New permanent exhibition on the Irish flag goes on display in the GPO

Exhibition opened to mark the 170th anniversary of the first flying of the tricolour

Kate Lynch who won a scholarship for the 2017 Thomas F Meagher Foundation Flag Day at the 1st ever permanent exhibition on the Irish  Tricolour at the GPO, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Kate Lynch who won a scholarship for the 2017 Thomas F Meagher Foundation Flag Day at the 1st ever permanent exhibition on the Irish Tricolour at the GPO, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

The first ever permanent exhibition on the Irish Flag has been opened to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the tricolour.

The exhibition is situated in the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre in Dublin.

On March 7th, 1848, Thomas Francis Meagher flew a flag inspired by the French ‘tricolor’ at 33, The Mall in Waterford.

The exhibition will feature a plaque with Meagher’s aspirations for the flag. “The White in the centre signifies a lasting truce between the Orange and the Green, and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of the Irish Protestant and the Irish Catholic may be clasped, in generous and heroic brotherhood.”

The launch was carried out by An Ceann Comhairle Seán O’Fearghaíl who said the flag represented “all that is good about us”.

He noted the flags for schools initiative, which saw the flag delivered to most primary and secondary schools in the country, was one of the biggest of the Easter Rising commemoration year in 2016.

He believed the motivations behind Meagher’s original design was a call to “fair play, tolerance and respect” and the permanent exhibition was “long overdue”.

The initiative for the exhibition came from the Thomas F Meagher Foundation set up in 2013 by Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly and the Church of Ireland minister Reverend Michael Kavanagh.

Reverend Kavanagh said the flag represented a “struggle for freedom over the centuries which came at a personal and collective cost that we must not forget”.

He said the GPO was the appropriate place for it given the flag flew from the rooftops there during Easter week 1916.

The foundation was set up to promote awareness of and the proper usage of the national flag.

Speaking at the event, Senator Daly said the exhibition “embodies all the aims of the Foundation, to promote pride in and respect for the Irish flag and its message of peace, to educate the school children of Ireland of this message and to assist them in being active citizens in their community”.