TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has marked the 175th anniversary of the tricolor by promising it remains a symbol of hope for a shared future for everyone in Ireland.
Mr Varadkar was speaking in Waterford on Sunday, for the flag raising ceremony which marks the first time it was flown on March 7, 1848.
Irish nationalist leader Thomas Francis Meagher first flew the tricolor on that day at the Wolfe Tone Club, having taken inspiration from the French revolution.
At the time, he had said: “The white in the center signifies a lasting truth between the orange and the green, and I trust beneath its folds, the hands of Irish Protestant and Irish Catholic might be clasped together in generous and heroic brotherhood. ”
Mr Varadkar said the flag was a symbol of national unity, which carried a central message of peace and unity which he called “so important in determining how we view and relate to one another on our island, in Europe and on the international stage”.
Joining him for the ceremony were members of the Diplomatic Corps, including ambassadors to Ireland from Britain, US, France, Canada, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine.
The day’s events also included a wreath laying ceremony and a military parade, with the Irish Naval Ship LE James Joyce docked in Waterford Harbor and the Irish Military Vehicle Group displaying vehicles and weapons.
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