Of Harps and Kings and Lager

I’ve always wondered about that famous harp symbol used by Guinness.

Was there a link to the 13th century ‘Arms of the King of Ireland’? Guinness used the harp logo in 1862 on their very first bottled Guinness but never actually used the word until 1960 when they called their first lager ‘Harp’.

If there is a link to Ireland’s national emblem then perhaps they mirrored it to avoid a trademark challenge by the state. You’d never get away with a simple mirroring today. Fortunately they did and harps will always remind me of Ireland and Guinness.

Photo: Robert Rath, ‘Of Harps and Kings and Lager’, 1/80s f3.5 ISO1600 110mm

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