To Ourselves, Article Seven

The national flag is the tricolour of green, white and orange.

A quick correction to the thinking of some many of my fellow countrymen and others around the world.

It is not Green, White and Gold. Look up the colour gold sometime, then our flag. Does that look like the same colour to you?

The “gold” thing is a mystery to me. Maybe it’s just because it rolls of the tongue better. Maybe it’s because people don’t want to acknowledge the Protestant third of our flag. Whatever it is, its bloody annoying sometimes.

Anyway, the message of the flag is simple: Green for the Republican Nationalists. Orange for the Protestants. White to symbolize the peace between the two. More than just peace of course. We want an equal sharing of culture and society, the promotion of brotherhood and all those other nice things that people say but frequently don’t actually mean.

Our flag design is over 160 years old at this point, though it only shot to prominence in 1916. Before that, the golden harp on a green background was our standard flag (for the nationalists anyway.) The harp remains a big national symbol (Leinster and the Presidential flag feature it prominently)

It’s questionable whether something like this really belongs in the constitution and not in a separate bill or law. Remember, for most of the constitution’s existence, this flag was intended to be the symbol of all Ireland. A bit pushy, huh?

But there it is. I like our flag. There is one hanging on my bedroom wall waiting for the day our footballers get to another international competition so it can flown from a window with pride. Some countries place too high an emphasis on their flags (by which of course I mean America) but I feel that we show enough respect as it is.

In a somewhat related note, while the constitution defines our flag, it makes no mention of our official national anthem. A bit odd I always thought. I mean they’re both big national symbols. If the flag design deserves a mention what not Amhran na Bhfiann?

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