Talk:Shamrock

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Panathinaikos FC[edit]

The club's emblem is a generic clover or alfalfa (Tριφύλλι) rather than a shamrock, so I'm removing mention of the club from this article.
--Yumegusa (talk) 20:28, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

This appears to be back in the article, but as the emblem of Panathinaikos does seem to be practically identical to the shamrock, it seems fair that reference be made to it. I'll leave it in. Fattonyni (talk) 12:23, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

The emblem of Panathinaikos is clearly a shamrock and it has an Irish origin. You can check the articles of Panathinaikos, there is now a reference to it. -- Picker78 (talk) 23:12, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Title and Article Content[edit]

This article is about a plant. But to read the article, it looks like it is solely concerned with being an Irish symbol. The association of the shamrock with Ireland should either be moved to it's own separate article (e.g. see Rose (symbolism)) or it should be moved to its own section (e.g. see Maple). --HighKing (talk) 00:15, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Can you cite policy or guidelines to say that it "should"? Not saying that they don't exist, but it strikes me as strange since a separate article specifically to do with the plant does not exist - i.e. a "main" article that a "symbolism" article would need to spun out from (as in the case of Rose and Rose (symbolism)). --89.101.221.42 (talk) 00:23, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Inaccurate intro + edit-warring[edit]

An anonymous editor changed the intro text to make it inaccurate. I reverted, but then another anonymous editor started edit-warring, so I can't revert it back to the accurate version. The current text inaccurately states that the shamrock is "a symbol and a registered trademark of Ireland|Republic of Ireland". This is wrong because it is a symbol of the whole island: not just the Republic. The previous text, which has been changed, was accurate and read: "a symbol of Ireland and a registered trademark of the Republic of Ireland". Could someone sort this? Mooretwin (talk) 11:06, 3 November 2008 (UTC)


RfC: Shamrock as an Irish symbol[edit]

An edit-war has broken out between an Anonymous editor who has edited the text so as to state that the shamrock is a symbol and registered trade mark of the Republic of Ireland state; and me, who wishes to retain the original text which stated that the shamrock is a symbol of Ireland (i.e. the whole island) and a registered trade mark of the Republic.

Is that Mooretwin posted the above? I merely note that the Northern Ireland Tourist Board includes a shamrock as part of its logo. --Yumegusa (talk) 14:16, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
It is, yes. If it is registered by the NITB, that could perhaps be noted in the text. It also reinforces the original text, which states that the shamrock is a symbol for Ireland (the island). Mooretwin (talk) 14:39, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I'll also add that many companies incorporate a shamrock into their logo, such as Aer Lingus , or Shamrock foods, etc. The point to remember is that they have not trademarked the shamrock as such (trademarks don't work like that) but a specific image that incorporates a shamrock. So the Irish government has trademarked a specific image, not any old shamrock. Similarly they've registered a specific harp, not any old harp - same as Guinness have trademarked their specific harp image, etc. So the lead sentence is wrong to state that the shamrock is a registered trademark of Ireland as this implies that all shamrock images have been trademarked and cannot be used by anyone else. It is more accurate to state that the Irish government has trademarked a symbol incorporating a shamrock. --HighKing (talk) 15:37, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Care to suggest an alternative wording for the intro, then? Mooretwin (talk) 15:49, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

