FLAGS _ EMBLEMS IN NORTHERN IRELAND by lonyoo

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									FLAGS & EMBLEMS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

Title: St. George's Cross Description: The Cross of St. George, the Patron Saint of England, is the national English flag. This flag has been used to form the basis of a number of flags representing Northern Ireland (see below).

Title: St. Andrew's Cross Description: The national flag of Scotland was merged with the national flag of England in 1606 by King James I. It has grown very popular in Scotland given the increasing desire for devolution or independence. The flag is also found on Loyalist Murals suggesting the affinity between Ulster Protestants and Scots.

Title: St. Patrick's Cross Description: Even on St. Patrick's day, this flag is not widely flown by Irish people who, for the most part, do not recognise it as their own. It is seen as a British symbol, and is used by regiments of the British Army.

Title: British Union Flag Description: This flag is commonly called the 'Union Jack' and is made up of the above three

flags: St. George's Cross, St. Andrew's Cross, and St. Patrick's Cross. The design was meant to reflect the 1801 Act of Union between Britain and Ireland (the Welsh flag was not incorporated into the British Union Flag). The British Union Flag is the official flag of Northern Ireland and is an integral part of the Protestant, Unionist, and Loyalist tradition.

Title: Irish National Flag (Tricolour) Description: Ireland's national flag has its origins in the French Revolution and the French flag. The Tricolour was designed to signify the peace (white) between Nationalists (green) and Unionists (orange). It was hoisted above the General Post Office in Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising, and has since been used by Ireland's Nationalists and Republicans North and South of the border.

Title: Province of Ulster Flag (nine counties) Description: The Ulster Flag represents the nine counties of the ancient province of Ulster, and is one of the four provincial flags of Ireland. The flag is based on the crest of the O'Neill Chieftains of Ulster, who were renowned for their strong resistance to English rule, hence the flag is regarded as being Nationalist.

Title: Leinster Flag/ Naval Jack Description: This flag represents one of the four provinces of Ireland, Leinster, whose capital is Dublin. The flag was previously used by the United Irishmen in 1798, Daniel O'Connel's Repeal of the Union campaign in the 1830s and 1840s, and the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). Contrary to popular belief, this flag was also used in the 1916 Rising, however the colour green was seen as exclusively Catholic, thus Sinn Fein favoured the Tricolour in 1918, as a flag embracing both Catholic and Protestant communities in Ireland.

Title: The Four Provinces of Ireland Description: This flag represents the four provinces of Ireland. Ulster is represented by the red and yellow nine counties flag. Munster is represented by three crowns on a blue background. Connaught has an eagle and an arm holding a knife, while Leinster is shown with a harp on a green background. The flag is almost exclusively used by Nationalists and Republicans.

Title: Government of Northern Ireland Flag (or 'Ulster Flag' - six counties) Description: This flag is based upon the St. George's Cross (see above) and has similarities to the Province of Ulster Flag (see above). However this particular flag of Northern Ireland is seen as staunchly Loyalist because of the Crown, the Star of David, and the Red Hand of Ulster. A number of other flags were based upon this design (see the alternative 'Ulster' flag below).

Title: Alternative 'Ulster Flag' (six counties) Description: This flag is very similar to the original Government of Northern Ireland flag except that it has no crown and has a British Union flag in the top left hand corner. It is perceived as a Loyalist UDA flag, and the absence of the Crown suggests a more independent stance, due to a disillusionment with Britain and mainstream Unionism.

Title: Orange Order Flag Description: The Orange Order is an organisation with branches across Northern Ireland. It is exclusively Protestant and bans Catholics, and those married to Catholics, from joining. The flag is Orange with a purple star which was the symbol of the Williamite forces.

Title: Orange Order Flag - Alternative Version Description: This version of the flag is Orange with the English Cross of St. George in the top left hand corner and a purple star in the bottom right hand corner.

Title: The Crimson Flag (or The defiant 'bloody flag' of the Apprentice Boys of Derry) Description: The Apprentice Boys of Derry is a loyal order organisation that commemorates the siege of Derry in 1689. During the Williamite Wars, thirteen apprentice boys shut the gates of the city against the armies of the Catholic King James I, who was later defeated by the Protestant King William of Orange. The two dates commemorated by the Apprentice Boys of Derry are 18 December (when they shut the gates), and 12 August (the day the Siege was relieved by King William's forces). The crimson colour of the flag symbolises the bitter and 'bloody' struggle of the defenders.

