In 1848, Thomas Meagher and William Smith O’Brien went to France to study revolutionary events there, and returned to Ireland with the new Flag of Ireland, a tricolour of green, white and orange made by and given to them by French women sympathetic to the Irish cause. The acquisition of the flag is commemorated at the 1848 Flag Monument in the Irish parliament. This flag was first flown in public on 1 March 1848, during the Waterford by-election, when Meagher and his friends flew the flag from the headquarters of Meagher’s “Wolfe Tone Confederate Club” at No. 33, The Mall, Waterford.
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. –Thomas Francis Meagher (On presenting the flag to the people of Dublin, 14 April 1848).