The Red Hand of Ulster

Ulster is another and older name for Northern Ireland, and its badge is a red hand.

Long years ago, so legend tells, a party of bold adventurers was approaching the coast of Ireland when the leader announced that whoever of his party first touched the shore should possess the territory he reached. Thereupon an ancestor of the O'Neills from whom descended the Kings of Ulster, finding another boat forging slowly ahead of his, struck off his left hand and flung it on to the land. Thus the hand of Ulster, red with O'Neill blood, still remains an emblem.
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