Gaelic games county colours

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Fans of Tyrone (red and white) and Meath (green and yellow) on Hill 16 in Croke Park watching the teams' 2007 All-Ireland football quarterfinal.

The county colours of an Irish county are the colours of the kit worn by that county's representative team in the inter-county competitions of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), the most important of which are the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Fans attending matches often wear replica jerseys, and wave flags and banners in the county colours. In the build-up to a major match, flags and bunting are flown or hung from cars, buildings, telegraph poles, and other fixtures across the county, especially in those regions where GAA support is strong.

Where a county's jersey is multi-coloured, these are the county colours. Where the jersey is a single colour, the colour of the shorts is also included. Shorts were formerly always white, but some counties adopted coloured shorts from the 1960s, such as Dublin's now familiar navy blue.

In the early years of the All-Ireland championships, each county was formally represented by the club which won its county championship; players from other clubs within the county were soon added to reinforce the squad, and gradually from 1900 county committees took over the selection of the team. At that date most inter-county teams still wore the kit of the champion club, but by 1910 some counties had adopted a standard strip.[1] The 1913 GAA Congress passed a motion proposed by P. D. Mehigan and seconded by Harry Boland, "That a distinctive county colour be compulsory for inter-county, inter-provincial and All-Ireland contests, such colours to be approved of by the Provincial Councils concerned and registered with Central Council."[2]

Flags and arms[edit]

Flags with counties' colours and coats of arms flying in the Upper Yard at Dublin Castle

In the latter half of the 20th century, the county councils of most counties designed coats of arms for registration with the Chief Herald of Ireland. Before then, the arms of the county town often served as arms for the county. The council arms often include the county colours established by the GAA team; examples include Clare[3] and Laois.[4]

There are no official county flags; flags with the GAA county colours serve as de facto county flags. There are no standardised formats for these, except Kildare whose flag, like their kit, is all-white. Typically, flags are formed as vertical bicolours or tricolours, with the major colour nearest the hoist. Horizontal stripes are also found. This is common in County Offaly, where vertical county colours might be mistaken for the flag of Ireland; however other Offaly fans deliberately exploit this double significance. Flags with checkerboard, repeating stripes, and other patterns are also found. Flags have been commercially produced which add the county arms to the colours, sometimes augmented with the county name in English or Irish. Such flags have been flown by the government of Ireland in the Upper Yard at Dublin Castle.[5] County jerseys formerly often included the county crest, but since the 1980s county boards have developed their own logos; most were originally based on the official county arms, but some have since been replaced with unrelated designs. Flags with these logos added to the county colours are sold by or under licence from the county board.

Fans may also wave other flags of the appropriate colours. For example, among the red-and-white flags used by individual Cork supporters have been the flag of Canada and the ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy. As Cork is nicknamed the "Rebel County", its fans have also flown the Rebel Flag of the American Civil War. Blue-and-gold flags used by Tipperary supporters have included the national flags of Sweden and of Ukraine; Mayo fans have flown the green and red of Italy, Portugal and Bangladesh. Kerry supporters may wave the flag of Brazil both for its matching colours and to compare Kerry's continual success in Gaelic football to the Brazil national team's in soccer.

List[edit]

