The Irish Republic Flag is quite straightforward when it comes to design. On a green background, gold and white letters spell out the phrase “Irish Republic,” which is in reference to the the call for self-determination during the 1916 Easter Rising where this flag originated.
During the Easter Rising, the Irish Republic Flag flew alongside the Irish Tricolour over the General Post Office in Dublin at the center of the rising. The large lettering on the flag clearly displayed the rebels’ desire for an independent Ireland. Following the Rising, the Irish Republic Flag was taken to England where it was eventually displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London until 1966. And, in the subsequent War for Irish Independence, the Irish republican forces favoured the Irish Tricolour as their banner and the Irish Republic design fell into disuse. Likewise, the Irish Republic Flag does not carry very many connotations as it is only really associated with the Irish republicanism of 1916. However, the straightforward display of the rebels motives was an important indicator to the people of 1916 about what was actually being fought for.
The display of the Irish Republic Flag at the National Museum of Ireland
In 1966, for the 50th anniversary of the Irish Republic Flag, the British government returned the flag to Ireland (a video of the ceremony can be found here) where it is on display in the National Museum of Ireland along with the original Proclamation of the Irish Republic and the Starry Plough Flag.
The commemoration of objects within the walls of a museum varies greatly from the ways in which flags still commonly used like the Union Jack or the Irish Tricolour. The Irish Republic flag has become an artefact from 100 years ago, where as the other flags of 1916 are still in the common memory of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This flag has more or less been enshrined as a testament to the heroics of the men who flew it, legitimizing the ideology of the rising as history that is too valuable to burn unlike how other republic flags are burned in Northern Ireland.