The flag of the Republic of Ireland has three colors: green, white, and orange arranged vertically. It was originally given as a gift from a group of French women to Thomas Francis Meagher, the leader of the Young Irelanders during the Rebellion in 1848. The women were sympathetic to his mission to unite the Catholics and the Protestants who were embroiled in conflict. The flag would later become the national flag of the Republic of Ireland.
The green color in the flag represents the Roman Catholics, and orange is symbolic for the Protestants while white is the color representing peace and stands between the green and orange to bridge the gap between the two as a unifying color that brings these two groups together in the interest of national harmony. The tricolor flag ultimately represents what is spelled out in the Constitution with regards to equality of every individual who calls Ireland home despite their religious affiliations, ethnic background, or political standing. It seeks to address posterity and the collective inclusion of the Protestants and the Catholics of Ireland who have not gotten along in the past.
History of the Tricolor
The French Revolution inspired and gave rise to the United Irishmen in the 1790s whose symbol was a green flag and bore a harp. By the late 18th-century the green color had become associated primarily with the revolution. In 1795 however, there was the rise of the Orange Order selectively for Protestants who pledged allegiance to King William of Orange. Naturally, these two factions came into conflict with each other with both having separate beliefs and ideas, most notably in 1798 when the Irish Revolution saw these two groups face off due to differences in their traditions. The emergence of a nationalist regime in the mid-19th century sought to bring peace and hoped to create a nation founded on the principle of co-existence.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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