Though the Harp has been adopted as their National Emblem, it must be acknowledged that the Shamrock is considered by most people both in Ireland and abroad as the true deep rooted symbolism of Ireland and its National identity. Internationally, the "Green Shamrock" is synonomous with Ireland.
The coming into prominence of the "dear little plant" in Ireland dates back to the period of The National Apostle, St. Patrick's introduction of Christianity to the people in the 5th century. Legend has it that St. Patrick, during the conversion of Ethne the Fair and Fidelma the Ruddy daughters of the High King of Ireland, explained to them his religion, telling them that his God was the God of all things and he explained the mystery of the Trinity. Taking up the Shamrock, he pointed out that as the three leaves grew from one stem, so did three Divine persons partake of the same Divine Nature. There is a tradition that St. Patrick, on many occasions, so used the Shamrock in his preachings. Thus the Irish at home and abroad have a deep affinity with the Shamrock.
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