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Flag of the Irish Brigade

Last modified: 2020-06-23 by rob raeside
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[Flag of the Irish Brigade] image by Belinda Evangelista, 17 May 2020

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Description of the flag

Replica to Be Sent to France
A replica of the flag of the Irish Brigade in the service of France will be deposited in the Cathedral of St. Omer next week after the unveiling at Wytschaete and Gulllemont of the monuments to the Irish soldiers who fell in France and Flanders in the late war. The original flag, presented to the Irish Brigade by the King of France, was laid up in the Cathedral of St. Omer in 1792, but it disappeared many years ago. Researches which were made in the archives of France and of the British Museum, and the personal investigations of Lord Dillon and Lord Inchiquin, have enabled a replica of the flag to be produced under the directions of Mr. Oswald P. Reeves, of the Metropolitan School of Art, Dublin. The actual making of the flag has been carried out by the workers of the Dun Emer Guild, under the supervision of Miss Gleeson.

On a ground of white poplin is a diamond-shaped field of St. Patrick's blue. From the centre of the field there stands out a massive gold harp, with supports of shamrocks in gold. Outside the field are four gold fleurs de lys. Above in a scroll of gold are the dates 1692-1792, and beneath, also scrolled, the motto of the Brigade, "Semper ubique fidelis." The flag is to hang from a pole of Irish oak, capped with the fleur de lys in brass flnial, made by hand in Dublin from the design of Mr. Reeves. Beneath the French emblem is a cleverly-designed crown of shamrocks.

The presentation of the flag to the Cathedral authorities will be made by Miss Hickie, sister of Sir William Hickie. It was in the Cathedral of St. Omer that on July 17, 1917, four thousand officers and men of the Dublin Fusiliers attended high mass as a preliminary to their moving up to take part in the third Battle of Ypres. During the mass they were addressed by the Most Rev. Dr. Julian, Bishop of Arras, who, after the service, took the salute as the Dublins marched past on their way to the front.
Belinda Evangelista, 17 May 2020

I found an article in the Kansas City Times, 26 September 1924, p. G, entitled “The Wild Geese of Ireland: Noted Soldiers of Fortune” by Seumas MacManus [sic]


Tribute of Louis XIII

The brigade finally went under because of its loyalty to the ancient cause in France. It was disbanded after the success of the French Revolution in 1792. Louis Phillippe presented a farewell banner to the soldiers. The device was an Irish harp embroidered with shamrocks and fleur-di-lis. The following are Louis’s words with which the banner was presented:

“Gentlemen, we acknowledge the invaluable services that France has received from the Irish Brigade in the course of the last one hundred years, services that we shall never forget, though under an impossibility of requitting them. Receive this standard as a pledge of our remembrance, a monument of our admiration and of our respect. And in future, generous Irishmen, this shall be the motto of your spotless flag.


Semper et Ubique Fidelis.”

Dave Martucci, 17 May 2020