Irish Army Raising Flag
Irish Army Raising Flag

The site contains a number of activities based around a series of text documents or images that feature the tricolour. By focusing on the evolution of the tricolour, this material can be used to develop student understanding of the use of evidence in history, to assist student understanding of the nature of primary and secondary sources, and to make students aware of how historical accounts are devised through a process of exploration and enquiry.

The broad range of material allows you to look at the varied ways in which people interpreted the meaning of the flag at different times. Most of them are in the category of primary sources, providing clues about the past through speeches, letters, photographs, films, cartoons and newspaper reports.

A primary source allows us to connect with the direct experience of individuals, as they outline their views and opinions in a direct, often conversational, manner. It is also important to have an awareness of what was happening during the time a document was produced, and this is often referred to as the context of a document. It is also possible to extract or infer from a document some clues about the person who wrote or produced it.

While the language of a document may prove challenging sometimes, each resource can be questioned by a simple series of basic questions known as the 5 Ws – when, who, where, what and why. You can use or develop the following type of questions to quiz a document:

  • Who wrote it?
  • Who was it written about?
  • Why was it written?
  • When did it happen, or when was it written?
  • Where did it happen?
  • What happened?

While guidance is given on suggested approaches for a number of resources, the approaches can be adapted by a teacher to meet the differing needs of individuals.

The content of the site was developed by the PDST Technology in Education – Scoilnet initiative. Research for the site was undertaken by Dr Pat Callan.

The site was developed by Fluid Rock - Website design, development and content curation. Working with cultural and educational entities to deliver user-focused digital experiences exploring heritage and culture.

Dr. Pat Callan

Dr. Pat Callan specialises in the history of early twentieth century Ireland. His doctorate focused on recruitment in Ireland for the British army during the First World War. He has also written about the history of Irish education, with a research emphasis on the teaching of Irish history in Irish national schools. Formerly the national coordinator for leaving certificate history as well as deputy principal is Malahide Community School, he currently lectures on the teaching of history in Maynooth University.