(outdent)I'll repeat what I said above. This article is about a plant. It's a shamrock. Unfortunately it appears that this article has been completely overtaken to solely concern itself with symbolism associated with Ireland, and the introduction in the lead sentence of the fact that the shamrock is a trademarked symbol of the Irish government complete skews a political angle onto the article. The association of the shamrock with Ireland should either be moved to it's own separate article (e.g. see Rose (symbolism)) or it should be moved to its own section (e.g. see Maple). --HighKing (talk) 15:29, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree with that, and I would support a move to a new article Shamrock (symbolism). But that doesn't solve the problem of the edit war over the text. Mooretwin (talk) 15:31, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I believe that most of the edit warring is occurring because you appear to be going around editing a lot of articles to introduce the term "Republic of Ireland" into many articles. You know that there is a task force on this issue at present, so it is unhelpful to attempt to preempt the results of the task force, and in light of this, your edits are disruptive. In much the same way that myself and TharkunColl have desisted in changing any articles with the term "British Isles", I suggest that you desist from changing article with "Republic of Ireland". Or do you feel that you'd prefer an admin or ArbCom to give you advice on this? --HighKing (talk) 15:58, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, I see it as the reverse: and certainly in this case, an Anonymous editor made the edit to censor "Republic of Ireland" (at the same time turning an accurate statement into an inaccurate one), and I merely reverted to the original text. Please explain how this was disruptive. Mooretwin (talk) 16:04, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
The 3 edits in 24 hours, reverting the anon IP address editor would be seen as disruptive. I know - I've been here too remember. I suggest that while the task force is working, we should also get an ArbCom ruling on not changing RoI/Ireland terms either. That way, should an anon IP start editing, the ArbCom ruling would make it OK to revert, etc. --HighKing (talk) 16:25, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I made an RfC in order to put a stop to the edit-warring. Naively, I thought that this was such a straightforward matter of fact that third-party intervention might result in an agreement on a simple edit to the introductory text. I have asked you to suggest such an edit, but I see you have declined. That is disappointing. Mooretwin (talk) 16:32, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
How can a plant be trademarked?? Oh Well. The significance of the Shamrock as it relates to Ireland is that it is said that St. Patrick (the patron saint of Ireland) used the the three lobes of the shamrock to explain the mystery of the Christian Trinity. Both Protestants and Catholics lay claim to St. Patrick. I hope that little bit of information is constructive. Elmmapleoakpine (talk) 00:34, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I doubt that you will find any reference to St Patrick holding the shamrock prior to the Victorian era. ClemMcGann (talk) 12:41, 4 November 2008 (UTC)


Since we agree on creating a new article Shamrock (symbolism), can we agree to that? Or are you suggesting that we have stasis until the Task Force reports? Mooretwin (talk) 16:34, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

It is one suggestion (along the lines of the Rose (symbolism) article, the other being to change the article to move the symbolism bits into their own section (like the Maple article). My preference is to move into a new section. Would you agree to that? As to the text of the section - we can work that out here too. HighKing (talk) 16:38, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, content with that. Content for you to provide suggested text and I'll comment. Mooretwin (talk) 16:47, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
  • My impression was that the Shamrock was a symbol of Ireland, as the island. It probably goes with Ireland being a green island, due to its high rainfall. There is the complication that a good deal of Northern Ireland regards itself as Orange. Mind you, I am just an ignorant Englishman. Peterkingiron (talk) 21:03, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
To join in with my fellow ignorant Englishmen, I also thought the shamrock represented the whole island, or at least the culture of "Irishness", which isn't limited to any geographical entity (state, island, whatever). That the NI tourist board use the symbol seems ample evidence enough that the shamrock is not exclusively the property of the Republic. waggers (talk) 15:17, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Look at this video of a WWI memorial service for north and south. the wreath laying is 2½ minutes into [1] . The wreaths are laid at a giant shamrock. (also note the statue of St Patrick). ClemMcGann (talk) 00:01, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for everyone's comments. I'm going to act on High King's suggestion now. Mooretwin (talk) 09:16, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I can't, because I don't know enough about the plant. So I'm moving this to Shamrock (Irish symbol) like the Rose (symbolism) article. If someone is able to write an article about the plant, then they can do so on the Shamrock page. Mooretwin (talk) 09:19, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I've edited the disambiguation page, but I don't know how to fix the hat note. Mooretwin (talk) 09:30, 21 November 2008 (UTC)


I'm angry that User:Snappy, without bothering to take part in discussion, has just come along and reverted the edit resulting from the above. This is not acceptable. It is also disappointing that another person User:Yman88 has come along in support of the edit by Snappy. It is extremely frustrating for those of us attempting to improve the article when editors such as these come along and simply revert to previous inaccurate and disputed versions. Mooretwin (talk) 14:03, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Sorry but I don't see anywhere you saying ' I want to do this edit' and other editors agreeing. I don't see the consensus. That is why I reverted. This discussion as I see it is more about a page move than anything else.Yman88 (talk) 14:09, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
If you read the discussion, you'll see several (all?) the editors agreeing that the shamrock is an all-Ireland symbol and not merely a symbol of the Republic. If that is not consensus, I don't know what is. The other change was to explain why the shamrock is a symbol of Ireland via the reference to St Patrick. If you can improve the text, please do so, instead of reverting to an inaccurate version. Please reconsider your actions. Please try to be constructive. Mooretwin (talk) 14:16, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry to say then you don't know what consensus is. Why do you think you were reverted? Snappy does not look like a trouble maker to me. I'm going to leave this discussion alone now. Please try to gain a proper consensus before making changes.Yman88 (talk) 14:21, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
What is consensus, if not 100% agreement that the shamrock is a symbol for the whole island, and not merely of the republic? Mooretwin (talk) 14:37, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

