This orange banner comes from Redhills in County Cavan. It belongs to the Stonepark Lodge No.607 and depicts the departure of King William III (of Orange) from the original Hillsborough Castle in County Down in 1690. An unofficial history of the Irish Campaign explains how he had landed at Carrickfergus a few days earlier and on 19th June 1690 at Hillsborough the King “issued an order…granting Presbyterian ministers in Ireland the right to receive the regium donum, an annual grant, paid to nonconformists ministers in England, Scotland and especially Ireland at that time. The payment was made as a reward for their loyalty to him and partly as compensation for their recent losses“. The following month the crucial Battle of the Boyne took place against the forces of James II.
On the reverse side is a picture of Lisburn Cathedral. This suggests that the banner has been re-used by a different orange lodge. The banner is part of “Walking the Colours“, a touring exhibition currently at Monaghan Museum and running until the end of July. Colour is the operative word as there is a varied selection of banners and sashes from both the orange and green traditions. With all the current controversy about UVF centenary flags flying in East Belfast, I was interested to see an original flag of the Ulster Volunteer Force in Monaghan dating back to the period around 1912/13. There was also a UVF armband from the same era.
To complete the display of banners from the Protestant tradition, there is one belonging to the Royal Black Preceptory in Ballybay, named the Knights of Mount Horeb. Biblical scenes were common (and still are) in the black and orange loyal order banners. The teachings of the Royal Black Institution are based on Holy Scripture. The organisation was founded in 1797, two years after the Orange Order came into existence. There are two Royal Black District Chapters in Monaghan and fourteen Preceptories. Donegal is the only Ulster county not represented.
On the nationalist side, there are several local banners of significance. They include one of Terence Bellew MacManus from Tempo, County Fermanagh. The slogan exhorts Men of Monaghan to “Remember MacManus”, who took part in the Young Irelander rebellion in 1848. He is buried in Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin. The banner is thought to have been made in the early 1900s. It was brought to the USA and used by the Monaghan Mens’ Association in the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York. There is a picture of it accompanying the group in 1933.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians was set up in 1838 as a counter to the Orange Order. Division 434 was the designation in Donagh parish, in North Monaghan.
Some more banners from the exhibition:-