As part of our plans to commemorate the Centenary of Northern Ireland, the Imperial Grand Lodge launched a design competition at the Twelfth. The idea was to tap into the passion and pride of our community around this big Centenary and to get those creative minds to work on a logo, badge and commemorative jewel or medal to mark the occasion.

The aim was to create something which celebrated and illustrated Northern Ireland, which would go hand in hand with the existing branding developed as part of our work on the Unionist Centenary Committee. We wanted to reach out to lodges and bands and to create a bit of buzz and excitement and to get people thinking about next year. It proved popular during the dark days of COVID, with many having time to reflect not only in art and design but in poetry and prose to mark the countries Big Birthday. We have had a range of exciting and fresh ideas, which we will try to incorporate in our plans and events and activities next year.

Logo Design Competition

The Imperial grand Lodge reached out to private lodges, bands and the wider community for ideas, and the focus of this was a province-wide design competition to create a logo and Centenary Jewel which would mark this occasion. The design and casting of commemorative coins, medal or jewels as they are called in Orange circles have a long history. In fast one of the first things, the supporters of King William did was to create their own commemorative medals, in our online museum we have what we believe is the earliest such medal. This has continued down through the centuries, with commemorative pieces struck on anniversaries and centenaries ever since. We will be launching an online exhibition of Orange medals and Jewels to coincide with the Centenary events next year.

Our design competition sought to find a design that celebrated and educated and will be that bit more unique and different. The winning design was also added to with a few other common suggestions from those responding. One interesting feature of the completion was how many features of the winning design had also been a part of other entries. The Imperial Grand Lodge Committee tasked with our Centenary Commemorations were delighted with the response and the quality of entries and ideas. They would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that took part and they hope that given many of the similar features many entrants will see aspects of their design featuring in the final product.

Imperial Grand Master James Anderson said

The reponse we had to our design and wider consultation on the Centenary has been a real encouragement. It shows that people are looking forward to next year and it offers hope in the midst of this pandemic. We will plan wisely and safely so that all we do can be run next year whatever the circumstances. The ILOI have been at the heart of the Unionist Centenary celebrations for almost a decade now and it has been positive experience for all our members. We are also pleased to annoiunce that all profits from the sale of our centenary jewel will be going to charity. The annual Grand Master’s Charity Appeal has suffered due to Coronna and this will offer a way for us to still help others. I would encourage all our members and the wider Loyal Order and PUL community to work togther and to balance celebration with commemoration and education.

Watch Our Design Take Shape

Watch the design process as we take the winning entry in our design competition and add some of the other popular elements to create our Northern Ireland Centenary Jewel.

Inspired by Sea and Stone

When the ILOI wanted to make the statement that Northern Ireland is here to stay they didn't have to look far for inspiration - the Giant's Causeway speaks for itself.

The Giants Causeway provided the perfect inspiration for the new ILOI Northern Ireland Centenary Jewel. It’s iconic hexagonal shape is at the heart of the new design, the six sides representing the six counties perfectly.  

The winning entry was developed into a logo, jewel and badge, by a UK graphic design firm which specialises in commemorative jewels. The design has also seen a few changes and additions such as the Orange Lilly and Blue flax flower incorporated and the Bible and Crown placed centrally. As an Institution, our Unionist, and our support for northern Ireland is not only based on our adherence to democratic principles but on the core belief that these Constitutional arrangements offer the best prospect for the protection and promotion of our Protestant faith. As such our loyalty to and support for Northern Ireland is founded upon our first love and loyalty to our faith. This is what the symbol of the crown resting on the open Bible illustrates. It also speaks of the belief that it is God who sets up and sustains earthly kingdoms and we believe his hand is clearly at work in the history of our land. For that we give Him thanks and we rededicate ourselves to that cause.

Northern Ireland’s place within the United Kingdom is illustrated by the Union Flag in the shape of the country, for design purposes with a Bible and Crown centrepiece using the Northern Ireland flag was not possible since only the edges would be visible. The other unique design feature we loved was the hexagonal design. It perfectly symbolises Northern Ireland – the six counties, and for an Institution based in North Antrim we really could not miss the opportunity to pay tribute to the Giants Causeway. As Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage site, the Causeway boasts 40,000 massive black basalt columns rising majestically out of the sea. The dramatic sight has inspired legends of giants striding over the sea to Scotland, and had attracted millions of visitors from across the globe. It is the oldest natural symbol of this area, and indeed the recurrence of this hexagonal design throughout nature points us to the Creator.

The inspiration for our Centenary Jewel shape is obvious and we use it as a statement that our little country is here to stay. Our motto is ” Northern Ireland – The First 100 Years”. Nothing says permanence and security more than the rocks of the Giant’s Causeway!

Design Takes Shape

Follow the Design Process from Concept to Production, and share the journey

Inspired Centenary Celebrations

Be the First to Get our Limited Edition Northern Ireland Centenary Jewel

Our Limited Edition Northern Ireland Centenary Jewel will be available to Pre-Order from 1 November. We will have a limited number of Jewels which can be worn on a sash or collarette or become part of your collection of commemorative jewels. All profits will go to charity in support of the Grand Master’s Charity Appeal.

Badges will also be available with other items available next year for the 2021 Centenary.

Place Your Pre-Order Here