Title: Ulster Independence Flag (or Ulster National Flag) Description: The flag was unveiled on 'Ulster Day', 17 November 1988, when the Ulster Independence Committee (now the Ulster Independence Movement; UIM) was formed. The flag is made up of St. Patrick's Cross and St. Andrew's Cross (see above), the six pointed star and the Red Hand of Ulster. The UIM claims to break from traditional Loyalist thought by promoting independence from both Ireland and Britain. The flag is also flown by members of other groups and is popular with some elements in the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

Title: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) Flag Text: 'UVF' Description: This flag can be seen on many Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) murals. It has the Cross of St. George in the top left-hand corner.

Title: The Starry Plough Flag Description: The Starry plough illustrates the constellation of the same name (also known as the Big Dipper or the Great Bear) on a blue background. It was first used by the Irish Citizen's Army who were a socialist organisation which fought in the 1916 Easter Rising. The flag has also been used by a number of socialist and Republican paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland including the Workers' Party, the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), and the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

Title: Sunburst (Fianna na hÉireann) Flag Description: This flag represents the youth wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Fianna na hÉireann literally means warriors of Ireland, taken from an ancient Celtic legend. The symbol of the sunburst can be seen on some Republican murals, highlighting the dawn of a new era.

EMBLEMS & SYMBOLS Title: Red Hand of Ulster Description: The Red Hand of Ulster is the official seal of the O'Neill family. It is believed to originate from a mythical tale wherein two chieftains were racing across a stretch of water in a bid to be the first to reach the land and claim it as his own. Realising his foe would touch the land first, one chieftain cut off his hand and threw it onto the shore, thereby claiming the land before his adversary reached it. The Red Hand is one of the only emblems in Northern Ireland used by both communities in Northern Ireland although it is more associated with the Protestant community. Catholics see it as representing the nine counties of Ulster while Protestants see it as representing the six counties of Northern Ireland. The Red Hand of Ulster appears on many murals and flags.

Title: Harp Description: This ancient instrument has long symbolised the island of Ireland. It's Nationalist origins come from when Owen Roe O'Neill, a Gaelic Chieftain, adopted a green flag incorporating the harp. Being seen as a threat to the English invaders, playing the harp was banned, despite remaining on the royal insignia as representing Ireland in the growing British Empire. It was revived in Belfast in 1792, and was the prime symbol of the United Irishmen. The symbol of the harp also represents Loyalist Irishmen when it is surmounted by a crown and it is used in this form on, for example, the cap badges of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Title: Shamrock Description: Legend has it that the shamrock was used by St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, to illustrate the Holy Trinity, hence its widespread use on St. Patrick's day on 17 March. It is one of Ireland's national emblems, and is used by mainly by the Nationalist tradition, but is also evident within the Unionist tradition, with bodies such as the Royal Irish Rangers wearing the Shamrock every St. Patrick's day. Title: White Ribbon Description: A number of symbols of peace have been used over the past thirty years by various organisations. Most recently those campaigning for peace have worn a white ribbon in their lapels. In the past white paper doves have been held aloft at peace demonstrations.

Title: Cú Chulainn Description: Also known as the 'Hound of Ulster', or Setanta, this Celtic mythical figure can be found on both Republican and (more recently) Loyalist murals. Opposite he is shown dying against a pillar after he fought Queen Maeve's armies of Connaught, who were only sure he was dead after a raven landed on his shoulder. He embodies resilience against invaders, thus proving to be an apt figure for both Protestant and Catholic communities. This statue can be found in Dublin's General Post Office.

Title: Colours as Symbols Description: The colours 'orange' and 'red, white and blue' are closely associated with Unionism and Loyalism in Northern Ireland. The colours red, white and blue are the three colours of the British Union Flag. These colours are used extensively in working-class Protestant areas of the region and are

painted on kerbstones, lampposts, etc. The colour orange is taken from the Orange Order which was established to celebrate the victory of King William III (William of Orange) over the Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 (see below). Title: Acronyms as Symbols Text within image 'UDA' Description: The acronyms of Loyalist paramilitary groups, such as UDA, UFF, UVF, LVF, etc., are to be found painted on many walls in Loyalist areas of Northern Ireland. The initials are also incorporated into many other symbols such as flags and murals. Title: Dates as Symbols Description: Quite often dates, such as '1690', are painted on walls in Protestant and Loyalist areas. Even without further reference or explanation these dates are readily understood by most people in Northern Ireland. Dates are also incorporated into things like flags and murals.