OK, given the recent unhelpful interventions, I will now propose the following text which makes clear (a) that the shamrock is a symbol of all of Ireland; (b) the origins of why it is a symbol of Ireland; (c) that the trademark thing applies only to the Republic; and (d) the shamrock is used by the NI Tourist Board:

The shamrock is a symbol of Ireland. The symbolism arises from the story of Saint Patrick, Ireland's patron saint, who is said to have used the three-leafed plant to explain the doctrine of the Trinity. The shamrock is a three-leafed old white clover, sometimes of the variety Trifolium repens (a white clover, known in Irish as seamair bhán) but today usually Trifolium dubium (a lesser clover, Irish: seamair bhuí).
...
The shamrock has been registered as a trademark of the Republic of Ireland.[1] It is also used by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
Mooretwin (talk) 15:20, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Now I've got a reference for the Trinity statement: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=89 Mooretwin (talk) 15:23, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
No, a reference is something else. "The legend of the shamrock ... cannot be traced back earlier than 1600. It is not mentioned in any of the early or medieval lives of the saint." So says Godfrey's The Church in Anglo-Saxon England. Not exactly the state of the art it must be said, but a reliable source once upon a time. The tale of the shamrock is apocryphal, not even as old as the banishing of the snakes. It's quite ok to include it, just so long as we don't perpetuate the myth that it has anything to do with old Adze Head himself. Angus McLellan (Talk) 22:45, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
The text says "who is said to have ..." - does that not indicate that it is apocryphal? Are you content with the text otherwise? Mooretwin (talk) 22:49, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
The article text is fine as is. It's changing it that I don't fancy. Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:44, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Why? You want to retain a factual inaccuracy and ignore the Trinity story by which the shamrock supposedly became Ireland's symbol? Mooretwin (talk) 23:53, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
It's already there: "According to what the Oxford English Dictionary calls "a late tradition" (first recorded in 1726), the plant was used by Saint Patrick to illustrate the doctrine of the Trinity." Without a lot of digging there's not much more can be said. Angus McLellan (Talk) 00:00, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
OK, but that doesn't deal with the factual inaccuracy.Mooretwin (talk) 00:08, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
New proposal:
The shamrock is a symbol of Ireland. It is a three-leafed old white clover, sometimes of the variety Trifolium repens (a white clover, known in Irish as seamair bhán) but today usually Trifolium dubium (a lesser clover, Irish: seamair bhuí).
...
The shamrock has been registered as a trademark of the Republic of Ireland.[2] It is also used by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
Mooretwin (talk) 00:08, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Since it would seem that the consensus was that "shamrock" identifies the plant, but no article for that meaning exists, I changed the redirect for shamrock to clover, which addresses the plant. Perhaps ideally a specific article on the plant would be created? ENeville (talk) 17:22, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I have a few comments: 1) Why do these two contradictory sentences exist within the same article? A) "Perhaps because they are rare, 4-leaved Shamrocks are said to bring good luck." B) "The four-leaf clover is often confused with the shamrock. While the four-leaf clover is a symbol of good luck, the three-leafed shamrock is mainly an Irish Christian symbol of the Holy Trinity and has a different significance." Besides the logical confusion created, I must ask why the phrases "4-leaved," "four leaf," and "three-leafed" are all used. I would think usage and spelling should be standardized.

2) I would recommend clarification and some moving of sections.

First: Is there such a thing as a four-leaf shamrock, or does a shamrock exclusively refer to the three-leaf version? The fact that shamrock comes from an anglicization of the Irish word for "clover," which can have three or more leaves, seems to indicate that a shamrock need not have only three leaves.

