This article was originally published on The Irish Mail on Sunday.

The Irish flag is currently being flown at the front of the Supreme Court in Dublin as part of a debate about whether to keep the current blue, white and red colours of the republic.

The new colours will be flown at half-staff for the first time in 20 years on January 18.

This was first mooted by the former deputy first minister, Michael McGrath, when he was deputy leader in the Dáil.

The issue has now been debated in the Seanad and it is expected that a decision will be made by the end of the week.

Mr McGrath said: “We’ve got to make sure we have a fair representation of Irish heritage, a fair representative of Irish culture and I think that’s why it’s important that we keep our flag as the flag of the Republic of Ireland.”

However, he said the debate had not been about “a certain colour”.

“The issue has not been one of colour.

The debate has been one that’s about our flag,” he said.

The proposal is supported by the Government’s deputy leader, Michelle O’Neill, who said the current flag is “perfectly good”.

She said the flag is a “great symbol for the republic” and has been in use since the mid-19th century.

She added: “The fact that we are talking about it is not just about the colour of the flag, it’s about the meaning of the Irishness of the country.”