History of the St. Patrick's Day flag
Sure, St. Patrick's Day is a fun holiday kicking off the Spring season with green beer and shamrocks, but the holiday is steeped in religion, a saint dedicated to spreading the word of God, and a country's determination to gain their independence.
St. Patrick was born around 400 B.C.E in Roman Britain and was captured by Irish pirates. Years after regaining freedom, he returned to Ireland to become a Christian Missionary.
The flag of St. Patrick features a red saltire (x-shaped cross) on a field of white. This flag was adopted in the 1780's to represent the Isle of Ireland and its beloved patron saint. Today, the saltire is included in the Union Jack of the United Kingdom. But most people associate St. Patrick's Day with the famous Tricolor of the Republic of Ireland. The Tricolor features three bold horizontal stripes of orange, white and green.
Orange stands for Irish Protestants living in the republic. William of Orange was defeated by the Irish Catholics in the 16th century.
Green signifies Irish Catholics and the republican campaign for independence.
White is the stripe that bridges the orange and green and hopes to connect the two.
Often times on St. Patrick's Day, the Tricolor is shown with a shamrock. The shamrock is an important symbol in Irish history for it was said that St. Patrick used the shamrock as a metaphor to describe the holy trinity.
At Elmer's Flag & Banner we have many different Irish flags in stock. Stop by today to pick one up for your St. Patrick's Day celebration. Erin Go Bragh!
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