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Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Last modified: 2015-07-28 by rob raeside
Keywords: tyrone | gaa | gaelic athletic association |
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Tyrone County Flag

The Tyrone county flag is a white flag with just a red hand on it. The predominantly white flag with the red hand is why Tyrone's colours are white and red and Derry are red. History relating to the Tyrone flag can be traced to several mythical legends but the true story which I trace to my ancestry is the one regarding the war between two kings for Ulster. The kings had decided that too many had died and a peaceful solution was to have a sea race as both were fond of this sport. As the race was coming to a close the King of Tyrone, O Neill saw he was loosing and thinking of the rules, first person to put a hand on the shore would be king, he cut off his hand and threw it to the shore giving rise to the legend of the red hand of Ulster and of Tyrone. The Tyrone county name comes from the Irish Tir Eoghain which translates to Eoghain county after Eoghain O Neill, the great king of Ulster.
Seán O' Néill, 8 Juen 2006

Traditionally, where two GAA teams use identical colours, then which colour appears first, i.e., at the hoist, is determined by the respective proportions of such colours in the relevant county team's official jersey. The predominant jersey colour will be at the hoist in a vertically-divided two-colour flag. For instance, Derry and Tyrone teams kits both feature red and white. However, Derry's kit is predominantly red, with white banding; whilst Tyrone's is predominantly white, with a Red Hand, red sponsor logo and some red piping, quite similar to the Ulster Rugby jersey. Accordingly, an official Tyrone GAA flag should have white at the hoist, though one can never legislate for homespun variants.
Seán Mac Cann, 27 September 2006

Gaelic Athletics flag

[Tyrone GAA team flag] image by Rick Prohaska, 8 March 2005
Source: Outpost Flags

A red and white vertical bicolour with a white shield centred, bearing a red hand.  The name TYRONE is arched above, and Tir Eoghain below.

What is this? Our Irish County colours page shows the colours of some of the counties in the island of Ireland (both sides of the border), with Tyrone shown as white and red. This is red and white (as we show (London)Derry to be). We do say that these flags are unofficial and variable, but we also say that they are used for the county teams in hurling and Gaelic football - and that in the North, their use is predominantly by nationalist communities. This has the Red Hand of Ulster on it, which I would have thought was a largely Unionist symbol, though its (mythological) origin does predate sectarianism. So is it a sports flag?

Googling on, we find a flag that *is* white at the hoist. Whatever the flag photographed by Rick is, it's only one variant.
André Coutanche, 7 March 2005

I would suggest that the flag is one for supporting Tyrone County GAA teams.
Michael Carchrie Campbell, 8 March 2005