Heraldricly Northern Ireland is confusing. Often it is represented by Irish wide symbols, such as the harp in the arms of the UK. Sometimes symbols of Ulster are used, although that seems more controversial. Would use of the flax be a symbol of specific to Northern Ireland, yet not consider a symbol of Ulster?
Historically, there are precedents for divided states: Navarra, Prussia, Sicily, any German principality, one could even argue France was divided into two kingdoms. Northern Ireland is basically a rump state, as opposed to a succeeded state, so it makes sense that it uses, or more accurately, HM government uses the symbols of Ireland (or to be really accurate, uses the symbols of the UK of Great Britain and Ireland). Perhaps the use of the flax instead of the traditional shamrock reflects Northern Irish identity, separate from the rest of Ireland?
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