1: Our National Flag
The national flag of Ireland is called the Tricolour.
It was introduced by Thomas Francis Meagher 175 years ago. It was first flown in Co. Waterford.
There are special rules for using the national flag. The main rule is that no other flag or pennant should be flown above it. Care must also be taken not to let the flag touch the ground or become entangled with trees.
2: The inspiration behind our flag
Thomas Francis Meagher was part of a revolutionary group called the Young Irelanders. This group wanted freedom for Ireland from Britain.
As part of their battle for freedom, Meagher travelled to France and America to seek help.
When in Paris in April 1848, Meagher was inspired by the French flag and what it stood for: justice, courage and peace.
Meagher designed a new Irish flag using colours that represented the different groups in Irish society. He had the Irish tricolour made in France using the finest French silks.
Green represented Catholics, orange represented Protestants and white bound the two together in peace.
He brought it back to Ireland and it was first flown in 1848 over the Wolfe Tone Club in Co. Waterford
It would not be seen again in such a prominent way until the 1916 Rising.
4: The tricolour and the 1916 Rising
On Easter Monday 1916, Padraig Pearse ordered his brother William to raise the flag on top of the GPO as he read the Proclamation.
Pearse saw the tricolour as a sign of freedom and unity for Ireland.
From this day forth the tricolour was seen as a symbol of an independent Ireland.
5: Becoming the official flag of Ireland
The tricolour continued to be used by the Irish Government during the period 1922-1937. Its position as the national flag was formally confirmed by the Constitution of 1937, Article 7 of which states: “The national flag is the tricolour of green, white and orange.”
The flag which we present to you now was given to the school by the Thomas Francis Meagher Foundation and has flown over the same building as the original tricolour 175 years ago.