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The green stripe represents those of native Irish descent, the orange stripe represents the descendants of 17th-century British colonists (a group which supported William of Orange in the War of the Two Kings), and the white stripe represents the hope for peace between the two groups.
Thomas Francis Meagher, a leader of the Young Ireland movement, presented the flag to the public for the first time at a meeting held in Waterford city on 7 March 1848. A month later, he spoke as follows when presenting the flag to the people of Dublin at another meeting:
The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between the 'Orange' and the 'Green', and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of the Irish Protestant and the Irish Catholic may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood.The Green Flag was used by the contemporary supporters of Daniel O'Connell, but the Young Irelanders were republicans and required a distinctive emblem which would clearly express their republicanism: the design of the new flag was modelled on that of the French Republic.
Is ea íSeasann an stríoc uaine do na Gaeil, an stríoc fhlannbhuí do na Nua-Ghaill (dream a thacaigh le Uilliam Órá isteach i gCogadh an Dá Rí), agus an stríoc bhán don dóchas go mbeadh síocháin idir an dá dhream.
Chuir Thomas Francis Meagher, ceannaire de chuid lucht Éire Óg, an bhratach i láthair an phobail don chéad uair ag cruinniú a tionóladh i gcathair Phort Láirge ar an 7 Márta 1848. Seo mar a labhair sé nuair a chuir sé an bhratach i láthair mhuintir Bhaile Átha Cliath ag cruinniú eile an mhí dar gcionn:
The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between the 'Orange' and the 'Green', and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of the Irish Protestant and the Irish Catholic may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood.
Is í an Bhratach Uaine a bhí in úsáid ag lucht leanúna Dhónaill Uí Chonaill ag an am, ach ba phoblachtaigh iad na hÉireannaigh Óga agus theastaigh suaitheantas ar leith uathu a chuirfeadh a gcuid poblachtachais in iúl go soiléir: is ar bhratach phoblachtach na Fraince a bhunaíodar dearadh na brataí nua: