We are surrounded by many symbols during our lives, representing belief, identity or ideology.  They evoke emotional reactions and can reassure or threaten when used in certain contexts.

We have given diverse meaning to flags and colours, to the shamrock, the poppy and the Red Hand and to historical events such as the Somme and the Easter Rising. People act as symbols too, such as King William III, the Maid of Erin and Henry Joy McCracken as well as places such as the Boyne or Free Derry Corner.

All of these symbols have meanings which are developed, refined, amended and sometimes completely changed over time, and in particular contexts.

Hear from historians and commentators as we explore how powerful the use of symbols has become in shaping our history. Talks and discussions will include a keynote by Glenn Patterson, the Belfast-born writer and commentator.