Flag of Northern Ireland

Flag of Northern Ireland
Facts, history and meaning about the flag of Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is located in Europe.

The official ISO 3166 code for Northern Ireland is:


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The flag of Northern Ireland, commonly known as the Ulster Banner or the Red Hand Flag, has a distinct design and historical significance that reflects the region's complex political and cultural identity. The flag features a red cross on a white background, with a red hand in the center.

The red cross is derived from the cross of Saint George, which is also found on the flag of England. It represents Northern Ireland's historical connection to England and its status as part of the United Kingdom. The white background symbolizes peace and unity.

The most prominent feature of the flag is the red hand, which is a powerful symbol in Irish mythology and history. The red hand, also known as the Red Hand of Ulster, is an ancient Irish symbol associated with the legendary figure of Cú Chulainn. It represents strength, bravery, and the unique heritage of Northern Ireland.

The flag has faced controversy and varied usage due to the complex political landscape of Northern Ireland. It was originally adopted by the Government of Northern Ireland in 1953 and flown officially until 1972. However, after political changes and conflicts in the region, its use became a source of contention.

Since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, which brought peace to Northern Ireland, the flag has been used in a more limited capacity. Today, it is often seen in certain loyalist communities, unionist events, and sporting occasions. However, it is not the official flag of Northern Ireland, as the region does not have an official flag designated by the government.

The flag of Northern Ireland serves as a reminder of the complex history and ongoing dialogue surrounding identity and allegiance in the region. It reflects the diverse cultural and political perspectives found within Northern Ireland, while also embodying a sense of heritage and tradition.

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Northern Ireland flag coloring page
Printable coloring page

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Northern Ireland flag, printable
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