List of flags of Ireland

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This article is about flags used in Ireland. For the flag of the Republic of Ireland, see Flag of Ireland.

This is a list of flags which have been, or are still today, used in Ireland.

Island of Ireland[edit]

The following flags have been used to represent the island of Ireland as a whole, either officially or unofficially.

Flag Date Use Description
Banner of the Lordship of Ireland.svg 1177–1541 Banner of the Lordship of Ireland, the part of Ireland under the rule of the King of England, styled Lord of Ireland. Three crowns on a blue field with a white border.
Royal Standard of Ireland (1542–1801).svg 1542–1801 Standard of the Kingdom of Ireland. From 1801 has been incorporated in the lower-left quadrant of the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom A silver stringed gold harp on a blue field.
Flag of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.svg 1801–1922 Flag of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland The flag of the United Kingdom defaced with the coat of arms of Ireland.
St Patrick's saltire.svg  ??–present St. Patrick's Saltire, also known as the Cross of St Patrick, after the patron saint of Ireland. The flag appears within the Union Flag now the official flag of the United Kingdom. It is used by some Unionists, the Church of Ireland and is incorporated into symbols and emblems of various organisations and bodies throughout Ireland. A red saltire on a white field.
Green harp flag of Ireland.svg
Flag of Leinster.svg
c.1642–1916 The green harp flag of the 17th century Confederacy of Ireland and an unofficial naval jack of Ireland during the 18th and 19th century. Variants have been used as the basis for numerous flags of Ireland. A silver stringed gold harp on a green field.
Flag of Ireland.svg 1916–present Flag of Ireland A tricolour, with three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white and orange.
Irish Republic Flag.svg 1916, 1919–1922 The Flag of the Irish Republic, flown alongside the Irish tricolour over the GPO during the Easter Rising. A green flag with the inscription "Irish Republic".
Four Provinces Flag.svg  ??–present The Four Provinces flag. This flag, and variants of it, have been used by various all-Ireland sports teams and cultural organisations. The arms of the four provinces of Ireland are shown in quadrants. The order in which the arms appear varies.

Northern Ireland[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of the Governor of Northern Ireland.svg 1922–1973 Personal flag of the Governor of Northern Ireland. A Union Jack defaced with the Coat of arms of Northern Ireland.
Ulster banner.svg 1953–1972 The Ulster Banner, also known as the Ulster flag or the Red Hand of Ulster flag, was the flag of the Government of Northern Ireland between 1953 and 1972. It is still used to represent Northern Ireland in some sporting events in which Northern Ireland competes. The flag is a heraldic banner taken from the coat of arms granted in 1924 which is based on the flag of England and the flag of Ulster, with the addition of a crown to symbolise the loyalty of Ulster unionists to the British Monarchy. As with the flag of Ulster, it contains the Red Hand of Ulster at the centre. The six pointed star represents the six counties that make up Northern Ireland.
Government Ensign of Northern Ireland (1929-1973).svg 1929–1973 Ensign of the former Northern Ireland government. The blue ensign defaced with the letters GNI. Used on vessels of the Northern Ireland government.

Republic of Ireland[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Ireland.svg 1922–present Flag of Ireland A tricolour, with three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white and orange; (the green symbolises Nationalism, the white Peace and the orange Unionism, therefore the flag represents peace between Nationalists and Unionists). This is the flag and naval ensign of Ireland.
Flag President of Ireland.svg 1937–present Standard of the President of Ireland A silver stringed gold harp on a blue field.

Defence Forces flags[edit]

Naval Service[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Naval Jack of Ireland.svg 1946–present Naval Jack of Ireland A silver stringed gold harp on a green field. This is the naval jack of the Naval Service of Ireland and flown alongside the tricolor when ships are at anchor, moored, alongside or when under way and dressed with masthead ensigns.
Irish Naval Service Colour.svg 1996–present Naval Service Colour Flag Double-sided square banner. The primary colour is navy blue on both sides. The obverse side carries the Defence Forces badge at the centre superimposed over a pair of crossed silver foul anchors. The colour is bordered by a two inch wide gold fringe Naval Service (Ireland).
Irish Naval Service Flag.svg 1996–present Naval Service Colour Flag Double-sided square banner. The primary colour is navy blue on both sides. A navy blue flag containing the state harp at its centre surrounded by a naval knotted rope decoration.Naval Service (Ireland).

Air Corps[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of the Irish Air Corps.svg Ireland Air Corps Flag Composed of Red and yellow diagonal strips on a blue field with the emblem of Irish Air Corps at its centre, the emblem of Irish Defence forces on upper left and the Air Corps roundel on bottom right. This is the flag of the Irish Air Corps.

