Flag of the Government of Northern Ireland (1924–1973)
Ulster Banner, also known as the "
Red Hand Flag" or the "Ulster Flag" (not to be confused with the
Flag of Ulster), was the flag that was granted a royal warrant for use to the
Government of Northern Ireland in 1924. In common with other British flags, any civic status of the flag was not defined in law.
The Government of Northern Ireland was granted arms (the
Coat of arms of Northern Ireland) by
Royal Warrant and had the right to display these arms on a flag or banner. This right was exercised for the
Coronation in 1953 when the banner was flown for the first time over
Parliament Buildings in honour of the Queen's visit. Also during the Queen's visit, on July 1, 1953, the Minister for Home Affairs announced that, while the Union flag was the only standard officially recognised, those who wished to have a distinctive Ulster symbol might use the banner.
 When the
Parliament of Northern Ireland was dissolved by the
British government under the
Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973, the flag ceased to be used by a body with a royal warrant but remains the only flag to date which represents Northern Ireland at international level in sport.
Since the Northern Ireland government and parliament were abolished in 1972, use of the Ulster Banner among loyalists has increased.