Flag and coat of arms of Connacht

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The Flag of Connacht
1651 Arms of Connacht

The flag of Connacht is a heraldic banner of the arms of Connacht, a dimidiated (divided in half from top to bottom) eagle and armed hand. The arms are recorded as such on a map of Galway dated 1651,[1] now in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. These arms approximate rather closely to those of the Schottenkloster or Irish monastery founded in Regensburg, Bavaria in the 11th century.[2]

History[edit]

The question is: how did the arms of that Schottenkloster located deep in the heart of the Holy Roman Empire come to be associated with the province of Connacht in Ireland? A somewhat unsatisfactory answer to this question will be found in Vatican Ms 11000 which contains a necrology of prominent Irish ecclesiastics and political rulers – with floruits mainly in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries – whose obituaries were recorded locally, apparently on the basis of their being substantial benefactors of the Schottenkloster at Regensburg. In the section of the aforementioned necrology headed ‘KINGS’, the initial entry relates to Donnchadh and Domhnall Mac Carthaigh, rulers of Desmond, to whom the arms of the Schottenkloster were apparently conceded, presumably as arms of affection. If we can assume that the arms of the Schottenkloster were similarly conceded to the other royal benefactors noted in the necrology, then an explanation of the origins of the arms of the province of Connacht begins to emerge because the final entry in the necrology refers to Ruaidhrí Ó Conchobhair, King of Connacht and last High King of Ireland.[3]

Present forms and uses[edit]

The flag of Connacht is usually displayed alongside the flags of Leinster, Munster and Ulster, or as part of the combined flag of the Provinces of Ireland. The flag is the official flag of the Connacht Gaelic Athletic Association and the Connacht rugby team. The raven and sword arm feature on the Connacht Rugby crest.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://archives.library.nuigalway.ie
  2. ^ Heraldry in Ireland, The National Library of Ireland
  3. ^ Heraldry in Ireland, The National Library of Ireland