Ireland’s national flag know as the tricolour (three colours) and has three equal vertical bands of green, white and orange. The green symbolises Nationalism, the white symbolises Peace and the orange symbolises Unionism, therefore the national flag of Ireland represents peace between Nationalists and Unionists.
The national flag of the President of Ireland is a blue flag with a silver stringed gold harp. The blue background represents Saint Patrick who is the patron saint of Ireland. Although St. Patrick is often depicted in green garments, before the 20th century the saint was more often shown wearing blue garments. This flag represent “the Ancient Colours of Ireland”.
National Anthem of Ireland
The National Anthem of Ireland is called Amhrán na bhFiann which means ‘The Soldiers Song’. Amhrán na bhFiann was very popular among Irish republicans, and was sung by rebels in the General Post Office also known as the GPO during the Easter Rising of 1916. The song became the official state anthem in 1926.
The anthem of the Irish rugby home team is called ‘Ireland’s Call’ and at matches played in the Republic of Ireland both Amhrán na bhFiann and Ireland’s Call are sung, elsewhere, Ireland’s Call is the only anthem used in recognition of the need for a unifying anthem and has also been adopted by the Irish Cricket, Hockey and Rugby Union teams.
The shamrock is a three-leafed clover and is a world-renowned symbol of Ireland. The Shamrock was used by Saint Patrick (the patron saint of Ireland) to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish. Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated throughout the world each year on March 17th and it is tradition that people wear a shamrock on their clothing and dress in green to honour Saint Patrick and celebrate being Irish, like we need a reason! Shamrocks are said to bring good luck.
A Celtic cross is a symbol of a cross with a circle surrounding the intersection of the cross. The cross often appears in different shapes, sizes, and in many different styles. It is said that Saint Patrick was also the founder of the Celtic cross and that he used the ’sun cross’ as an example to explain to pagans the importance of the cross.
Today the Celtic cross is used for individual reasons like jewellery, T-shirts and tattoos, grave markers and head stones to name a few. Versions of the Celtic cross are also used by the GAA / Gaelic Athletic Association and the Northern Ireland national football team.
About Mairead Foley
Mairead writes for GoIreland.com - Ireland’s leading travel and accommodation website.