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The Free State Flag From a Yacht Mast Flew

The next and perhaps the most moving scene of the day was the hoisting of the Tricolour on the castle, which was not without its touch of humour.

When Gen. MacEoin and his staff arrived to unfurl the flag it was discovered that there was no flag-staff.

However, G.V. Simmons, the local photographer, contributed in his way to the historic occasion by presenting the mast of his yacht as the flag-staff.

– (Westmeath Independent)
Free State Flag Raised at Athlone Barracks by General Sean Mac Eoin. Still from Pathé video
Free State Flag Raised at Athlone Barracks by General Sean Mac Eoin. Still from Pathé video

The fighting it was over – it had not yet begun
The war, some thought was lost, yet more thought it won
To withdraw from their Barracks the British rule was done
Athlone, it was handed  to Mac Eoin, Ballinalee’s hero son.

The British garrison leaving, a sight not before seen
And the time came to rise the flag of gold, white and green
Alas there was a problem, no flag staff had there been
It appeared to all around there was none their ranks between.

But there was a photographer, there to record the day
I will give you my yachts mast for a staff, he did say
And so a yacht mast it bore the flag in proud display
And history was made, as the British they marched away.

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