The blue and gold flag flying from the central tower of St Canice’s Cathedral for the past week has had the whole town talking about it.
The flag’s name and symbolism have been the subject of much speculation, with one local wondering if Minister Phil Hogan was hosting an EU conference in the 13th Century church. In actual fact, it is the Compass Rose flag of the Anglican Communion.
Due to the confusion and controversy that can arise from the flying of flags on church buildings, the Church of Ireland’s General Synod decided that only two flags may ever be flown from church buildings or within the grounds of the Church of Ireland.
The two authorised flags are the Cross of St Patrick, which St Canice’s Cathedral raises once a year on St Patrick’s Day, and the Compass Rose flag of the Anglican Communion.
The flag is ultramarine blue, with a golden compass (the Compass Rose) at its centre, and a white shield with red borders and a red St George’s cross. Surrounding this is an inscription, written in the original New Testament Greek, which translates as ‘The truth shall make you free’, above which sits a golden mitre.