Ireland’s Tricolour is an emblem of peace

In Waterford, President Michael D. Higgins recently launched the Thomas F. Meagher Foundation for 2016 Flag Week, which will be held from March 10 to 17: the national flag will be given to schools around the country.

Ireland’s Tricolour is an emblem of peace

The foundation was set up last year to promote the national flag for the Rising’s 100th anniversary.

The flag was designed by Thomas Francis Meagher, at his Waterford home, and raised by him, when he was 25, in the city on March 7, 1848.

He was arrested for his part in the 1848 rebellion, deported to Tasmania, but soon departed for South America and then to America, where he became a lawyer and was in the American Civil War.

He led the Irish Brigade in the battle of Fredericksburg, in 1862, and was a pallbearer at the funeral of American president, Abraham Lincoln.

He was acting governor of Montana and, in 1867, he fell overboard from a Mississippi steamboat and was never found.

He based the Tricolour on the French national flag.

He hoped for a truce between orange and green, but as columnist Gerard Howlin wrote (Irish Examiner, April 1), the Tricolour never achieved the union of orange and green.

At the March 12 launch, President Higgins said “at a time when we are witnessing an upsurge of exclusive forms of nationalism throughout Europe, based on rejection of the other, it is important that we Irish reaffirm strongly that the Irish Tricolour is an emblem of peace and brotherhood between the various communities who live on the island of Ireland”.

Mary Sullivan,

College Road,


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