Army[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of 1st Brigade (Ireland).svg 1st Brigade Defence Forces Flag The primary colours are blue and yellow with the defence forces badge in top corner. In the centre is the Emblem of the 1st brigade surrounded by oglaigh na hEireann and An Cead Briogaid. This is the flag of the 1st Brigade (Ireland).
Flag of 2nd Brigade (Ireland).svg 2nd Brigade Defence Forces Flag The primary colours are blue and green with the defense forces badge in top corner. In the centre is the Emblem of the 2nd brigade surrounded by oglaigh na hEireann and An Dara Briogaid. This is the flag of the 2nd Brigade.
Defense Forces Air Defense Regiment Flag (Ireland).svg Air Defense Regiment Flag Composed of an orange flag with a purple emblem of Air Defense Regiment at its centre.
Defense Forces Infantry Flag (Ireland).svg Defence Forces Infantry Flag Purple banner with two crossed rifles at its centre with the word coiste(Infantry) underneath, this is the flag of the Infantry Corps (Ireland) .
Defense Forces Ordnance Corps Flag (Ireland).svg Defence Forces Ordnance Corps Flag A dark red colour flag containing the insignia of the Ordnance corps at its centre.
Defense Forces Cavalry Corps Flag (Ireland).svg Defence Forces Cavalry Corps Flag A black background flag containing the emblem of the Calvary corps at its centre, this is the flag of the Cavalry Corps (Ireland).
Defense Forces Engineer Corps (Ireland).svg Defence Forces Engineer Corps Flag A Yellow coloured background flag containing the emblem of the Engineer corps at its centre, this is the flag of the Engineer Corps (Ireland).
Defense Forces Communications and Information Services Corps Flag (Ireland).svg Defence Forces Communications and Information Services Corps (CIS) Flag Blue background flag containing the emblem of the CIS corps at its centre, this is the flag of Communication and Information Services Corps.
Defense Forces Artillery corps (Ireland).svg Defence Forces Artillery Corps Flag Orange flag with white border containing the emblem of the Artillery corps at its centre, this is the flag of the Artillery Corps (Ireland).
Defense Forces Medical Corps Flag (Ireland).svg Defence Forces Medical Corps Flag Teal coloured flag with white border containing the emblem of the medical corps at its centre.

Defence Force Training Centre (DFTC)[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Defense Forces Cadet Colours (Ireland).svg Defence Forces Cadet School Colours A Sunburst colour flag on a dark blue background containing a sword through its centre. Overhead the motto 'An Ród So Romham'.
Defense Force Training Centre Flag (Ireland).svg Defence Forces Training Centre Flag A navy and red colour flag containing the emblem of the DFTC at its centre.

Defence Forces Overseas and Organisations[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Defense Forces Ireland Flag (UNMEE).svg Defence Forces Ireland Contingent UNMEE Flag Purple coloured flag containing the emblem of the Defence forces of Ireland at its centre.
Defense Forces Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen Flag (Ireland).svg Defence Forces Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen Flag Blue background flag containing an altered emblem of the Defence forces of Ireland at its centre, this is the flag of Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen.

Coast Guard[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Coast Guard Flag (Ireland).svg Coast Guard Flag White background flag containing the emblem of the coast guard at its centre, this is the flag of the Irish Coast Guard.

Provincial flags[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Ulster.svg Flag of Ulster

The arms of the nine-county province of Ulster form a composite achievement, combining the heraldic symbols of two of that province’s best known families, namely the cross of de Burgo and the dexter hand of O Neill (Ua Néill, later Ó Néill) Kings of Ailech and Tír Eoghan.

Flag of Munster.svg Flag of Munster

The province of Munster has been heraldically symbolised by three golden antique crowns on an azure blue shield. A crown of the type now known as antique Irish forms an integral element of a thirteenth-century crozier head found near Cormac’s Chapel on the Rock of Cashel. In the case of the ‘king-bishops’ of Cashel, the placing of the antique crown on their crozier was a symbolic assertion of their right to the political sovereignty of Munster.

Flag of Connacht.svg Flag of Connacht

The arms of Connacht use a dimidiated (divided in half from top to bottom) eagle and armed hand. Ruaidhri O'Conchobhair, King of Connacht, is surmised to have been conceded the arms of Schottenkloster or the Irish monastery founded in Regensburg[citation needed], which approximate to the Connacht Flag of 1651

Flag of Leinster.svg Flag of Leinster

A silver stringed golden harp on a green background. Possibly the oldest and certainly the most celebrated instance of the use of the harp device on a green field was the flag of Owen Roe O’Neill. It is recorded that his ship, the St Francis, as she lay at anchor at Dunkirk, flew from her mast top ‘the Irish harp in a green field, in a flag’.