Title: Slogans as Symbols Text 'No Surrender 1998' Description: Loyalist slogans such as 'No Surrender', 'Remember 1690', 'Ulster Says No', etc., are to be found painted on walls in many working-class Protestant areas.

Title: Crown Description: The Crown symbolises the British monarchy in Ireland. It is seen on many Loyalist murals and Orange Order banners. It is seen as the ultimate symbol of Protestantism, and allegiance is pledged to it by all who are loyal to Britain and the Protestant ascendancy in Ireland.

Title: Poppy Description: The Remembrance Day Poppy was initially used to commemorate the dead of World War I, in which many Irishmen, both Protestant and Catholic, died fighting. The symbol has long been the preserve of the Unionist community as it is seen as unequivocally British. While it can still be the cause of controversy it is slowly growing in popularity with Irish Nationalists who also wish to pay tribute to those who died in the two World Wars.

Title: King William III Text within image: 'The Glorious and Immortal Memory 1690' Description: King William III of Orange (or 'King Billy'), a Dutchman who was declared sovereign of England, Scotland and Ireland in February 1689, won the Protestant victory over Catholic King James II, a Scotsman who was deposed in December 1688, on 1 July 1690 at the Battle of the Boyne. Due to changes in the calendar the battle is celebrated every year by the Orange Order on 12 July ('the Twelth'). The image of King William crossing the Boyne River on a horse used to be very popular on murals in Protestant areas but is perhaps less used in recent years. Title: Orange Ribbon Description: Lapel ribbons have been used for several years to demonstrate support for a number of causes. Following the use of a green ribbon by Republicans an orange version was introduced to demonstrate support for the Orange Order particularly since the refusal of the authorities to allow the Drumcree march to proceed in July 1998.

Title: Orange Order 'Sash' Description: Although commonly known as the 'sash' this item is more properly termed a collarette. The 'sash' is the most distinctive item worn by members of the Orange Order when taking part in parades.

Title: Bowler hat Description: Along with a pair of white gloves and a 'sash', the Bowler hat is part of the traditional clothing worn by Orange Order members while on parade. It is seen as the symbol of the British gentleman, and it has been suggested that it represents a symbol of authority as it was worn by the foreman on building sites or at the famous Belfast shipyards.

Title: Orangeman Symbol Description: The Orange Order was founded prior to the 1798 Rebellion, after the battle of the Diamond, to defend and uphold Protestantism and the English Monarchy. The Order commemorates the Battle of the Boyne every 12 July. This particular symbol, showing a figure wearing an Orange Sash and a Bowler hat, appeared in response to a similar Nationalist symbol which indicated that the Orange Order were not welcome. Both are based on traffic signs. The blue background represents right of way and refers to demands by the Orange Order that they should be free to walk through Catholic areas on their 'traditional' routes. Title: British Zionist Star (Star of David) Description: The Star of David gives an unusual religious dimension to Loyalism. One interpretation is that it is meant to highlight the point of view that the Ulster Protestant people are like the Lost Tribe of Israel who are continuously persecuted. Another theory is that the star was chosen because the six points symbolise the six counties of Northern Ireland.

Title: Red Clenched Fist Description: The Clenched Fist is perhaps the strongest Loyalist emblem in existence. It is very often seen on Loyalist Paramilitary murals, and is often depicted with barbed wire surrounding it, which is the official symbol of the Loyalist Prisoner's Aid group. The fist surrounded by barbed wire is also symbolises protest against the British establishment highlighting the fact that they believe their only crime was loyalty.

Title: Colours as Symbols Description: The colours 'green' and 'green, white and orange' are closely associated with Nationalism and Republicanism in Northern Ireland. Green has been a traditional symbolic colour for Ireland and has been the basis for a number of flags (see for example the Leinster flag). The colours green, white and orange are important to Nationalists and Republicans because they form the Tricolour of the Republic of Ireland. Title: Acronyms as Symbols Text: 'IRA' Description: The acronyms, or initial letters, of the larger Republican paramilitary groups, such as IRA (PIRA), INLA, etc., are often to be found painted on walls in Catholic working-class areas. The initials are also incorporated into many other symbols such as flags and murals.

