10 Facts about the Irish Flag 10 bhFíric faoi Bhratach na hÉireann

Flag

The tricolour has become a potent symbol of Ireland and the Irish, both here and around the globe, and its varied history has its own intriguing story to tell.

Is siombail chumhachtach í an bhratach trí dhath anois d’Éirinn agus d’Éireannaigh, anseo agus ar fud na cruinne, agus is spéisiúil an scéal a bhaineann lena stair ilghnéitheach.

1. First Appearance

On 7 March 1848, Thomas Francis Meagher first flew the tricolour from the Wolfe Tone Confederate Club at 33 The Mall in Waterford City, the very same street on which he grew up. The flag flew continuously for a week until the authorities removed it. A renowned orator, he became known as “Meagher of the Sword” and a book of his speeches was published in March 1916, shortly before the Rising. The Thomas Francis Meagher Fife and Drum Band in Waterford still mark the occasion. Also on 7 March 1848, a tricolour was reported to have been carried in a parade to Vinegar Hill, Enniscorthy, County Wexford. Meagher was later sent to Van Diemen's Land but escaped to the US, where he became a Brigadier General in the US Civil War as part of the Irish Brigade, and served as acting governor of Montana.

2. Revolutionary Design

The design of the Irish flag was inspired by the 1848 Revolution in France, in which King Louis Philippe was overthrown. The blue, white and red of the French flag was flown alongside the Irish flag at gatherings here, in recognition of their achievement. It was a year of upheaval, as many revolutions took place in cities across Europe. An alternative theory suggests that the tricolour design was influenced by the flag of Newfoundland, Canada, where Meagher's father was from.

3. The French Connection

In April 1848, Meagher and two others from the Young Ireland group went to Paris to congratulate the French on overthrowing the king. While there, a group of French women wove an Irish tricolour made from French silk and presented it to them. Meagher returned to Dublin and on 15 April presented this silk tricolour to the citizens of Ireland.

4. Colours Unite

The choice of the flag's three colours was heavily symbolic, and weighted in the country's divided history. As Thomas Francis Meagher declared: "The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between Orange and Green and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood."

5. Before the Tricolour

By the time of the Easter Rising, the flag of Ireland was still green and featured a harp, the national symbol. This flag had been used as early as 1642. How the early tricolours were arranged sometimes varied, with orange on occasion put next to the staff, and in at least one flag the order was orange, green and white. In 1850, a flag was proposed made up of green for the Catholics, orange for the Protestants of the Established Church and blue for the Presbyterians. In 1883, a Parnellite tricolour of yellow, white and green was recorded.

6. Three Flags

There were three different flags flown during the Rising. On the Henry Street corner of the GPO roof, the tricolour was reportedly raised on Easter Monday at 12.30pm by General Gearóid O’Sullivan. On the Prince's Street corner of the building, Eamon Bulfin hoisted the regular green Irish flag. Meanwhile on the opposite side of O'Connell Street, the Starry Plough flag of the Irish Citizen Army was flown over the Imperial Hotel (close to the site of the former Clerys department store).

7. The Official Flag

The tricolour only officially became Ireland’s National Flag in 1937. This is despite being used during the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921) and by the Irish Free State (1922–1937). The flag was included in the Irish Constitution in 1937, confirming its official status.

8. Guidelines

Did you know there are official guidelines to follow when using the Irish flag? For example, when raising or lowering the National Flag, it should not be allowed to touch the ground. It should also not be draped on cars, trains, boats or other modes of transport. You can read all of the guidelines here.

9. Tricolour Art

The first visual record of the tricolour was in 1853. The unsuccessful 1848 rebellion is illustrated in the Stokes Tapestry, created by Stephen Stokes over 20 years. The tapestry is on display in the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks.

10. A Certain Shade of Green

The green colour featured on the tricolour is a uniquely Irish shade called Pantone 347 and is found on very few other national flags worldwide.

For more about the flag, see the Scoilnet teaching resource and the Flags for Schools initiative.

There are also many National Flag events taking place throughout 2016.

1) An Chéad Uair a Taispeánadh Í

Ar an 7 Márta 1848 chuir Thomas Francis Meagher an chéad trídhathach ar foluain ó Chumann Chónaidhm Wolfe Tone ag 33 an Meall i gCathair Phort Láirge, an tsráid cheannann chéanna inar fhás sé aníos. Bhí an bhratach ar foluain i rith an ama ar feadh seachtaine go dtí gur bhain na húdaráis anuas í. B’óráidí iomráiteach é agus thugtaí “Meaghar an Chlaímh” air. Foilsíodh leabhar dá óráidí i mí an Mhárta 1916, go gairid roimh an Éirí Amach. Déanann Banna Fífe agus Druma Thomas Francis Meagher i bPort Láirge comóradh ar an ócáid fós. Ar an 7 Márta 1848 freisin, tuairiscítear gur iompraíodh trídhathach ar mórshiúl go Cnoc Fhiodh na gCaor, Inis Córthaidh, Co. Phort Láirge. Cuireadh Meagher ina dhiaidh sin go Críoch Van Diemen, ach d’éalaigh sé chun na Stát Aontaithe mar a raibh sé ina Bhriogáidire-Ghinearál i gCogadh Cathartha SAM mar chuid de Bhriogáid na hÉireann, agus bhí sé ina Ghobharnóir gníomhach ar Montana.

