Coat of arms of Northern Ireland

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Coat of arms of Northern Ireland
Coat of Arms of Northern Ireland.svg
Details
Armiger Government of Northern Ireland (no longer in existence)
Adopted 1924
Escutcheon Argent a cross gules, overall on a six pointed star of the field ensigned by an Imperial crown proper a dexter hand couped at the wrist of the second.
Supporters Dexter a lion gules armed langued and collared or, supporting a flagstaff proper, therefrom flowing to the sinister a banner azure, charged with a harp or, stringed argent, surmounted by an imperial crown proper; Sinister an Irish elk proper, collared or, supporting a like staff, therefrom flowing to the dexter a banner or charged with a cross gules.
Compartment On a grassy mount two flax plants each with three flowers on stems proper.
Use The Parliament of Northern Ireland was prorogued in 1972. Since then, the arms are no longer used officially.

The coat of arms of Northern Ireland was granted to the Government of Northern Ireland in 1924.

The coat of arms was designed by Neville Rodwell Wilkinson, Ulster King of Arms in 1923. In January 1924, he held discussions with Northern Ireland officials in London regarding the coat of arms. The final design was completed by Wilkinson's deputy Thomas Ulick Sadleir for approval by the Northern Ireland cabinet in April 1924.[1] The artwork was approved and the Royal warrant signed by George V and issued through the Home Office on 2 August 1924 and registered in the Register of Arms in Dublin as follows:

Royal Warrant Government of Northern Ireland
Argent a cross gules, overall on a six pointed star of the field ensigned by an Imperial crown proper a dexter hand couped at the wrist of the second.
Given at our Court of St. James in the 15th year of our reign 2nd August 1924 by His Majesty's command.[2]

The supporters were granted in 1925: a red lion rampant, to represent the Ulster Scots and an Irish Elk to represent the "native element".[3] The lion bears a flag with the Irish harp and the Irish elk bears a flag with the arms of the De Burgh (described above).[4] The supporters were blazoned as follows:

Dexter a lion gules armed langued and collared or, supporting a flagstaff proper, therefrom flowing to the sinister a banner azure, charged with a harp or, stringed argent, surmounted by an imperial crown proper; Sinister an Irish elk proper, collared or, supporting a like staff, therefrom flowing to the dexter a banner or charged with a cross gules.[5]

In 1971, the College of Arms in London added the compartment on which the supporters stand:

On a grassy mount two flax plants each with three flowers on stems proper.[6]

The grant has not been rescinded, but the arms are considered historical, as the body to which the arms were granted no longer exists, and so they cannot be used unless regranted to another armiger. The current Northern Ireland Executive does not use a coat of arms. The former flag of Northern Ireland derived from the arms. The flag is the arms alone (the shield), for supporters are never displayed on a flag. Supporters are not part of the arms - they support the arms, which are on the shield.[7] The formerly official flag continues to be used to represent Northern Ireland at some sports events. Use today can be controversial in some parts of Northern Ireland.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Susan Hood, Royal Roots, Republican Inheritance - The Survival of the Office of Arms, Dublin, 2002, p.119 - 120
  2. ^ Genealogical Office, Dublin, Register of Arms 111C (Grants M), 1920 -1929, folio 49
  3. ^ How Northern Ireland go its flag by Herbert Malcolm McKee M.C. published on 8 August 1964 and available in PRONI file ANI/10/104 and reported on in Flying the Union Flag above Stormont (in 1975) published on SluggerO'Toole on 30 December 2016
  4. ^ How Northern Ireland go its flag by Herbert Malcolm McKee M.C. published on 8 August 1964 and available in PRONI file ANI/10/104 and reported on in Flying the Union Flag above Stormont (in 1975) published on SluggerO'Toole on 30 December 2016
  5. ^ Genealogical Office, Dublin, Register of Arms 111C (Grants M), 1920 -1929, folio 66
  6. ^ Coll Arm Ms 1.83/231, 6 January 1971
  7. ^ How Northern Ireland go its flag by Herbert Malcolm McKee M.C. published on 8 August 1964 and available in PRONI file ANI/10/104 and reported on in Flying the Union Flag above Stormont (in 1975) published on SluggerO'Toole on 30 December 2016
  8. ^ How Northern Ireland go its flag by Herbert Malcolm McKee M.C. published on 8 August 1964 and available in PRONI file ANI/10/104 and reported on in Flying the Union Flag above Stormont (in 1975) published on SluggerO'Toole on 30 December 2016