If our veterans were laying in the gutter, then so too would our flag. We created Sleeping Flags by taking the iconic green, white and orange Tricolour flag and paired it with the object most universally associated with homelessness, the sleeping bag. A jarring and shocking combination which forced the public to consider what is more important to them – the flag, or the people who serve it.
In 2019, Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann / Organisation of National Ex-service Personnel or ONE launched an awareness campaign to highlight the need for funding and donations required to run their homeless hostels to help Defence Forces Veterans who have fallen on hard times. ONE has four homes around the country, in Cobh, Dublin, Letterkenny and Athlone, and hopefully with another one opening up in Cork in the coming year. These homes have provided a safe, supportive place for over 1,000 veterans to date, with many of those suffering from depression, disabilities and PTSD.
Irish Defence Forces Veterans served the Tricolour with pride in conflict zones around the world, but it doesn’t always serve them. Despite decades of distinguished service as United Nations Peacekeepers around the world for a record of over 63 consecutive years. At home, they served during The Troubles, or in ensuring the safety and stability of the State, yet received little recognition or support when their service came to an end. Many of these veterans have been left destitute and in desperate need of help. Public awareness of the plight of these homeless veterans is almost non-existent. We need to raise awareness and funds hence Sleeping Flags was born. The flag is incredibly important to all members of the Irish military. They have risked their lives for it. They hold it in the highest esteem, and the protocols around its representation and treatment are incredibly strict. With the help of our partner and neighbour Rothco | Part of Accenture Interactive, we decided to use Sleeping Flags as a symbol and to start a much-needed conversation.
With the help and support of ONE, 90% of the veterans escape the cycle of homelessness and move on to permanent housing, while others need to remain in our hostels indefinitely.
As an independent charity ONE relies heavily on donations. With your help, they can keep their doors open and our country’s homeless veterans off the streets, now and in the future.
To donate text ‘FLAG’ To 50300 or donate below
Texts cost €4 – ONE will receive a minimum of €3.60
Service Provider: LIKECHARITY – Helpline: 01 481 9311