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Ireland, Insignia of. These have been very differently described by early heraldic writers; indeed so much doubt has prevailed concerning them that in the reign of Edward IV. a commission was issued to enquire what they were.

Azure, three crowns in pale proper--According to the commission, temp. ED. IV.

Gules, three 'old harpes' [cloyshackes] or, stringed argent, two and one--MS. Harl. 304. [Three harps occur as the arms of Ireland upon certain coins of Elizabeth, A.D. 1561.]

Gules, a castle argent, a hart issuing out of the gate in has proper colour, horned or--Ibid.

"[The armes of Yrland] as by the description of strangers is per pale gules and argent, in the gules an armed arme w the poldron arg. holding a sword in the gantlet, garnished gold; in the silv'r a demy splayed egle sable, membred gules."--Ibid.

On a field vert a harp or stringed argent--The[unauthorized] national flag of Ireland.

Although our kings were styled lords of Ireland from the time of its conquest, and even though Henry VIII. was in 1541 declared king of that island by an Act of Parliament, its armorial ensign were not quartered with those of England until the accession of James I. They are now held to be--

Azure, a harp or, stringed argent. Crest: upon a wreath or and azure, a tower(sometimes triple-towered) gold, from the port, a hart springing argent[also a harp or stringed argent, but this is properly the badge].

See also under Badges.

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