Flag Day

It’s a day late, but here is how we celebrate flag day around here:

This is the Bennington Flag, which may date from the Battle of Bennington of 1777… or from the centennial of 1876. No one really knows. But it gets full retro style points!

For Dominion Day (July 1), this one is going out:

That’s the Red Ensign, used as a flag of Canada from 1921 until 1957, when the color of the leaves on the shield was changed from green to red. (In 1965, of course, the current Canadian flag was adopted.)

Ireland

Yesterday the Irish national rugby team won the Six Nations tournament (England and Wales also had 4-1 records, but Ireland had the best points differential). One thing about the Irish team is that it is an all-island team; the Irish Rugby Football Union predates partition (1922), and somehow the IRFU never followed suit (unlike association football). As a consequence the team’s symbols require special treatment. As the home stadium is in Dublin, the Republican tricolour is flown there, but when the team plays abroad (they were at Murrayfield in Edinburgh yesterday), they fly the flag of the IRFU, which looks like this:

Via Wikipedia.

That’s the logo of the team in the middle, and the shields of the four traditional provinces of Ireland surrounding it: clockwise from top left, they are Ulster, Leinster, Connaught, and Munster.

Of course, the flag of the republic itself was supposed to represent Irish unity, specifically peace between Protestants and Catholics. But the Protestants of Northern Ireland don’t really see it that way. So the four-provinces motif is a good substitute for when an all-island flag is needed, expressing a geographic, not a religious, unity. Such flags, consisting only of the quartered arms of the four provinces, are available – although there is no set order to the provinces! That is why I propose, for those times when Irish unity needs proper expression, a flag of the arms of the four provinces divided per saltire:

In this rendition, the order of the provinces is predetermined, because it roughly follows the map: