Red hand of Ulster tattoo meaning ( explained )

This post will take a look at the red hand of Ulster tattoo, one of the most well-known and traditional Irish symbols. We’ll be looking at its historical significance and how it’s represented in modern society.

Red hand of Ulster arm tattoo
Red hand of Ulster arm tattoo @jamiesm90

The red hand of Ulster is one of Ireland’s most recognisable symbols. It’s a somewhat less known fact than the shamrock, but that doesn’t make it any less important to Irish people. The origins go back as far as Ancient Rome and Ireland has used it for centuries in its own culture to represent various things including masculinity, bravery and nationalism.

It [red hand of Ulster] is derived of course from the dextra Dei, the right hand of God – a symbol of power and protection. irishtimes

It’s also a very well-known tattoo design outside of Ireland and was used as a symbol by supporters of Northern Irish sports teams such as the Glasgow Rangers.

Red hand of Ulster glasgow rangers supporter tattoo
Red hand of Ulster Glasgow rangers supporter tattoo

Red hands tattoos quickly became recognised as a symbol of masculinity in Ireland during the 19th Century.

Red hand of Ulster tattoo meaning

Although the origins of the Red Hand of Ulster are rooted in Gaelic culture, the symbol is still used today to represent Irish people and their country. The red hand has been represented in Ireland by both Republicans and Loyalists since 1916. This is likely because it’s a very well known symbol which people can easily associate with a history of bravery and culture, rather than some sort of political allegiance.During the Troubles, this image was used as a way to unite people from Northern Ireland who didn’t necessarily share any political views other than nationalism.

Is the red hand of Ulster Protestant?

No. Ulster has had the red hand symbol for a long time. Incidentally, Ulster has more counties than six and maybe up to ten. The status of Leitrim was fluid.