Flag of Mide.svg Flag of Mide

The old province of Mide (Meath), comprising the present-day counties of Meath and Westmeath, and parts of others, was heraldically personified by a representation of a royal personage seated on a throne on an azure field. The arms of Mide were apparently used at one time as the arms of Ireland[citation needed].

County flags[edit]

Coat of
Arms
County Irish name[1] Province GAA Flag Colours

The 32 "traditional" counties

Antrim arms.svg Antrim Aontroim
(Contae Aontroma)
Ulster Colours of Antrim.svg
Armagh arms.svg Armagh Ard Mhacha
(Contae Ard Mhacha)
Ulster Colours of Armagh.svg
Carlow County Crest.svg Carlow Ceatharlach
(Contae Cheatharlach)
Leinster Colours of Carlow.svg
Cavan crest.svg Cavan An Cabhán
(Contae an Chabháin)
Ulster Colours of Laois.svg
County Clare Crest.svg Clare An Clár
(Contae an Chláir)
Munster Colours of Clare.svg
Cork county arms.png Cork Corcaigh
(Contae Chorcaí)
Munster Colours of Cork.svg
Donegalcocologo.png Donegal Dún na nGall
(Contae Dhún na nGall)
Ulster Colours of Leitrim.svg
Down arms.png Down An Dún
(Contae an Dúin)
Ulster Colours of Down.svg
Dublin crest.svg Dublin Áth Cliath
(Contae Átha Cliath)
Leinster Colours of Dublin.svg
Ferm arms.png Fermanagh Fear Manach
(Contae Fhear Manach)
Ulster Colours of Leinster Council.svg
Logogalwayco.png Galway Gaillimh
(Contae na Gaillimhe)
Connacht   Colours of Galway.svg
Kerrycocologo.svg Kerry Ciarraí
(Contae Chiarraí)
Munster Colours of Leitrim.svg
Kildare couty arms.png Kildare Cill Dara
(Contae Chill Dara)
Leinster Colours of Kildare.svg
Kilkenny County Crest.svg Kilkenny Cill Chainnigh
(Contae Chill Chainnigh)
Leinster Colours of Kilkenny.svg
Laoiscocologo.png Laois Laois
(Contae Laoise)
Leinster Colours of Laois.svg
County Leitrim arms.svg Leitrim Liatroim
(Contae Liatroma)
Connacht Colours of Leitrim.svg
Limerick county arms.png Limerick Luimneach
(Contae Luimnigh)
Munster Colours of Leinster Council.svg
Lderry arms.svg Londonderry[2] Doire
(Contae Dhoire)
Ulster Colours of Cork.svg
Longford county arms.png Longford An Longfort
(Contae an Longfoirt)
Leinster Colours of Laois.svg
Louth county arms.png Louth
(Contae Lú)
Leinster Colours of Cork.svg
Mayococologo.png Mayo Maigh Eo
(Contae Mhaigh Eo)
Connacht Colours of Mayo.svg
Meath coa.svg Meath An Mhí
(Contae na Mí)
Leinster Colours of Leitrim.svg
Monaghan county arms.png Monaghan Muineachán
(Contae Mhuineacháin)
Ulster Colours of Laois.svg
Offaly crest.svg Offaly Uíbh Fhailí
(Contae Uíbh Fhailí)
Leinster Colours of Offaly.svg
Logo-contea-Roscommon.png Roscommon Ros Comáin
(Contae Ros Comáin)
Connacht Colours of Roscommon.svg
Sligococo.png Sligo Sligeach
(Contae Shligigh)
Connacht Colours of Sligo.svg
IRL county Tipperary COA.png Tipperary Tiobraid Árann
(Contae Thiobraid Árann)
Munster Colours of Roscommon.svg
Tyrone arms.svg Tyrone Tír Eoghain
(Contae Thír Eoghain)
Ulster Colours of Tyrone.svg
Waterford county arms.png Waterford Port Láirge
(Contae Phort Láirge)
Munster Colours of Monaghan.svg
Westmeath An Iarmhí
(Contae na hIarmhí)
Leinster Colours of Galway.svg
IRL COA County Wexford 3D.svg Wexford Loch Garman
(Contae Loch Garman)
Leinster Colours of Wexford.svg
Wicklow county arms.png Wicklow Cill Mhantáin
(Contae Chill Mhantáin)
Leinster Colours of Roscommon.svg

City flags[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
IRL Dublin flag.svg Flag of Dublin, the capital city of the Republic of Ireland
Flag of Belfast.svg Flag of Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland

