New Northern Ireland Flag

Discussions on flags used in Europe.
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Sammy
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Re: New Northern Ireland Flag

Postby Sammy » 16 Jul 2012 21:47

Hi Shaun
Also nice to chat a fellow Citizen of Derry. Perhaps we could discuss flags(not necessarily NI flags) over a drink or two sometime in the maiden city. From what I can find you are right about it first appearing on the reverse of the 1986 £1 coin. From my quick research it is used by the NI government, The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (I used the flax flower in this in my personal flag as used as my animation download/file.php?id=2183&mode=view) . The NI Assembly and Business Trust, NI Hospice and the the 1996 £1 coin. Well a flower type design is at the centre of the celtic cross I assume it's a flax flower. I think you are right that if you ask someone about symbols of Northern Ireland or their identity the red hand, harp or shamrock would spring to mind before the flax. Although I did find it on pictures of two or three murals from both traditions.
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Sammy
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Re: New Northern Ireland Flag

Postby Sammy » 31 Aug 2012 17:37

This forum has been dead for a while and there have been no revelations on the topic so I though on doing some thinking. What is an easily recognisable symbol that can be used by both communities. With the exception of the red hand I think the harp is the best choice as it has been and is used by both British and Irish governments and is an easily recognised symbol of Ireland and the NI in the UK. The new coat of arms contains the harp, red hand of Ulster and St Patrick's cross all neutral, but the harp takes pride of place. The red hand is on an Ulster Flag but the shield has been enlarged so it is more prominent.
Unlike other designs I decided not to crown the harp(but this still might be done I was just a little lazy :lol:) There is a green boarder on the flag so that the two colours mostly associated with Ireland that together are acceptable to both communities are involved. The red hand takes a back seat in the canton of the blue, with and without a laurel wreath symbolising the peace process I haven't decided which I like better.
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PaulJames
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Re: New Northern Ireland Flag

Postby PaulJames » 01 Sep 2012 09:40

The problem with the coat of arms is that, correctly speaking, only the shield is the "coat of arms" - everything else are accessories. Therefore, by using a gold harp stringed white on a blue field, you have given Northern Ireland the same arms as the republic, which is confusing, to say the least.

I suspect the fact that the gold harp on blue still appears in the royal arms is a result of laziness and inertia rather than any conscious decision that Northern Ireland should be represented by the arms of the whole of Ireland.

For the shield, and perhaps the flag, I would be inclined to use the traditional arms of Ulster, but with the central shield replaced by the six-pointed star to represent that it covers only six of the nine counties of Ulster, as on the previous arms:

ulster ni.gif


But I do like your Giant's Causeway compartment idea - that should definitely stay!
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PaulJames
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Re: New Northern Ireland Flag

Postby PaulJames » 01 Sep 2012 15:51

OK, here's my initial stab at a new Northern Ireland coat of arms. The accessories are much like Sammy's, but I've removed the flags, added a harp to the crest and put the crest on a royal helm.

A variation on the traditional arms of Ulster has the benefit of being neutral because it pre-dates the Catholic-Protestant divide, and has no obvious symbol related either to the UK or the Republic of Ireland.

northern ireland3.gif
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Re: New Northern Ireland Flag

Postby PaulJames » 01 Sep 2012 17:19

... And, while adopting a proper coat of arms for Northern Ireland, the British royal arms should be adjusted to reflect the two realities that the UK does not include all Ireland but does include a separate nation of Wales :)

uk new arms and standard.gif
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Leonardo Piccioni
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Re: New Northern Ireland Flag

Postby Leonardo Piccioni » 02 Sep 2012 05:40

I haven't great problems with the Ulster provincial arms in coat of arms and banner of arms, because someway all the other three constituent countries use ancient flags as their banner of arms.

England:
Image
Scotland:
Image
Wales:
Image
Ireland (current,outdated):
Image
Northern Ireland (proposed):
Image

But, if you realize, none of them use their banner of arms as their own flags. And I don't like to open precedence to Northern Ireland, because I'm not a great fan of their use by British authorities mainly because of what it could mean to Irish nationalists.
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PaulJames
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Re: New Northern Ireland Flag

Postby PaulJames » 02 Sep 2012 10:16

I'm not keen on heraldic banners being used as territorial flags either, but there is a precedent in Northern Ireland : the banner of the old coat of arms of the Government of Northern Ireland was generally used as the province's civic flag too. Nevertheless, I agree that it would be better to use something different, which is politically neutral.

I came up with this, but I'm not sure. It combines the red cross on gold of Ulster with the Irish saltire:

ni prop sm.gif


In Scotland, it's not uncommon to see people using the royal banner, and I think this has the Queen's approval, although it seems wrong to me.

The four lions rampant banner you show for Wales is that of Owain Glyndŵr, the last Welsh prince to fight for independence from England (and was successful for a time). It is flown today by Welsh nationalists, as opposed to the four lions passant guardant, which is the official Welsh coat of arms.

The Irish banner - depicting the Brian Boru harp rather than the winged lady version - is the Irish presidential standard today.
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Sammy
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Re: New Northern Ireland Flag

Postby Sammy » 02 Sep 2012 18:21

The harp has been used both for Royalty and Republicanism. The harps in the Republic's shield is the Brian Boru harp, where the one in my NI coat of arms is the winged Maid of Erin harp similar to the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Ireland. However I understand that these can be easily mixed up.
I like you version changing the shield with the star. I think it would be a good civil/state flag but I am not sure about including it in the Royal Standard or coat of arms. Although I must confess it looks far better as the gold and red fit in better with the banners of England, Scotland and Wales better than what blue and gold harp design does. I also like your NI coat of arms, I only really kept the flag staffs in my designs as a personnel preference they could easily be dropped. The helm and the crest is particularly interesting, its something I don't think I would ever have thought of the harp and flax flowers together. it works very well in my opinion. I personally like the six pointed star, but I think it is a grey area, unionists will like it but some nationalists like/accept it while others would oppose it. I have substituted the star in some designs with a hexagon as it can represent the same thing but also be interpreted as a symbol of the Giant's Causeway and therefore world heritage, but I don't think that would work in this case.
As for your gold and red cross on the saltire I think that would look too much like a union jack for nationalists to back.

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Leonardo Piccioni
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Re: New Northern Ireland Flag

Postby Leonardo Piccioni » 02 Sep 2012 18:25

Sorry my confusion. I never noticed the difference. :cry:

I have a doubt: Has any similar flag ever been proposed?

irlanda-do-norte3.png

irlanda-do-norte4.png

Something similar to any previous flag of Ulster, but different of all them.
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PaulJames
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Re: New Northern Ireland Flag

Postby PaulJames » 02 Sep 2012 18:53

Sammy, the idea of a hexagon is great!

As for my flag, there has to be some compromise if there's ever to be anything meaningful. The flag does indeed resemble the British flag, but both the crosses in it are Irish, dating back many centuries.

You're right that the Irish republic normally depicts the Brian Boru harp, but, as far as I know, the Irish harp is always blazoned simply as "a harp Or stringed Argent", without any more detail. So, heraldically speaking, your harp and the republic's harp are one and the same thing, even if they are illustrated differently.


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