Ireland.
An orange field with a purple star and a St George's Cross in the canton.
Flag of the Apprentice Boys of Derry
Apprentice Boys of Derry
The Apprentice Boys of Derry is a Protestant fraternal society with a worldwide membership of over 80,000, founded in 1814. They are based in the city of Derry, Northern Ireland. However, there are Clubs and branches across Ireland, Great Britain and further afield...

, a Protestant fraternal organisation based in Derry City, Northern Ireland.
A crimson field.
Flag of the Loyalist Volunteer Force
Loyalist Volunteer Force
The Loyalist Volunteer Force is a loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland. It was formed by Billy Wright in 1996 when he and the Portadown unit of the Ulster Volunteer Force's Mid-Ulster Brigade was stood down by the UVF leadership. He had been the commander of the Mid-Ulster Brigade. The...

, a loyalist
Ulster loyalism
Ulster loyalism is an ideology that is opposed to a united Ireland. It can mean either support for upholding Northern Ireland's status as a constituent part of the United Kingdom , support for Northern Ireland independence, or support for loyalist paramilitaries...

 paramilitary group in Northern Ireland.
A red background bearing the red hand of Ulster with the slogan "For God and Ulster" and a St George's Cross in the canton.

Other flags

Flag|UseFianna
Fianna
Fianna were small, semi-independent warrior bands in Irish mythology and Scottish mythology, most notably in the stories of the Fenian Cycle, where they are led by Fionn mac Cumhaill....

.
Blue background with a golden sunburst showing partially in the bottom left corner. Used by nationalists and republicans.
1910s–present The starry plough
The Starry Plough (flag)
The Starry Plough banner was originally used by the Irish Citizen Army, a socialist, Republican movement. James Connolly, co-founder of the Irish Citizen Army with Jack White, said the significance of the banner was that a free Ireland would control its own destiny from the plough to the stars.This...

 flag that succeeded the starry plough banner. Used by socialists, nationalists and republicans.
White stars on a light blue background.
1932–1933 Historical flag of Fine Gael
Fine Gael
Fine Gael is a centre-right to centrist political party in the Republic of Ireland. It is the single largest party in Ireland in the Oireachtas, in local government, and in terms of Members of the European Parliament. The party has a membership of over 35,000...

 as well as the quasi-fascist Blueshirts paramilitary group that was a faction in Fine Gael. It bore the St. Patrick's Saltire defacing a dark blue background (dark blue being a historical Irish national colour).
A red saltire
Saltire
A saltire, or Saint Andrew's Cross, is a heraldic symbol in the form of a diagonal cross or letter ex . Saint Andrew is said to have been martyred on such a cross....

 on a blue field.

See also

  • GAA county colours
  • List of Northern Irish flags
  • Northern Ireland flags issue
    Northern Ireland flags issue
    The Northern Ireland flags issue is one that divides the population along sectarian lines. Depending on political allegiance, people identify with differing flags and symbols, some of which have, or have had, official status in Northern Ireland....

  • Cross-border flag for Ireland
    Cross-border flag for Ireland
    There is no cross-border flag universally accepted as representing both jurisdictions on Ireland. This can be a problem in contexts where a body organised on an all-island basis needs to be represented by a flag in an international context...


External links