You don’t have to look far to see Irish symbols. They appear all around us, on clothing, jewelry, artwork, tableware and more.
In fact, they are so popular that it is very common to see them proudly displayed by people with no Irish heritage at all!
And that's just fine with us - in our humble opinion, everybody has an Irish side!
The fun behind these symbols is using them to express your Irish side, sharing what they mean and why they are important to you. Shall we take a closer look at some of them?
Sometimes called "Irish knots" or "Mystic knots," Celtic knots are patterns of lines with no visible beginning and no apparent ending.
Aside from being lovely, they are said to have important meanings, which you can learn more about in other articles on this site!
As with many symbols of Ireland they appear on everything from clothing to tableware to jewelry to body art.
For more information on this beautiful Irish symbol, visit our page on the Celtic Knot.
This classic symbol of Ireland is shaped like a traditional Christian crucifix, with the addition of a circle around the intersection, symbolizing eternity.
It is typically decorated with symbols or scenes of various biblical events, and it is found in a variety of Irish expressions today, including art, tattoos and jewelry.
Visit our section on the Irish Cross for much more information about this important symbol of Ireland.
This classic symbol originated in the town of Claddagh, and was first made into the famous claddagh ring in the 17th century during the reign of Mary II.
Two hands represent friendship and the crown stands for lasting fidelity and loyalty, while the heart represents eternal love.
Much more information on this key Irish symbol can be found in our page on the Claddagh Ring Story here.
The Tricolour flag is the national flag of Ireland. This flag was first introduced back in 1848 by Thomas F.
Meager. It was officially adopted in 1921.
The green represents the Catholics and the orange
stands for the Protestants in Northern Ireland. The white represents the hope of
peace between them.
Learn much more in our section on the Irish Flag.
Back in the 12th century, long shields and chain-link mail were replaced with helmets that covered the whole head, full-body armor and smaller shields.
Knights could not be individually recognized. They began marking their shields with emblems to identify themselves for the tournaments or battles, and the family crest was born!
Learn more about these remarkable symbols of Ireland in our page on the Irish coat of arms.
The Celtic Harp needs no introduction.
This famous symbol can be seen everywhere from Irish clothing to Irish coins to beer bottles.
The Harp has a storied place in Irish history, and is a one of the most important elements in traditional Irish music.
It appears on flags and family crests, plays a part in Irish stories and folklore - and it just happens one was being played on in the courtyard in our last sight-seeing visit to Blarney Castle!
Find much more information in our section on the Irish Harp here!
The Tree of Life represents a number of Irish values with Celtic roots.
Among these are strength, longevity and connection with the earth.
As with many Irish symbols the Celtic Tree of Life appears in many legends and myths.
It also adorns Irish jewerly, clothing, and other Irish works of art.
One of the most common places you will find the tree of life is in Irish tattoos! (I should know, my son just got one of them. I don't like tattoos generally, but his is kind of cool, I must say.)
Find much more information in our section on the Tree of Life here!
A close cousin of the Celtic knot, the Trinity symbol (or triquetra) symbolizes strength, eternity and the power of three, among other things.
As with many other important Irish symbols, this one has found its way into jewelry, clothing and works of art.
The roots of the Trinity symbol go back literally thousands of years.
For much more information about this important symbol of Celtic Ireland, please enjoy our page on the Trinity Symbol here!
Finally, the world-famous Irish Shamrock.
Rumored to have the power to ward off evil spirits, scare away snakes and heal diseases, this little symbol packs a mighty punch.
So much so that at one time it was banned from public display by the Queen of England.
I know, crazy right?
If that simple little description leaves you wanting more, please check out our section on the Shamrock symbol here!
We hope you have enjoyed this overview of symbols from Ireland, with a bit of information on their Celtic origins. You will find even more information and examples in our section on Celtic Symbols.
As you continue to explore this site, you will bump into Irish symbols everywhere! But there are two special pages we should mention here, because they make direct use of Irish symbols as Irish expressions...
Knowledge of at least a few Irish symbols is key to understanding Irish culture, and a must-have for expressing your Irish side!
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Make sure you continue to explore Irish culture and heritage, here at Irish expressions, and with a few more excellent websites and blogs about Ireland.
One of my absolute favorites is:
Designed by a husband / wife team in County Cork, this site is the place to be if you have Irish ancestry you want to know more about, or if you are not certain and want to learn more.
Whatever your interest, this site will give you tips and insights into the magic and mystery of the Emerald Isle. We love it, and we think you will too!
So please have a look... then come back! Tell us what you learned and what you want to know more about.
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