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Flag of Ireland

 The national flag is a tricolour of green, white and orange vertical stripe with the green next to the staff. Some state that the third strip is gold not orange and it was taken from the gold harp on the original Green Flag.
This confusion arose in the 1916-22 period when the tricolour, was supplanting the Green Flag as the principal national emblem. Green and gold, the colours of the Green Flag, were regarded as the national colours throughout the nineteenth century and some of the homemade tricolours from the 1916-22 period were green, white and gold. There are also some songs from that period, which refer to 'green, white and gold' flags, but the symbolism of the green, white and orange dates from 1848.
Thomas Francis Meagher first introduced the flag during the revolutionary year of 1848 as an emblem of the Young Ireland movement, and it was often seen displayed at meetings alongside the French tricolour.
The green represents the older Gaelic and Anglo-Norman element in the population, while the orange represents the Protestant planter stock, supporters of William of Orange. The meaning of the white was well expressed by Meagher when he introduced the flag. 'The white in the centre', he said, '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.'
This flag didn't come into general usage until the war of independence (1919-1921). Prior to this, the green flag with gold harp was the main symbol of nationalism. It was not until the Rising of 1916, that the tricolour came to be regarded as the national flag. Article 7 of the constitution of Ireland states "The National Flag is the Tricolour of Green, White and Orange."

Ireland's Provincial Flags
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When a flag is needed to represent the entire island, the Saint Patrick's Flag is sometimes used.
 
Flag of Ireland since 1919 / 1922
 
The Standard of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1801 until 1922), sometimes used as the official Irish flag under British rule.
 
The British Royal Standard shows an ancient Irish flag in its lower left quadrant. Used by the Queen in Northern Ireland.
 
18th century unofficial Irish flag, now the standard of the President of Ireland.

Northern Ireland's Flag.
 

 

 
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