Flag of Northern Ireland (GIF)

The flag of Northern Ireland (Irish: Bratach Thuaisceart Éireann), known as the Ulster Banner or the Red Hand of Ulster, is characterized by a striking design featuring a red cross on a white field with a white six-pointed star, a red hand, and a golden crown in the center. The red hand is a symbol with deep historical roots, representing the province's ancient Gaelic heritage and the legendary tale of the severed hand of the mythical figure, Heremon. The hand is often depicted as a symbol of loyalty and resistance. The six-pointed star represents the six Ulster regions that make up Northern Ireland. The white background denotes peace and hope for the future, while the red cross pays homage to the connection with the historic St. George's Cross of England. Although this flag was used by the government of Northern Ireland from 1953 to 1972, it remains a contentious symbol due to its associations with the region's complex political history and ongoing societal divisions, and today the Union Flag is used as the official flag.

Flag image:Animated GIF (25 frames looped)

Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom situated in the northeastern region of the island of Ireland, is recognized for its complex history, cultural diversity, and ongoing peace-building efforts. With a population of approximately 1.885 million (2019) people, Belfast, its bustling capital, serves as the economic and political center of the region. Northern Ireland is known for its scenic landscapes, including the Giant's Causeway and the Mourne Mountains. The region has been marked by a history of political and social strife, primarily centered around the ethno-nationalist conflict between its Protestant and Catholic communities. The 1998 Good Friday Agreement, a significant peace accord, has played a pivotal role in fostering a more stable and peaceful environment, although underlying tensions and political divisions continue to present challenges. Northern Ireland has also made notable contributions to literature, art, and music, with renowned figures such as poet Seamus Heaney and musicians like Van Morrison emerging from its vibrant cultural scene. The ongoing efforts to reconcile its diverse communities and foster a shared sense of identity and peace reflect the region's commitment to a more harmonious and inclusive future.

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