the Irish Flag
On the 7th of march 1848, Thomas Francis Meagher flew a tricolour flag at the Wolf Tone club in Waterford city, where it flew continuously for eight days and nights before being removed by the authorities. On that same day a tricolour was also raised in a procession to the historic Vinegar Hill in county Wexford. In April, Meagher, as leader of the young Irelanders, brought the tricolour presented to him in Paris to a Dublin meeting.
About Us
The Thomas F. Meagher Foundation was established in 2013. The Foundation’s mission is to promote pride in and respect for the Irish Flag and it's true meaning for peace; to encourage active citizenship within our young people with an emphasis on creating a sense of inclusion and belonging to our new Irish communities and the next generation.

The Foundation

Flag Day is on March 16th each year, on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day where schools and young people raise the Irish flag. They recognise the diversity of their local communities and student bodies by flying the flags of all student backgrounds and their nationalities, celebrating active citizenship and inclusion, a “coming together” to create a community of hope for Irelands’ future.

Each year, the Foundation sends out a free fundraising pack to each registered secondary school to hold a “Flag Day” in schools in the days leading up to and on Flag Day March 16th.

This pack includes a handmade Irish flag flown from 33 The Mall in Waterford where the Irish tricolour flag was first flown; Irish flag lapel pins for students to sell and raise funds for a local or international charity or project of their own choosing. We also provide schools with ideas and plans for how to celebrate Flag Day, plus lots more. 

The support from the Foundation’s various sponsors and patrons enables us to send these packs out for free to schools. Students take complete ownership over their flag day activities including the worthy cause to whom they donate any money raised from the sale of Irish flag lapel pins. We have seen this give students a feeling of ownership and inclusion in their school and community.  For more information on Flag Day click here. 

Schools can also enter the Foundation’s annual Awards and Scholarship programme by submitting an entry; essay, poem, music, song, video, artwork etc – expanding on the theme of how the flags message of pride, respect and peace can be put into practice in modern-day Ireland. The Foundation awards a scholarship of €1,000 towards third level fees and additional runner-up prizes. The annual awards ceremony is held in Leinster house each year.

For more information on the Awards and Scholarship programme click here.

“The flag is a statement of intent. It holds aloft our aspiration to be a peaceful country where all traditions are respected and reconciled. It flies high to remind us we are not there yet but it is the mission of each generation to bring us nearer to permanent peace one heart at a time. Good wishes to all those involved in the Thomas Francis Meagher Foundation School’s Scholarship and Awards Programme. Our flag flies over one of the best countries in the world and, for all its man-made problems and imperfections, Thomas Francis Meagher would be proud of its noble achievements and ambitions.”  

Former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese

“May I, as President of Ireland, congratulate all those involved with the Thomas Francis Meagher Foundation for their important work in fostering a better understanding of the history and meaning of the Irish tricolour amongst all of our secondary school students”.

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins

Since 2015 the Foundation has produced a supplement in conjunction with the Irish Independent and the History Teachers Association of Ireland which includes not only information on the history of the flag and on the Foundations work but lesson plans to assist teachers, these are available to view here. 

Our Aims and Objectives

The Vision of the Foundation is to see Meagher’s dream of brotherhood become a reality –when young people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, genders and sexual orientation have pride in, respect for the Irish Flag as a symbol of peace and inclusion.

It is important that all the young people of Ireland are made aware of the flag’s message, and are fully included in the process of making it a reality by making a significant and meaningful contribution as active citizens.  

Through a number of national projects, we support second level schools with putting the symbolism of the Irish flag into practice. 

“A National Flag is the most sacred thing a nation can possess”

First flown by Thomas Francis Meagher in Waterford in 1848, the flag is an iconic symbol that generates worldwide respect.

“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 Foundation also worked with the Department of An Taoiseach in updating the protocol and guidelines for the display and handling of the national flag. 

In 2018, the Foundation in partnership with Shannon Heritage and the GPO Museum, installed the first ever permanent exhibition on the Irish Flag. 

To continue growing and developing its aims, the Foundation has linked up with Gaisce – The President’s Award as a Challenge Partner to work with its extensive network of second level teachers and students throughout the State. Students can put their flag day activities towards earning their Bronze Award

Further details are available here.