Olympic Unity Under a Waving Flag .pdf

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Original filename: Olympic Unity Under a Waving Flag.pdf
Author: Alex Miller

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“Olympic Unity Under a Waving Flag”

With the Winter Olympics ongoing, countries are to be imbued with national pride for the
athletes walking under their flags. While much attention is given to these athletes, less time is spent on
the actual flags that they walk under, and each flag tells a fascinating story for their country. While the
“Stars and Stripes” is known well through the United States, I would wager that less Americans knew the
meaning behind Ireland’s flag of green, white and orange.
The Irish flag is a story of religious acceptance told through 3 colors. First flown in a battle for
independence from Britain in 1848, it was officially adopted on January 21, 1919, the land under the flag
is intended to be a haven and celebration for religious diversity. On the far left of the flag, the solid
green bar is representative of the Catholic people and their contributions to Ireland’s history, while the
orange bar on the far right is representative of the Protestant people. It is then the center white bar
that becomes the most poignant in what the flag represents. Not only is white typically a color
representative of purity and life, it also directly represents the union between the Catholic and
Protestant peoples – a blend of the green and white.
When watching these athletes march for their country in competition, keep an eye out for the
unique patterns and colors flying over their heads, and the idea of the Olympics gets a different kind of
perception. As originally intended in Greece, the games were to being people together for competition
rather than war, and seeing each and every country walk side by side while their flags tell a unique story
of history, conflict and success, the idea of unity becomes the most important aspect to take away from
this special time of year.


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