Sporting flags[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
IRFU flag.svg 1925–present Flag of the Irish Rugby Football Union The arms of the four provinces of Ireland emblazoned on a green flag with a shamrock crest at its centre
Flag of Ireland hockey team.svg Flag of the Ireland national field hockey team The four Provinces Crest of Ireland emblazoned on a green and white flag
Cricket Ireland flag.svg Flag of the Ireland cricket team Three shamrocks on a blue background.
IABA Flag.svg 1911–present Flag of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association The four provinces crest of Ireland in the centre of a white flag

Ensigns[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Green Ensign (1701).svg circa 1701 - post 1800 A Green Ensign flown by some Irish merchant vessels. A gold harp on a green background with the English Flag in the canton.
Green Ensign.svg post 1800 - c.1922 A later version of the Green Ensign. A gold harp on a green field with the Union Flag in the canton.
National Yacht Club Ensign (Ireland).svg Ensign of the National Yacht Club An azure blue field with a silver harp and the Flag of Ireland in the canton.
Ensign of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club.svg Ensign of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club. The blue ensign defaced with the Red Hand of Ulster and St Edward's Crown.

Historical military flags[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
18th Foot colours.png 1684–1922 Flag of the Royal Irish Regiment (1684–1922) of the British Army. Also known as the 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment of Foot and the 18th (The Royal Irish) Regiment of Foot
Rég de Berwick 1781.png 1688–1791 Flag carried in different variations by the Irish Brigade of the French Army red and green cross, with motto "In Hoc Signo Vinces"
Uniform and colonel’s flag of the Hibernia Regiment.jpg 1710–1815 Flag of the Regiment of Hibernia aka the "O'Neill's Regiment" of the Spanish Army
86th Foot colours.png 1793–1881 Flag of the 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot of the British Army
Arklowflag.svg 1798 Flag carried by the United Irishmen at the Battle of Arklow Green background with white Christian cross and the slogan "Liberty or Death".
Erin Go Bragh Banner.svg 1846–1848 The green silk flag of the Saint Patrick's Battalion of the Mexican Army may have incorporated the old Irish Harp flag (illustrated), which may date back to the Irish Confederacy. However, no original depictions are extant, and period descriptions of it differ. Green background with Irish Harp, shamrocks and Motto Erin Go Bragh in Gold
28th Massachusetts Flag historic.jpg 1861–1864 Color of the 28th Massachusetts Infantry regiment of the Irish Brigade (U.S.) of the Union Army Green background with Irish Harp and motto Faugh a Ballagh (Clear the Way!)
2nd Irish Color, 69th NYSV.gif 1861–1864 2d Irish Color of the 69th Infantry Regiment (New York) of the Irish Brigade (U.S.) of the Union Army Green background with Irish Harp

Organisations[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of the Orange Order.svg Flag of the Orange Order, a Protestant fraternal organisation based mainly in Northern Ireland, though it has lodges throughout the Commonwealth and a small number in the Republic of Ireland. An orange field with a purple star and a St George's Cross in the canton.
Apprentice Boys Derry Flag.svg Flag of the Apprentice Boys of Derry, a Protestant fraternal organisation based in Derry City, Northern Ireland. A crimson field.
The Fenian Flag (1858).svg 1858 Flag used by the Fenian Brotherhood which was founded in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day 1858. Flag is based on the American ‘Stars and Stripes’ It has four bars representing the provinces of Ireland and 32 stars representing the counties.
Fine Gael historical flag.svg 1932–1933 Historical flag of Fine Gael as well as the Blueshirts paramilitary group that was a faction in Fine Gael. It bore the St. Patrick's Saltire defacing a dark blue background. A red saltire on a blue field.

Other flags[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
Sunburst Flag.svg 1893–present The Sunburst flag, based on the flag of the mythological warriors the Fianna. Blue background with a golden sunburst showing partially in the bottom left corner. Used by nationalists and republicans.
Starry Plough flag (1914).svg 1914–present The original Starry Plough flag from 1914 and flown during the Easter Rising. Silver stars overlaying a yellow plough on a green background.
StarryPlough.svg 1910s–present The starry plough flag that succeeded the starry plough banner. Used by socialists, nationalists and republicans. White stars on a light blue background.
Flag of the Ulster Nation.svg Flag of a proposed independent Ulster nation. Used by Ulster nationalists. St Andrew's Saltire overlaid with St Patrick's Cross, defaced with a golden six pointed star representing the six counties of Northern Ireland containing the red hand of Ulster.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gasaitéar na hÉireann / Gazetteer of Ireland. Dublin: Brainse Logainmneacha na Suirbhéireachta Ordanáis / Placenames Branch of the Ordnance Survey. 1989. ISBN 978-0-7076-0076-5. 
  2. ^ Londonderry is often called Derry – see Derry-Londonderry name dispute

External links[edit]