Chair of the Seanad Senator Mark Daly has expressed concern that the national flag is being used by people "for their own ends" which often "contradicts" the very meaning which it represents.

In a statement on the 173rd anniversary of when Thomas Meagher first flew the Irish tricolour, Senator Daly said it is "essential - now more than ever" that the true meaning of the national flag is known. 

The tricolour was first flown from 33 The Mall in Waterford city on 7 March 1848. 

When asked about its symbolism, Mr Meagher replied: "The white at the centre signifies a lasting truce between the Orange and the Green, and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of the Irish Protestant and the Irish Catholic may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood." 

Senator Daly maintained: "These words and their meaning are as important now as when they were fist spoken by Meagher." 

On his twitter account, the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins noted the anniversary and its symbol of Irish independence.