Thursday, 3 August 1961
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Sherwin: asked the Minister  for External Affairs if in view of the fact that the British Flag, the Union Jack, symbolises the unity of England, Scotland and Ireland (following the Act of Union, 1801) he will make representations to the British Government to have the cross of Saint Patrick or any other symbol representing Ireland removed since this country is now an independent Republic.
Mr. Aiken: I do not agree with the Deputy's contention that the Union Jack symbolises the unity of Ireland, England and Scotland. Our national objective is to achieve the unity and independence of Ireland and not waste time on heraldic disputations. Let us hope that the display of St. Patrick's cross will help us achieve our objective.
Mr. Sherwin: Is the Minister aware that in the Library with my own eyes, and with the help of the Librarian, I read that the present design was brought following the Act of Union and that it does in fact symbolise that hated unity of 1801 of England, Scotland and Ireland? Is he further aware that it is provocative and leads to incidents every time it is flown here? Is he also aware that this would give him an opportunity to avoid these unpleasantnesses? Now, Sir, would you think that over?
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