Flag unveiled to mark NI CentenNIal
The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has officially unveiled a flag which the Institution will use to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary.
The flag features elements which have key symbolic meaning to Northern Ireland, the rest of the United Kingdom and the Orange Institution.
Central to the design is a shield bearing the Red Hand of Ulster which is the same shape as the original government of Northern Ireland crest. The Queen’s crown symbolises our Monarch and Head of the Union. A floral display represents the United Kingdom featuring the Tudor Rose of England and Wales, the Thistle of Scotland, and Shamrocks, Flax Flower and Lily for Northern Ireland.
The Shamrock is representative of our strong Christian heritage with the three leaves representing the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Orange Lily represents our proud culture and the Glorious Revolution, and the Flax flower representing the Linen trade where it is said Northern Ireland was at one time the Linen Capital of the world.
The scrolls on each side hold the names of the six counties that make up Northern Ireland with the bottom scroll highlighting the 100-year anniversary.
Finally, on the bottom corner of the flag is the purple star representing the Orange Institution.
Wor. Bro. Raymond Spiers, who is chairman of the Orange Order’s NI CentenNIal Committee, said he was delighted with the final design of the flag.
“The Centenary of the formation of Northern Ireland is an important milestone for our country and we believe it should be marked as such,” said Mr Spiers. “This flag, with its striking colours and iconic imagery, is an excellent visual representation of what this milestone event means to the Orange Institution.
“Grand Lodge has put in place a NI CentenNIal Committee which has been meeting regularly for more than a year to discuss our plans for 2021.
“As we unveil this Northern Ireland Centennial flag it is just the beginning of what we hope will be a year full of events to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary.”
“Covid-19 has presented significant challenges to everyone and the Orange Institution has certainly not been immune from its far-reaching effects. We believe that planning for 2021 must continue with positivity, but also recognise that restrictions could possibly impact on planned events.
“At this stage, events for 2021 include a major parade, a black-tie gala dinner and a family day out. District and Private Lodges are planning their own individual events throughout the year.
Mr Spiers added: “We look forward to all citizens of Northern Ireland celebrating this historic anniversary.”
The unveiling this week is significant as it falls within the fourth annual Orange Heritage Week, which runs from the 21st to 28th of September.
To buy your NI CentenNIal flag click here