In partnership with The Royal Irish Academy and The Irish Times, Raghnall O’Floinn compiled a list of the 100 objects that define Irish History. One of Bloody Sunday’s most iconic symbols has been selected as part of the list, Bishop Edward Daly’s handkerchief. 

As shots were fired and the first life was lost on a tragedy of a sunday in Northern Ireland, a lone white handkerchief was waved in hopes to halt the attack.  Edward Daly waved his handkerchief as the body of 17 year-old Jackie Duddy was carried away, creating one of the most memorable images in Irish history. 

Raghnall O’Floinn talked about the seemingly bland artifacts importance in saying, “In many ways a handkerchief can be seen as a relatively innocuous object, but this is a hankie that has come to mean so much more because of the context in which it came to prominence.

He went on to say, “It has become such a powerful object because of the way it triggers people’s memories of and emotions around the events and of the footage from forty years ago.”

After staying in the Duddy family for years after being returned to Jackie’s father, Wille, the handkerchief now sits in the Museum of Free Derry. 

Here's original footage from the period:

Father Edward Daly waves his white handkerchief on Bloody Sunday when 13 unarmed protestors were killed in DerryGoogle Images