The national flag of Ireland is a vertical, rectangular shaped flag comprising of three colours of equal size green, white and orange. Known as the Irish tricolour, it is also called bratach na hÉireann in Irish. Originally the flag was intended as a symbol that promoted inclusion and union of all traditions on the island. Later this was reinforced by the Constitution that those born in Ireland, regardless of ethinic origin, religion or poltical conviction are still considered Irish nationals, automatically recieving all the rights and entitlments of every Irish citizen. Dating back to confedrate Ireland, a period of Irish self government between the rebellion of 1641 and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland in1649, the flag was once green with the national emblem, the harp. This was a time when two-thirds of Ireland was governed by the Irish Catholic Conferderation as known as the Confederation of Killkenny. Also during this time the protestants controlled parts of Ulster, Leinster and Munster.
Although it is not outlined in the constitution, it is generally believed by Irish citizens that green on the flag is to represent the Gaelic and Norman traditions, orange is meant to represent the Protestant planter stock and supporters of William Orange, whilst white is meant as a symbol of peace and truce between the green and orange traditions.
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