Second: It seems more logical to me to place the section on Irish Christian symbolism right after the sentence "The posthumous timing of this legend (coming some 1200 years after his death), and the lack of supporting evidence found in St. Patrick's writings have caused some to question its authenticity[2]." Perhaps it could say, "Despite the debate, the three-leafed shamrock now serves as an Irish Christian symbol of the Holy Trinity." Since the removal of that portion makes the section "The four-leaf clover" too short, perhaps the mention of it in the introduction could link to the four-leaf clover article instead. If a four-leaf clover is in fact not a shamrock, the sentence in the introduction could be amended to say that a four-leaf clover is considered lucky but is not considered a proper shamrock. --Sirubberduckie (talk) 18:47, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Response to tag at talk:Ireland[edit]

The Shamrock is certainly a symbol of Ireland (state) and of all Irish nationalists, including those in NI. Does it represent Unionists in NI? They should tell us; I don't know. I suspect it does. Does it not pre-date the political splits and is a symbol of Irish Christianity originally, inherited by both Catholics and Protestants after the Reformation? Sarah777 (talk) 11:03, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Re Christianity, are you perhaps thinking of the trefoil? SimonTrew (talk) 15:01, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
  • As the article says, the St Patrick legend has not been dated earlier than 1726. Before that, the shamrock's stereotypical significance was as something the wild natives ate. It features profusely on a lot of 19th-century nationalist imagery, alongside round towers, maid-of-Erin harps, Irish setters, etc. But also on the badges of the pre-partition IRFU and IFA, worn by Irish regiments and Royals on March 17, etc.
  • I question the assertion that anything is "a symbol of Ireland (state) and of all Irish nationalists". Nationalists tend to see things as symbolizing not themselves as a faction but rather the Irish nation; and they tend to see the Irish nation as encompassing not just themselves but the whole island including unionists. The fact that unionists would disagree with this view is most obvious in the rejection of the flag and anthem, which only came to prominence post-1916. But it doesn't mean nationalists have trimmed the purported scope of their symbols in response to unionist sensibilities. Are there any symbols specifically of the state, as opposed to symbols of the nation? I suppose the specific design of the Brian Boru harp on the Coat of arms of Ireland, as opposed to any old harp.
  • jnestorius(talk) 17:33, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was PAGE MOVED per discussion below. -GTBacchus(talk) 17:07, 2 May 2009 (UTC)


See above for previous discussion.

This was moved from "Shamrock" with explanation "as per Talk". I presume it's HighKing's assertion "This article is about a plant. But to read the article, it looks like it is solely concerned with being an Irish symbol." To my mind, the second sentence proves the first sentence is incorrect. We already have an article about the plant, i.e. clover. This article is not about the plant. What links to "Shamrock" is a bunch of articles about the shamrock as a symbol of Ireland. Nothing to do with clover. I've redirected Shamrock back here, and the pointless disambiguation needs to be reversed. jnestorius(talk) 10:09, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

I think Shamrock should go to the symbol. It's what 99% of people are gonna be looking for. I am English but I would call the stuff in the lawn clover and the stuff on St Patrick's Day a shamrock (and it seems what Fowler would call a useful distinction). So I support the request for move, with appropriate dab pages and otheruses tags etc. SimonTrew (talk) 14:58, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Support as per Simon above. Sarah777 (talk) 15:02, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Support as above. I also note that shamrock is commonly used in trade for the 3-leaflet Oxalis species. Mangoe (talk) 21:16, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Support per reasons indicated above.MITH 23:53, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. For the odd reader who's looking for the plant, it might be a good idea to add a hatnote link to clover. Jafeluv (talk) 08:15, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
      • Comment. Yeah I would expect a "For the plant, see Clover" or "for other uses, see Shamrock (disambiguation)"... but I think that's taken as read, really. I shouldn't be surprised to find there's a tribute band or seven called Sham Rock, too. SimonTrew (talk) 12:04, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Tidying[edit]

I've removed some of the trivia from the article, namely the various boats that are named "Shamrock" -- this is an article about the emblem, not the use of the word. They have been moved to the disambiguation page. I expect much of the trivia that remains will stay in the article, due to the nature of the subject -- there are many uses of the shamrock around the world that could be considered notable.

Also tidied the text somewhat, and moved any random organisations using the emblem into the "other contexts" section. It makes better sense here for the "Badge of Ireland" section only to include government organisations and sports teams with Irish connections. Feel free to rename the "other" section if there's a preferred heading for it. Fattonyni (talk) 12:30, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ Use of the harp and the shamrock were registered by the Irish government as international trademarks. See Record of the meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise and Small Business, 26 March 2003. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
  2. ^ Use of the harp and the shamrock were registered by the Irish government as international trademarks. See Record of the meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise and Small Business, 26 March 2003. Retrieved 2008-07-20.