By Martin Mongan
March 7th 2018 marks 170 years since the Irish Tricolour was flown publicly for the first time.
Although the Irish tricolour became famous during the 1916 Rising, the flag was first flown in Waterford City in 1848, by Thomas Francis Meagher, who was one of the leaders of The Young Irelanders. Meagher flew the flag from the Wolfe Tone Confederate Club at 33 Mall in Waterford City in 1848.
“The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between Orange and Green and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood”. Meagher said in April of the same year in Dublin.
The Green in the Irish flag symbolises Irish republicanism, which dates back to the 1790’s.
The Orange in the Tricolour symbolises the Protestant minority in Ireland. The orange was included as an attempt to make the Irish Protestants feel included in the Irish Independence movement.
The White in the tricolour symbolises the hope for peace between the different cultures in Ireland. Nationalism, which is the majority of Catholic Ireland and Unionism, which is the minority of the country and mainly Protestant Ireland.
On Easter Monday, the 24th of April 1916, the IBR, The Irish Citizen Army and the Irish Volunteers flew the tricolour on top of the GPO in Dublin.
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) adopted the flag during th Irish War of Independence between 1919 and 1922.
The flag was used by the Irish Free State between 1922 and 1937 and was later included in the 1937 Constitution.