National Flag of Ireland
According to aceinland, the national flag of Ireland is a tricolor of green, white, and orange. The flag was officially adopted in 1937 and has been the official symbol of the Irish nation ever since. The green color on the flag stands for the Gaelic tradition of Ireland, while the orange stands for the followers of William III, who were mostly from Scotland and Northern England. The white in between stands for peace between these two communities.
The green on the Irish flag has been used to represent Ireland since at least 1642 when it was first used in a military uniform. It is believed that it was chosen to represent the harp, which is an ancient Irish symbol associated with Gaelic culture. The orange color was later added to represent William III’s followers after his victory at the Battle of Boyne in 1690.
The current design of the Irish flag dates back to 1848 when Thomas Francis Meagher designed it as part of a nationalist movement in Ireland known as Young Irelanders. The original design consisted of three vertical stripes with green being on top, followed by orange and then white on bottom. This design was later modified slightly so that all three stripes were equal in width and size when flown horizontally or vertically.
The current design has become an iconic symbol throughout Ireland and is often referred to as “the tricolor” or “the tri-color” due to its three distinct colors representing peace between different communities within Ireland. It is also often flown alongside other flags such as those representing various counties or cities within Ireland as well as those representing other countries all over the world who have close ties with Ireland such as Canada and Australia.
The Irish Flag can be seen flying proudly all over Ireland from homes, businesses, monuments, public buildings and more! It also serves as a reminder of how far we have come as a nation since our independence from Britain over 100 years ago. Many people also consider this national symbol a source of pride for their country and heritage no matter where they live around the world!
Presidents of Ireland
The President of Ireland is the head of state and the figurehead of the Irish state. The current President is Michael D. Higgins, who was elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2018 for a second seven-year term. The President is elected by direct popular vote every seven years and can serve up to two terms in office.
The first President of Ireland was Douglas Hyde, who was elected in 1938 shortly after the passage of the 1937 Constitution which established the office. Hyde served as president until 1945 when he was succeeded by Seán T. O’Kelly who served until 1959. He was followed by Éamon de Valera who served from 1959 to 1973 and then Dr Patrick Hillery who served until 1990.
Mary Robinson became Ireland’s first female president when she was elected in 1990, serving until 1997 when she was succeeded by Mary McAleese who held office until 2011. During her time as president, McAleese made history when she became the first Irish head of state to visit Northern Ireland as well as Britain and America while in office.
Michael D Higgins has been Ireland’s President since 2011 and has become a popular figure during his term due to his eloquence, wit, intelligence and compassion for those less fortunate than himself. During his time as president he has championed social justice initiatives such as tackling homelessness and poverty while also advocating for human rights abroad through his work with Amnesty International. He has also been an advocate for environmental protection, pushing for increased renewable energy use within Ireland while also speaking out against climate change on international stages such as at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris 2015.
The role of President of Ireland is one that carries great responsibility but also great respect from both citizens within Ireland and countries abroad due to its commitment to peacekeeping, equality and justice both at home and abroad for all its citizens no matter their background or beliefs!
Prime Ministers of Ireland
The office of Prime Minister of Ireland is the most senior political position in the Republic of Ireland, and is appointed by the President on the advice of the Dáil (Irish Parliament). The Prime Minister is responsible for leading the Government and for managing its legislative agenda. The current Prime Minister is Micheál Martin, who was appointed in June 2020.
The first Prime Minister of Ireland was W.T. Cosgrave who served from 1922 to 1932, during which time he led a coalition government and was responsible for introducing a number of reforms such as introducing old age pensions, reforming civil service pay scales and introducing legislation to protect workers’ rights. He also played an important role in negotiating with Britain over Irish independence and establishing the Irish Free State in 1922.
Following Cosgrave’s retirement in 1932, Éamon de Valera took over as Prime Minister until 1948 when he was succeeded by John A Costello who served until 1951 when Fianna Fáil returned to power under Eamon de Valera once again. De Valera served until 1959 when he retired again, this time being replaced by Seán Lemass who served until 1966. During his time as Prime Minister Lemass oversaw a period of economic and social modernisation within Ireland known as ‘The Lemass Revolution’ which saw improvements in education, healthcare and infrastructure across the country
Jack Lynch then took office from 1966 to 1973 before being replaced by Liam Cosgrave from 1973 to 1977 who introduced legislation such as The Family Law Act 1975 which saw changes made to divorce law in Ireland for the first time since it’s independence. He was then succeeded by Charles Haughey from 1979 to 1981 before Garret FitzGerald took office from 1981-1987 during which time he introduced reforms such as the Single European Act 1986 that saw the European Union become more integrated than ever before.
Albert Reynolds then took office from 1992-1994 before being replaced by John Bruton who held office until 1997 when Bertie Ahern became Taoiseach (Prime Minister) until 2008 when Brian Cowen took over until 2011 when Enda Kenny became Taoiseach up until 2017 followed by Leo Varadkar up until 2020 when Micheál Martin became Taoiseach after forming a coalition government with Fianna Fail and other smaller parties.