Gov. Gianforte raises the tricolor flag honoring Montana’s Irish heritage

Thom Bridge

Gov. Greg Gianforte raised Ireland’s tri-color flag outside the state capitol Friday honoring St. Patrick’s Day and Montana’s Irish heritage.

The flag has been raised consecutively by the sitting governor for 39 years.

Montana’s territorial governor, Thomas Francis Meagher, is credited with the flag.

An Irish nationalist, Meagher joined the Young Ireland movement idealistically hoping to help free Ireland from British rule. He was with a group that visited France to study the country’s recent revolutionary events, hoping for inspiration as an Irish rebellion was in the works. While there, a group of French women gifted him with a tricolor flag, which he brought back to Ireland. The flag would be flown during the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848.

The Thomas Francis Meagher statue outside the state capitol is draped in a tricolor pennant for St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, March 17, 2023.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record

The flag’s colors of green and orange represented Irish nationalism and the Protestant minority. The white in the middle symbolized lasting peace.

For his participation in the failed rebellion, Meagher was given

View Source