Sunday, 24 March 2013


This is very much a response to a request that was made in the comments of my last post. My last post was a Saint Patrick's Day post about St Patrick's Saltire, in which I was asked to design a 'United Ireland' flag. Looking at this from a fun and creative viewpoint I had ago. This does not reflect my own opinions or viewpoints on the subject of an island nation, in fact I would be more of the view Northern Ireland should remain in the United Kingdom, you never know in the future you might have a United Ireland in a British isles Federation? :L But that aside I had ago and I must say i rather enjoyed making these designs.

The inspiration of my designs is the flag of the Republic of South Africa:
South Africa is in many ways like Ireland in that it has faced conflict and a peace process, and living with the legacy of it. Like Ireland there are two distinct groups with different identifies  cultures and symbols. These all had to be reflected equally in the flag. The South African flag uses colours from all the groups in South Africa and combines them in a way that everyone can accept. 
My design differs slightly as I incorporated three flags in my design:
Left:UK Flag, Currently official flag of N.Ireland.Unionist symbol. Centre: St Patrick's Saltire. A flag of the Kingdom of Ireland 1659–1800. Generally neutral. Right: Tricolour, current flag of the Republic of Ireland. Republican symbol.

I combined these symbols to make this design:
National Flag and Civil Jack
As you can see it bears distinct similarities to the South Africa Flag. The primary colours are still Green, White and Orange. However the Red, White and Blue also reflect the identity of the Ulster Protestant Unionist. The red saltire of St Patrick is cut in half to form an arrow pointing to the future. The way it is aligned with the blue also reflective of the Union Jack. The shade of blue is however changed to St Patrick's Blue, the original colour of Ireland. 
I thought that while this is an OK national flag a state flag needed a little more so I tried adding a shamrock, without doubt the most well know Irish symbol:
Not satisfied by this I added the arms of the four provinces:
For this to work I needed to darken the blue. I was not satisfied at the flag bearing a coat of arms as it breaks the rules of flag design. Then I looked at the coat of arms of the Irish Government:
A gold harp on a dark blue shield, this design seemed perfect for a state flag as it was the official symbol of state. 
State Flag and Jack
I also think that in the case of a United Irish Republic it would rejoin the Commonwealth of Nations, to dampen the angry  Northern Protestants and because I think Britain is taking Europe's place as Ireland's main external relationship partner. So I think the commonwealth ensign system would also be used:
Government ensign
Civil ensign
Naval ensign
Civil Air ensign
The flags of the defence forces also reflect the state flag, except the Defence Forces badge replaces the harp:
Land Forces (Army)
Air Corps 
Navy (Naval Jack) 

Well thats it I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed making them. Feel Free to Comment.

All designs except South Africa, UK, ROI and St Patrick's flags and the ROI coat of arms are designed by me. 


  1. the only change i would make is have the navy jack slogan in latin the language both parties would accept

  2. You would need a completely new uslter flag in the four provinces symbol like a nine pointed star

    1. But the escutcheon shape is yet used to represent the nine counties, as it's a pre-RoI symbol.

    2. I am not completely happy with the four provinces being used in a flag the way I have used it, Its too busy and the use of a coat of arms breaks the rules of vexillology. How ever Leonardo is right, that is the nine county Ulster coat of arms I used.

  3. Really cool flags, excellent job! However, it's a shame the plain tricolor gained a political connotation, what makes a new design needed.

  4. Well-done. Sam shows what tweaking does when you work with what you have and try to find the best outcome for an united Ireland. On another point, it could be argued that northern Ireland (1922 political creation) is Irish and the national flag, the tri-colour is the flag of an unified or United Ireland. The Unionists are welcome to keep their UK and Ulster flags. For me, like re-unified Germany, northern Ireland is Ireland. Patrick Genna, Portland Flag Association, Portland, OR, USA

    1. I'm glad you like it. The tricolour probably would continue to be used in the event of a untied republic. It could be argued it is also an all Ireland flag as it is used by GAA on both sides of the boarder, however there is no official all island flag, although flags such as St Patrick's Saltire and four provinces flag are also used in sporting events like rugby when the whole island is represented. I like to keep politics out of my flags and these designs were a vexoligical exercise that I did on request rather than any expression of political viewpoint. But thank you again and I am glad you like it, if you are interested in more perhaps my Northern Ireland Flags guide post might interest you. The link to it is here: