Flags of Ireland

Jim Bolinger
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National Irish Flag
The tri-color flag of Ireland was first used in 1848. Some reports indicate that it was based on the flag of France. The green represents the country’s Roman Catholics; orange represents the Protestants; and white represents a hope for peace, trust and unity.

Erin Go Bragh Flag
Sometimes called the Irish-American Flag, features a gold harp (the harp has been the favorite traditional instrument in Ireland for hundreds of years) surrounded by clover with the words Erin Go Bragh at the bottom, all on a field of green.

Versions of this flag were carried by Irish-American regiments in the Civil War.

In Gaelic, the ancient language of Ireland, “Erin go bragh” is a well-known phrase that means “Ireland Forever.”

St. Patrick’s Cross Flag
The Irish cross of St. Patrick originated in the coat of arms of the Anglo-Irish family of Fitzgerald and was the main emblem, adopted in 1783, of the Order of St. Patrick. When the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland came into existence on January 1, 1801, the Cross of St. Patrick was chosen to represent Ireland in the flag of the United Kingdom.