Freedom Flotilla to Sail under the Irish Flag?

Guinea-Bisseau withdrew their flag from the Freedom Flotilla. One netizen started a petition to let them sail under Ireland’s flag.

Valentine Wiggin
2 min readApr 28, 2024
Irish flag (green at the hoist-white-orange in equal ratios) flying against a blue background
Source: Alejandro Luengo on Unsplash

The Freedom Flotilla, a grassroots civilian movement, is an alliance of people from around the world who want to deliver aid to Palestine and educate others about the unrecognized nation’s history. Their member organizations hail from all over the world and are based in countries such as Canada, Italy, Malaysia, Aotearoa (formerly New Zealand), Norway, Sweden, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, and the USA. They also have partners in Britain, Australia, France, and Gaza.

Currently, the Freedom Flotilla cannot sail because they do not have a nation’s flag to sail under. Guinea Bisseau withdrew their flag from two of the Freedom Flotilla’s ships after facing pressure from the Israeli government. These ships and their crews have passed all necessary training and inspections in order to set sail. One of these ships is a cargo ship containing 5000 tons of aid for Palestinians in Gaza.

In addition to this “unusual move” from the Guinea Bisseau International Ships Registry (GBISR), they have requested more information than usual such as the ship’s destination, additional port calls, and the discharge port for humanitarian aid with estimated times and dates of arrival. Normally, this is not something that flagging authorities do. Their primary concern is usually about the safety of the crew and cargo rather than destination, route, or the purpose of the voyage.

When people register their cars, they don’t have to go to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to detail their planned routes. As such, the nature of Guinea Bisseau withdrawing their flag from the Freedom Flotilla has raised many red flags for followers of this voyage. While the delay is in place, Ross McGann started a petition to let the Freedom Flotilla sail under the Irish flag. By registering the ships as Irish ships, the Freedom Flotilla will be able to sail under Irish laws.

The unexpected withdrawal of Guinea-Bisseau’s flag is a blow to the Freedom Flotilla and to Gazans. According to an assessment that was released to USAID in March, famine is not imminent in Gaza. Instead, it is “inevitable” acoording to a leaked confidential document. Any aid that arrives in Palestine, particularly North Gaza, will merely reduce starvation, not prevent it altogether. This, however, does not mean that the Freedom Flotilla will not make a difference to the people in Gaza.



Valentine Wiggin

Death-positive, sex-positive, and LGBTQ-affirming Christian. Gen Z. I hate onions. She/her