The Republic of Ireland is a country in the continent of Europe.There are thirty-two counties in Ireland, which are divided into the four provinces of Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster. Most of Ulster is in Northern Ireland but three of the nine counties are part of the Republic of Ireland.
Ireland is a beautiful country for scenery, one of the prettiest in the world. There are many lovely lakes and rivers, with the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast and the Irish Sea on the east coast.
The landscape reminds me of a patchwork quilt made of many shades of green, with lovely naturally growing plants and hedges to separate each section. The highways are easy enough for finding your way around the country, however, there are many small roads in the countryside that could become confusing if you don't know the layout of the land.
Many travelers enjoy Ireland because of its historical provenance. There are many medieval castles and churches still standing, some of which are in ruin. There are also museums and ancient sites to explore. The Irish are very sports oriented and they enthusiastically enjoy soccer and Irish football. Many visit Ireland for its famously beautiful golf courses, and the fishing there is the best in the world.
Tourism is an extremely large part of Ireland's economy. Most of the Irish people speak English, only with a brogue, and sometimes it can be so thick that you might think they are speaking another language. There are certain areas of Ireland that speak Irish, or Irish Gaelic, as the main language. Of course, Irish is the native language but, for many hundreds of years under British Rule, the Irish were forbidden to speak it. Now, learning the Irish language is mandatory in Irish schools.
The tricolour was not forgotten as a symbol of union and a banner associated with the Young Irelanders, but it was seldom used between 1848 and 1916. Up to the eve of the Uprising in 1916, the green flag with the gold harp was still being used. The arrangement of the early tricolours was not standardized and all of the 1848 tricolours showed green, white and orange; orange was sometimes arranged first and, in one case, the flag was ordered orange, green and white.
In 1850, there was a proposal to have a flag of green for the Catholics, orange for the Protestants, and blue for the Presbyterians. It is recorded that, in 1883, a tricolour of yellow, white and green was arranged horizontally. Even in recent times yellow had occasionally been used instead of orange but this substitution destroyed the fundamental symbolism. In 1937, the national flag of the Republic of Ireland was formally confirmed by the Constitution in Article 7 which states, "The national flag is the tricolour of green, white and orange".
The Irish flag is known as the 'Irish Tricolour' and its history began in the early nineteenth century. It represents the unification of the old Ireland, with the green, and the new Ireland, with the orange; while the white between represents brotherhood. Irish tricolours were mentioned in 1830 and 1844 but widespread recognition was not given to the flag until 1848.
In April of 1848, Thomas Francis Meagher, the Young Ireland leader, brought a silk tricolour of orange, white and green from Paris and presented it to a Dublin meeting. John Mitchel said "I hope to see that flag one day waving as our national banner"; however, for many years the national flag continued to be the green one with a gold harp.
After the Irish Rebellion of 1916, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was ratified by the Dáil in January 1922 by a vote of 64 - 57. The losing side refused to accept the result and thus began the Irish Civil War, which lasted until 1923. In December of 1922, during the Civil War, the Irish Free State was born. During its early years, the new state was governed by the victors of the Civil War but, in the1930's, Fianna Fáil, the party of the opponents, was elected into government. The party proposed, and it was accepted in a referendum in 1937, that a new constitution be written which renamed the state "Éire" or, in the English language, "Ireland".