Reimagining Ireland’s flag

Sir, – In his wise letter of June 20th, Mr WH Gibson writes that "if the dream of a new and united Ireland is ever to be achieved . . . a new flag" will be among the innovations needed.

I hope not. I realise that the Tricolour attracts much hostility in the North, largely because men of violence have flaunted it for so long in their misguided zeal for “the cause”, but it symbolises peace between the older and the newer elements in the population of Ireland – the peace that will be needed to bring about, probably over several decades, the happy unification of which Mr Gibson writes. – Yours, etc,




Sir, –Elements of identity can weigh just as heavily in citizens’ calculations as more seemingly important issues. The Republic’s flag, while having a respectable origin and possessing wonderful associations (for republicans), has two major faults. It will never be accepted by that portion of the Irish population which the Proclamation promised to “cherish equally”; and it is a tricolour, and as such is just one of dozens of similar flags throughout the world. Who can identify more than one or two of them? The adoption of the Irish harp should solve both problems. It would share with our currency the characteristic of being the only national emblem in the world to feature a musical instrument, and would thus be instantly recognisable.

In addition, as the province of Ulster was to the fore in efforts to preserve the playing of the harp, the people of that province might reasonably take a pride in the emblem. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 12.