Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Red Hand of Ulster.

 Red Flag (A).Red-handed. 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Red Hand of Ulster.
 
In an ancient expedition to Ireland, it was given out that whoever first touched the shore should possess the territory which he touched; O’Neill, seeing another boat likely to outstrip his own, cut off his left hand and threw it on the coast. From this O’Neill the princes of Ulster were descended, and the motto of the O’Neills is to this day “Lamh dearg Eirin” (red hand of Erin). (See HAND.)   1
 


 Red Flag (A).Red-handed. 

 
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