List of flags used in Northern Ireland

Official flags


These are the flags used by the British Government, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Monarch in Northern Ireland.

Since 1801The Union Flag, popularly known as the Union Jack, is used as the flag of the United Kingdom. It is flown by the unionist community.A superposition of the flags of England, Scotland, and the St Patrick's Flag of Ireland.
Since 1837The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom. It is the banner of Queen Elizabeth II in her capacity as Queen of the United Kingdom.Split into quadrants, the first and fourth quadrants contain three gold lions passant on a red field (representing England); the second quadrant contains a red lion rampant on a gold field (representing Scotland); the third quadrant contains a gold harp on a blue field (representing Ireland).
1998The flag of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


1780sSt. Patrick's Saltire, also known as the Cross of St Patrick, after the patron saint of Ireland. The flag appears within the Union Flag now the official flag of the United Kingdom. It is used by the UFC, some Unionists, the Church of Ireland and is incorporated into symbols and emblems of various organisations and bodies throughout Ireland.A red saltire on a white field.
1801–1922Flag of the Lord Lieutenant of IrelandA Union Jack defaced with the Coat of arms of Ireland.
1922–1973Personal flag of the Governor of Northern Ireland.A Union Jack defaced with the Coat of arms of Northern Ireland.
1924–1953The Ulster Banner, officially known as the Northern Ireland flag (1924-1953)
1953–1972The Ulster Banner, officially known as the Northern Ireland flag,[1] was the flag of the former Government of Northern Ireland. It is used by the unionist community but no longer has any official status,[2] although several sporting organisations such as FIFA,[3] the Commonwealth Games Federation[4] and the PGA Tour[5] and media organisations such as ESPN[6] currently use the flag to represent teams and athletes from Northern Ireland.A red cross on a white field defaced with the Red Hand of Ulster, crowned on a six pointed white star (representing the six counties in Northern Ireland). Based on the flag of Ulster.
1929–1973Ensign of the former Northern Ireland government.The blue ensign defaced with the letters GNI in the fly. Used on vessels of the Northern Ireland government.

Local government flags

The flag of the city of Belfast.Banner of the arms of Belfast City Council.

University flags

1910–presentFlag of Queen's University Belfast is a heraldic banner that is based on its coat of arms which were granted on 24 March 1910, two years after the establishment of the university. The arms are similar to those used by the Queen's University of Ireland which existed from 1850 to 1879.[7]The banner is a Saint Patrick's Saltire that features a book, a sea horse, the Red Hand of Ulster, a harp and a British crown. The book stands for the university, the sea horse represents Belfast, the Red Hand is for Ulster, the harp symbolises Ireland and the crown is for the British monarchy. The university's arms are blazoned as: "Per saltire azure and argent, on a saltire gules, between in chief an open book and in base a harp both proper, in dexter a hand couped of the third, and in sinister a sea-horse vert gorged with a mural crown of the fourth, an Imperial crown of the last".


Ensign of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club.The blue ensign defaced with the Red Hand of Ulster and St Edward's Crown.
Since 1264The Flag of Ulster is used to represent the traditional province of Ulster.A red cross on a golden field. The arms of the historic province of Ulster is a composite achievement, combining the heraldic symbols of two of that province’s best known families; namely the cross of de Burgo and the dexter hand of O Neill(Ua Néill, later Ó Néill) Kings of Ailech and Tír Eoghan.
Since 1919Flag of the Republic of Ireland was originally designed to represent all of Ireland, but is currently only the official flag of the Republic of Ireland. Often seen flying from lampposts and homes in nationalist areas of Northern Ireland.A Tricolour, with three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white and orange. The Flag is a metaphor for the peace, equality and co-operation (white) between Catholics (green) and Protestants (orange).
Since 1893The Sunburst flag is based on the flag of mythological warriors the Fianna. Used by nationalists.Blue background with an orange sun showing partially in the lower hoist.
Since 1930sThe starry plough flag succeeded the starry plough banner; the flag used to represent Irish nationalist socialism. Used by socialists, trade unionists and nationalists.Light blue background and white stars.
Flag of a proposed independent Ulster nation. Used by Ulster nationalists, although it has now been adopted as an Ulster-Scots flag.St Patrick's Saltire on a navy blue background, defaced with a golden six pointed star representing the six counties of Northern Ireland containing the red hand of Ulster.
Flag of the Ulster Volunteer Force. Often seen flying from lampposts and homes in loyalist areas.Similar to Boyne Standard. Purple background with orange border and English flag in the canton and a UVF emblem in the lower fly. The letters"U.V.F." and "1912" are shown diagonally in the centre of the flag.
Flag of the Ulster Defence Association. Often seen flying from lampposts and homes in loyalist areas.Light blue background with red border and UDA emblem on the hoist (left-hand) side and the words "ULSTER DEFENCE ASSOCIATION" on the fly (right-hand) side.
Flag of the Ulster Freedom Fighters. Often seen flying from lampposts and homes in loyalist areas.Black background with yellow border and UFF emblem in the centre.
Flag of the Loyalist Volunteer Force. Often seen flying from lampposts in LVF strongholds such as Ballycraigy.Black background with white border and LVF emblem in the centre with three of the six counties of Northern Ireland on both sides. Two yellow banner one at the top and one at the bottom, Top banner says "Loyalist Volunteer Force" and bottom says "In defence of our heritage and culture".
Flag of the Orange Order. Mostly used in relation to the Orange Order and Orange Walks on The TwelfthOrange background with a St. George's Cross in canton and defaced with a purple Williamite star in the lower fly
1994"Erne Flag" used on the Shannon–Erne WaterwayTriband of green, white and blue
Flag used by the Ireland national cricket teamGreen shamrocks on a blue field
Flag used by the Ireland national hockey teamArms of the four provinces combined on a shield, with two stags on the crest and the motto "IRELAND", on a green field.
Flag used by the Ireland national rugby union teamThe four provincial arms and the IRFU insignia in the centre, on a light green field. NOTE: At Rugby World Cups the team is represented by the Flag of Ireland and the Flag of Ulster

GAA county colours

GAA county colours are used to represent Irish counties in the Gaelic Athletic Association's inter-county competitions, most notably the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in Gaelic football and the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship in Hurling.

County AntrimSaffron and white
County ArmaghOrange and white
County DownRed and black
County FermanaghGreen and white
County DerryRed and white
County TyroneWhite and red

See also


  1. McCartney, Clem (1994). Clashing Symbols?: A Report on the Use of Flags, Anthems and Other National Symbols in Northern Ireland. Queen's University of Belfast. p. 2. The flag of the Government of Northern Ireland is often called 'the Ulster flag', but we have called it by its official name, the 'Northern Ireland flag'.
  2. So you think you know the Northern Ireland flag?
  3. "Northern Ireland at". FIFA. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
  4. "Northern Ireland at the CGF". Commonwealth Games Federation. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  5. "Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR Profile - News, Stats, and Videos". PGATour. PGA Tour. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  6. " - GOLF - Darren Clarke - Player Card". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
  7. "Page Not Found". Archived from the original on 2011-06-13.
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