Colours of Irish counties
Flag Province County Colours Notes
Colours of Antrim.svg Ulster Antrim Saffron and White
Colours of Armagh.svg Ulster Armagh Orange and White
Colours of Carlow.svg Leinster Carlow Green, Red and Yellow
Colours of Laois.svg Ulster Cavan Blue and White
Colours of Clare.svg Munster Clare Saffron and Blue
Colours of Cork.svg Munster Cork Red and White
Colours of Cork.svg Ulster Derry Red and White
Colours of Leitrim.svg Ulster Donegal Green and Gold
Colours of Down.svg Ulster Down Red and Black
Colours of Dublin.svg Leinster Dublin Navy Blue and Sky Blue In April 1913, Harry Boland chaired the Dublin County Board meeting at which "after some discussion, it was decided to adopt as the county colours a light blue jersey with a white shield bearing the city arms".[6]
Colours of Leinster Council.svg Ulster Fermanagh Green and White
Colours of Fingal.svg Leinster Fingal Purple and White Fingal is not one of the 32 traditional counties of Ireland, but one of four local government areas in the historical area of County Dublin. Its county hurling team competes separately from Dublin, but its management falls under the Dublin county board.
Colours of Galway.svg Connacht Galway Maroon and White
Colours of Leitrim.svg Munster Kerry Green and Gold Adopted in the 1903 All-Ireland Football Final as the colours of the then dominant Tralee Mitchels senior team.[7]
Colours of Kildare.svg Leinster Kildare All White The kit has black trim, and some fans wave chequered flags.
Colours of Kilkenny.svg Leinster Kilkenny Black and Amber
Colours of Laois.svg Leinster Laois Blue and White
Colours of Leitrim.svg Connacht Leitrim Green and Gold
Colours of Leinster Council.svg Munster Limerick Green and White
Colours of Roscommon.svg Leinster Longford Blue and Gold
Colours of Cork.svg Leinster Louth Red and White
Colours of Mayo.svg Connacht Mayo Green and Red
Colours of Leitrim.svg Leinster Meath Green and Gold
Colours of Monaghan.svg Ulster Monaghan White and Blue
Colours of Offaly.svg Leinster Offaly Green, White and Gold
Colours of Roscommon.svg Connacht Roscommon Primrose and Blue
Colours of Sligo.svg Connacht Sligo Black and White
Colours of Roscommon.svg Munster Tipperary Blue and Gold
Colours of Tyrone.svg Ulster Tyrone White and Red
Colours of Monaghan.svg Munster Waterford White and Blue
Colours of Galway.svg Leinster Westmeath Maroon and White
Colours of Wexford.svg Leinster Wexford Purple and Gold
Colours of Roscommon.svg Leinster Wicklow Blue and Gold

Provinces[edit]

The GAA Interprovincial Championship had a high profile in the mid 20th century. The provincial teams' colours are seldom used as flags in the manner of county colours; instead the pre-existing provincial arms are used as banners.

Colours of GAA provinces
Province Banner of arms GAA colours
Connacht Flag of Connacht.svg White
Leinster Flag of Leinster.svg Green and White
Munster Flag of Munster.svg Colours of Munster Council.svg Blue and Navy
Ulster Flag of Ulster.svg Gold and Black

Outside Ireland[edit]

There are boards for areas of the Irish diaspora treated as counties within the GAA system. Those in Great Britain come under the British Provincial Board.

Colours of GAA counties outside Ireland
Flag County Colours Notes
Colours of Leitrim.svg Gloucestershire Gold and Green
Colours of Leitrim.svg Hertfordshire Green and Yellow
Colours of Roscommon.svg Lancashire Blue and Yellow
Colours of Leinster Council.svg London Green and White
Colours of Fingal.svg Scotland Purple and White
Colours of Sligo.svg Warwickshire Black and White
Colours of Laois.svg Yorkshire Blue and White
Colors of New York.svg New York Red, White and Blue Covers the New York metropolitan area. Colours of the Flag of New York City in reverse order.
North America Blue and White Covers the United States and Canada excluding New York

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • "County colours". GAA. Archived from the original on 5 July 2014.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Cronin, Mike; Duncan, Mark; Rouse, Paul (2011). The GAA : county by county. Cork: Collins Press. p. 6. ISBN 9781848891289.
  2. ^ Maher, Jim (1998). Harry Boland. Mercier Press. p. 18. ISBN 9781856352369.; "Agenda for 1913 Congress". Centenary. GAA. p. 2, Motion 15. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  3. ^ "What is Clare County Council's Coat of Arms?". Clare History. Clare Library. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  4. ^ "History of the Council » Coat of Arms". Laois County Council. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  5. ^ Hayes, Brian (14 September 2011). "County Flags". Parliamentary Questions (31st Dáil). Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  6. ^ "1913 Dublin County Board Minutes (Choosing County Colours)". Centenary 1913–1923. GAA. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  7. ^ "1903 colours". The Kerryman. 28 January 1961. p. 7.; McElligott, Richard (2013). Forging a Kingdom: The GAA in Kerry 1884–1934. Collins Press. p. 175. ISBN 9781848891777.