The Irish Flag - Green, White and Orange created by Thomas Francis Meagher in Waterford

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No. 33 The Mall, Waterford where the Irish flag of green, white and orange was first flown in March 1848 No. 33 The Mall, Waterford where the Irish flag of green, white and orange was first flown in March 1848

On the 7th of March 1848, Ireland's now well-known tricolour flag of green, white and orange was flown for the first time.

It was created by Thomas Francis Meagher, a skilled orator and statesman who later went on to become the first acting governor of Montana.

Often represented as green, white and gold the Irish flag is in fact green, white and orange - in Meagher's own words: "The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between the 'Orange' and the 'Green', and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of the Irish Protestant and the Irish Catholic may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood." 

Today, close to the Waterford Crystal factory on the banks of the River Suir this large Irish flag can be seen flying over Waterford's Mall at No. 33, the same building it was first flown from.

Meagher was a leader of the Young Irelanders and later in 1848 was arrested for sedition after the Battle of Ballingarry. Sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered Meagher and others were instead sent to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) but later escaped.

He eventually made it to the USA and founded the Irish Brigade in the Union Army before heading to Montana after the civil war ended in 1865.

It certainly looks like a fine building with those big windows on the north side and multiple south facing windows in full sunshine.


Last modified on Saturday, 07 March 2020 21:56
Darren McLoughlin

International travel photographer and Irishman in search of the best bits of Ireland. Leading photography tours and experiences in Ireland.

Contributor to New York Times / Sunday Times / Irish Times

Cancer survivor.

Ask me about Ireland or about photography in Ireland.

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