Title: Dates as Symbols Text: '1916' Description: As is the case in Protestant areas, dates often appear in Catholic areas either on their own or incorporated into other symbols such as murals, slogans, or flags. Title: Slogans as Symbols Text: 'Brits Out' Description: Slogans such as 'Tiocfáidh ár Lá', 'Remember 1916', and 'Brits Out' are to be found painted on walls in Nationalist and Republican areas. Title: Crest of the O'Neills Description: The Crest of the O'Neills represents the nine counties of the province of Ulster. It is said that King Hugh O'Neill adopted the Red Hand after seeing it on the Monasterboice high cross, representing the hand of God. There have been alternative explanations for the use of the Red Hand symbol. The O'Neills were the most resilient of all the Irish Gaelic Clans in resisting English invasion.

Title: Celtic Emblem Description: Irish Nationalists see themselves as descendants of a Celtic past. The Celts lived on the island of Ireland since around 500 BC, and nurtured a very strong Gaelic culture (with its own language, sport, music and mythology) which is still widely used to this day. The mythological warrior, Cú Chulainn is character from Celtic mythology. Distinctive Celtic art can be seen in a multitude of different forms. The Celtic traditions that had withstood the Viking and Norman invasions became overwhelmed in the seventeenth century by the English invasions and plantations. Title: Crest of the United Irishmen Description: Widely seen as the birth of Irish Republicanism, the Society of the United Irishmen was a Republican movement founded in 1791 in Belfast by the city's leading merchants and intellectuals. Their movement was based upon the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity espoused by the French revolution of 1789. Led by a young Dublin Barrister by the name of Theobald Wolfe Tone, the society desired an Ireland free from the authority of England and its sectarian Protestant ascendancy, thus embracing the Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter traditions. The United Irishmen's Rebellion of 1798 failed facing the impossible odds of seasoned troops and British espionage.

Title: Emblem of the Ancient Order of Hibernians with US flag and Irish Tricolour in the backgound. Text within image: 'AOH', 'IAOH' Description: Often regarded as the Catholic counterpart to the Orange Order, the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) was founded in the USA in 1838. The word 'Hibernia' comes from the old Roman name for Ireland. AOH members parade with banners depicting their Catholic, Nationalist and Celtic heritage. The traditional AOH parade days each year are 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption, and St. Patrick's day on 17 March. Title: Easter Lily Description: This symbol is associated with the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, due to the seasonal decoration in churches during that period. It is worn as a flower of remembrance for those who gave their lives for the cause of Irish independence. When the Irish Republican Army (IRA) split in 1970 to form the Provisional IRA and the Official IRA both organisations continued to use a paper representation of the Easter Lily in their separate commemorations. Official IRA members wore an Easter Lily with a self-adhesive backing and hence became known as 'the Stickies', while the Provisional IRA supporters secured theirs with a traditional pin (their nickname 'the Pinheads' didn't last). Title: Green Ribbon Description: The Green Ribbon is worn in support of 'Saoirse' a Republican organisation which campaigns on behalf of Republican paramilitary prisoners. In the past Saoirse lobbied for the recognition of political status for Republican prisoners, demanded the release of all political prisoners of the conflict, and supported the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. It receives strong support from the USA.

Title: Orangeman Symbol Description: This symbol began to appear in Nationalist areas where Loyal Order marches were proving controversial. The symbol combines a representation of an Orangeman and the traffic symbol for not allowed. It is mean to represent the fact that the Orange Order is not welcome. Following the use of this symbol a Loyalist version began to appear.

Title: Policeman Text: 'Disband the RUC' Description: The issue of policing, and in particular the acceptability of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in Catholic areas, has been high on the political agenda for the past few years. The RUC is 92 per cent Protestant. This symbol and similar ones, all refer to the fact that many Nationalists find the RUC unacceptable. The symbol of the RUC officer is often painted with an 'orange sash' (collarette) as in this example. This refers to the fact that many officers are members of the Orange Order.


								
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