HC Deb 12 June 1893 vol 13 c794

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, considering that this House is desirous of maintaining the supremacy of the Crown in Ireland, he will consider the advisability of re-substituting the three crowns on the Irish quarter of the Royal Standard in place of the harp, the harp having taken the place of the three crowns in the reign of Henry VIII.?


I believe it is the case that the three crowns were the proper emblems of Ireland down to the period of Henry VIII. That Monarch then adopted the harp in consequence of an idea, which was by no moans irrational, that confusion might arise between the throe crowns of Ireland and the symbol of the Papal Authority— the tiara. The harp has now been the recognised symbol of Ireland for nearly 400 years, and it ought not to be changed without a good reason. The hon. Member suggests that it ought to be changed in order to manifest, our intention to maintain the supremacy of the Crown; but I fear that if we were to set about maintaining the supremacy of the Crown by removing this emblem, which was selected by Henry VIII., it might be thought that our intentions were of a different nature.