Today will see the beginning of a national campaign for each school in Ireland to receive a new Irish flag and a copy of the Proclamation read out by Pádraig Pearse during the Easter Rising.
St Patrick’s NS is Castlebar, Co Mayo will be the first of 3,200 primary schools across the country to be visited by members of the Defence Forces.
A spokesman explained: “Each school will be visited by a team, led by an Officer or senior NCO, who will formally present the National Flag to the School in a special ceremony. Our personnel will teach the schoolchildren about how the National Flag should be cared for and the protocol that surrounds this vibrant symbol of our nation.”
The campaign, called First Flags, is one of many initiatives to mark the 100 year anniversary of the Easter Rising next year.
On 15th March 2016 every primary school in the country will raise the flag and the Proclamation will be read out.
Campaign starts on St Patrick’s Day
Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be attending St Patrick’s today to see the start of the campaign. He will be joined by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, and the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD.
Minister Humphreys said: “This initiative is a great way to get young children engaged with the 1916 commemorations. Through the delivery of the National Flag to every primary school in the country, children will gain a greater understanding of the work of the Defence Forces and the importance of our National Flag, which symbolises the aspiration for peace between the different traditions on this island.”
Each school will also receive a booklet on how to care for the flag, a poster of the national anthem and a poster of the history of the flag.