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Drop the tricolour and create a new flag to respect both sides – poll 

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A united Ireland would need a new flag to respect both traditions on the island, the Irish Independent/Kantar poll reveals.

Flags and emblems have been a significant and contentious issue in Northern Ireland for decades and a frequent sticking point in talks on the peace process.

A sizeable proportion of us, both north and south, are quite prepared to consider creating a new flag to reflect and accommodate both Irish and British on the island.

The creation of a new flag that recognises both traditions is supported by 37pc of people in the Republic and 46pc in Northern Ireland. However, there are still 36pc of people in the south who only want the tricolour to remain as the flag. The tricolour gets less support as the sole flag in Northern Ireland, with only 15pc of people supporting it.

The orange in the tricolour flag represents the Protestant minority in Ireland. The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between the ‘orange’ and the ‘green’ or Protestants and Catholics. The intention was to bring Protestants into the Irish independence movement.

However, the tricolour is now clearly identified with one tradition, especially over the last 100 years.

Ironically, the flag represent the aspiration to be a country where all religions, traditions and identities are respected and reconciled. Yet in a united Ireland, it would become a divisive symbol.

The importance of the symbolism of flags pops up as more of an issue in the Republic. But in the North, the issue of the importance of flags is driven more by the Unionist side of the community.

Similarly, the national anthem is important to three in five of those south of the border. In Northern Ireland, just over two in five say it is important. However, the anthem is more of a concern for unionists, with three quarters saying it is highly important.

Over two in five in the Republic attach importance to the GAA. However, the key drivers across the island are those in the North from a nationalist identity, suggesting the cultural significance of the GAA is felt most keenly in that community.

On holding an Irish and British passport, over half the population in Northern Ireland recognise the importance of dual citizenship, with opinions largely falling along ideological and cultural backgrounds.

The Irish language is obviously viewed as more important south of the border. Unsurprisingly, when cultural issues are measured, the cross-border deviations emerge.

Half of those in the Republic believe the language is important, whereas in the North, nearly half disagree, with community identity shining through.

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Centenary Poll 1921-2021

Centenary Poll 1921-2021

Centenary Poll 1921-2021


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