2) Dearadh Réabhlóideach

Ba é inspioráid bhratach na hÉireann Réabhlóid 1848 na Fraince, inar cuireadh an Rí Louis Philippe dá choróin. Bhí bratach ghorm, bhán agus dhearg na Fraince ar foluain taobh le bratach na hÉireann ag cruinnithe anseo, mar aitheantas ar a n-éacht siúd. Bliain mhór chlampair a bhí ann, agus tharla a lán réabhlóidí i gcathracha ar fud na hEorpa. Tá teoiric eile ann gur tháinig dearadh an trídhathaigh faoi anáil bhratach Thalamh an Éisc, Ceanada, as ar tháinig athair Meagher.

3) An Nasc Francach

I mí Aibreáin 1848, chuaigh Meagher agus beirt eile ón ngrúpa Éire Óg go Páras le tréaslú leis na Francaigh ar éirigh leo an rí a threascairt. Agus iad ansin, d’fhuáil grúpa ban Francach bratach trí dhath Éireannach ó shíoda Francach agus thug siad dóibh í. D’fhill Meagher ar Bhaile Átha Cliath ar an 15 Aibreán agus bhronn sé an trídhathach seo ar shaoránaigh na hÉireann.

4) Aontas na nDathanna

Tá siombalachas mór ag baint le rogha thrí dhath na brataí, bunaithe ar stair dheighilte na tíre. Mar a d’fhógair Thomas Francis Meaghar: “Ciallaíonn an bán sa lár síocháin bhuan idir Oráiste agus Glas, agus táim cinnte go mbeidh lámha Phrotastúnaigh na hÉireann agus Chaitlicigh na hÉireann, faoi fhilleadh na brataí, i ngreim a chéile i mbráithreachas fial cróga.”

5) Roimh an Trídhathach

Faoi Éirí Amach na Cásca, bhí bratach na hÉireann fós glas agus bhí cláirseach uirthi, an tsiombail náisiúnta. Bhí an bhratach sin in úsáid chomh fada siar le 1642. Bhí leagan amach na gcéad bhratacha trí dhath éagsúil in amanna, le horáiste in aice le crann na brataí ar uairibh, agus ar bhratach amháin ar a laghad ba é ord na ndathanna oráiste, glas agus bán. In 1850 moladh bratach ar a raibh glas ar son na gCaitliceach, oráiste ar son Phrotastúnaigh na hEaglaise Bunaithe, agus gorm ar son na bPreispitéireach. In 1883, tuairiscíodh trídhathach ag lucht tacaíochta Parnell ar a raibh buí, bán agus glas.

6) Trí Bhratach

Bhí trí bhratach éagsúla ar foluain le linn an Éirí Amach. Tuairiscíodh gur ardaigh Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin an trídhathach Luan Cásca ag 12.30pm ar dhíon Ard-Oifig an Phoist ag coirnéal Shráid Éinrí. Ag coirnéal Shráid an Phrionsa den fhoirgneamh d’ardaigh Éamon Bulfin gnáthbhratach ghlas na hÉireann. Ag an am céanna, ar an taobh eile de Shráid Uí Chonaill, bhí bratach Camchéachta Arm Cathartha na hÉireann ar foluain ar an Imperial Hotel (cóngarach don láthair ar a mbíodh siopa Clerys).

7) An Bhratach Oifigiúil

Níor roghnaíodh an trídhathach mar Bhratach Náisiúnta na hÉireann go dtí 1937. B’in in ainneoin go raibh an trídhathach in úsáid le linn Chogadh na Saoirse (1919–1921) agus ag Saorstát Éireann (1922–1937). Áiríodh an bhratach i mBunreacht na hÉireann i 1937, ag dearbhú a stádais oifigiúil.

8) Treoirlínte

An raibh a fhios agat go bhfuil treoirlínte oifigiúla le leanúint nuair atáthar ag úsáid bhratach na hÉireann? Mar shampla, nuair atáthar ag ardú nó ag ísliú na Brataí Náisiúnta níor chóir ligean di baint den talamh. Níor chóir í a leathadh ach oiread ar charranna, ar thraenacha, ar bháid nó ar mhodhanna eile iompair. Is féidir leat na treoirlínte go léir a léamh anseo.

9) Ealaín Thrídhathach

Rinneadh an chéad léiriú d’íomhá na brataí trí dhatha in 1853. Léirítear éirí amach 1848, nár éirigh leis, i dTaipéis Stokes, a chruthaigh Stephen Stokes thar 20 bliain. Tá an taipéis ar taispeáint in Ard-Mhúsaem na hÉireann ag Dún Uí Choileáin.

10) Imir Áirithe Glas

Is imir, nó cineál, uathúil Éireannach an dath glas atá ar an trídhathach ar a dtugtar Pantone 347 agus níl sé le feiceáil ach ar fhíorbheagán bratach eile ar fud an domhain.

Le tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoin mbratach, féach ar acmhainní teagaisc Scoilnet agus ar an tionscnamh Bratach do na Scoileanna.

Tá a lán Imeachtaí Brataí Náisiúnta ar siúl chomh maith i rith 2016.

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