#OTD in 1921 – Awaiting truce with the English, Éamon de Valera orders the American flag flown in Dublin to ’emphasize the principle for which we are fighting’.

American Independence Day was widely observed throughout Ireland with the stars and stripes flag flown from public buildings, businesses and quite a number of private residences. The American flag was also visible in the buttonholes of men’s jackets and in the hands of women and children.

On behalf of Dáil Éireann, President de Valera issued a proclamation declaring that the flag of the American Republic would be honoured throughout Ireland ‘in appreciation of the friendship and aid given to the Irish people by their friends in the United States, and as the recognised symbol of the principle that governments derive authority from the consent of the governed.’

This comment may have been prompted by reports that an American flag had been removed from the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin by members of the crown forces. The flag flew permanently over the hotel owing to the fact that it is the residence of the American Consul, Frederick Dumont. Dublin Castle was to hold an inquiry into the matter.

The Belfast Newsletter also marked the American holiday by highlighting the common bonds and interests shared by the United States and the British Empire. The paper stated that it had no fear of the growing American influence in the world, and seized upon President Harding’s criticism of ‘thoughtless demagogues and irresponsible agitators’ as applicable to Sinn Féin and its supporters. The Newsletter expressed hope that ‘Irish Americans, and other anti-British fanatics, such as Archbishop Mannix, would make a note of what the president thinks about them.’

Portrait of Éamon de Valera (Image: Digital Library@Villanova University)

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