Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Richard Haass asks NI politicians that immortal question: “Do you have a flag?”

Tue 3 December 2013, 1:10pm

Scroll on to 6.46, and Barney Rowan explains just why this project is likely to run into a step bank of dry sand. Unionists don’t like the idea of tampering with what is, and if for very different reasons, nor do Republicans.

Never the less it is worth recapitulating the actual question: “What might a process to design and validate a new Northern Ireland flag look like? What role might such a flag play in civic life?”

It has the potential flush to out some pretty stodgy thinking. Yet Flags and anthems by short term process have a dissatisfying way of falling short of the ideal.

It puts me in mind of Eddie Izzard’s great sketch, “Do you have a flag?” “We don’t need a flag, we live here ya b*******.” “No flag, no country. Those are the rules (I’ve just made up).”

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Comments (153)

  1. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Billy

    Also, just re-read this nugget:

    “I understand the argument that both traditions have a right to see their national flag used. I don’t understand why people think they have a right to not have to look at the ‘other’ flag. That’s just sheer intolerance. Why does intolerance have to win the day?”

    With your attitude (intolerance) to my backing a new NI flag and flying it alongside the other two flags I think it’s safe to say we have ourselves a pot-kettle-noir situation.

    What do you think?
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  2. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Am Gobschmacht

    Not trying to guilt-trip you. Just trying to explain where I’m coming from, and why the fact that the tricolour still, to this day, enjoys no standing in this corner of Ireland, is an outrage that cannot forever remain unaddressed.

    I may have misconstrued your position, and for that, I must apologise. You are proposing a three-flag solution, yes? Tricolour, Union Jack and ‘NI’ flag?

    I could live with that, except with one deal-breaking proviso. The third flag cannot in any sense be regarded as the ‘national’ flag of ‘Northern Ireland’. You can call it the ‘plague on both your houses’ flag.

    Or perhaps the NI(ther) flag.

    This might be a good design.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cd/White_Flag.jpg

    But never be the ‘Northern Ireland’ flag, or the ‘national flag of Northern Ireland’.

    ‘At least we’ll have something official/sanctioned/blessed/recognised for sporting events etc.’

    Surely the logic would be that at, for example, NI football matches at Windsor Park, the three-flag protocol would be followed?

    ‘…it’ll become another case of themuns vs oursuns…’

    The only way progress away from sectarianism has ever been achieved in NI is by shoving things down the throats of the most sectarian elements The true ‘middle-grounders’ are those who refuse to appease bigotry, either on their own side or the other.

    I’m aware that the Jamie Brysons of this world will have a conniption on the day the tricolour is hoisted above Belfast City Hall. (And that day is coming.) But I don’t think that’s a reason not to do it. In fact, it’s one of several reasons (though not the most important) why we MUST do it.

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  3. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Well, I think we’re going to have to call it a day here, we see each other’s points but won’t accept them as they are.

    Especially the NI flag part.

    Like I say, I’m well up for the tricolour to be flown on city hall if a new NI flag can be too.

    However, to further my Lundy credentials, my fleg-a-choice would be something like this:

    http://www.davidairey.com/northern-ireland-flag/

    (5th one down)

    Cue flegger response:

    “I saw that at Celtic games!!! It’s a Celtic flag!!!! AAAARRRGHHHH”

    “LundyLundyLundyLundyLundy!!!!!”

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  4. ForkHandles (profile) says:

    Billy, I’ll just say that I’m glad you engaged with me. We obviously have different opinions. By the way its the UAE, not the UAFE :)

    I’m interested in AMG’s final flag combo. Why would the final saltire be changed from red to white? There doesn’t seem to be any reason or historical connection to a white one? Do you have an opinion on the other symbols? Why not the Red hand and harp and crown?
    Lastly you make excellent custom cars :)

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  5. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    ForkHandles

    Well, to be honest, it’s an idea plucked from a sea of ideas.

    If we go down the symbols and ‘identity’ path then we’ll end up with loadsa symbols in the would be flag.

    I personally am getting sick of the sight of all these symbols, but I’m a tiny minority in that regard.

    What struck me about Airey’s proposal was the simplicity of it.

    Also, e have a history of sorts with saltires and the colours do indeed go down well with some NI teams.

    I’d imagine an IFA badge would compliment the centre of such a flag quite well.

    Either way, if we go down the symbolic path or the ‘committee’ path I’ll be happy.

    As long as we get a flag.

    Unless it looks like a melted welly.

    I’m surprised some nationalists haven’t decided to ‘control the fall’ on this topic and get involved, we could end up with a flag like this:

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=red+hand+tricolour&rls=com.microsoft:en-AU:IE-Address&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=eWOiUqqDA8f5oAS7uYKoCg&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1280&bih=638#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=tZ-4o_EOgIl9uM%3A%3BMraqarD9plSPdM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fi1037.photobucket.com%252Falbums%252Fa455%252Fprimus2x%252FNationstates%252FIUflag.png%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fforum.nationstates.net%252Fviewtopic.php%253Ff%253D23%2526t%253D186926%2526start%253D75%3B600%3B300

    Those cars? Ach, just a side hobby.

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  6. ForkHandles (profile) says:

    AG, agree that symbols need to be handled carefully. We don’t want too many and we don’t want to have a symbol for themmuns and a symbol for usuns which would continue the split in society. Needs to be appealing to all and still have some relevance historically etc.

    Crowns are usually used as an umbrella type symbol indicating that the other symbols are part of a wider monarchy country. Maybe we could have a nice big Irish harp with a crown on top. Although I seem to remember that was used for something in the past ……… :)

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  7. IrelandNorth (profile) says:

    If Malachi abhors both flags, why would he not consider a new construct preferable. Might it not be the case that rather than being naive, both Dr Haass and Dr O’Sullivan are afforded the indulgence of exercising some De Bonian laternal thinking outside the box of the Plato’s Cave that is N Ireland. They come from a can-do culture of optimism and positivity, deadlines and targets, in stark contrast to the petty minded parochial provincialism of this island, steeped as it is in procrastination and pevarication. But a solution may be flying the pre-Act of Union (or Settlement) flag of Saint Andrew’s saltire and Saint George’s cross, with the Saint Patrick’s saltire flying seperately alongside it over Belfast City Council and elsewhere. Since northern Protestants (and/or unionists and/or loyalists) rarely if ever identify with the St Patrick’s saltire as the emblem of the Irish nation in the imperial union, (which surely ought to have been removed in 1920 anyway), removing it shouldn’t pose an insuperable problem for them now. And doing so would be likely to make the reverted union flag more acceptable to Irish Roman Catholics (and/or nationalists and/or republicans). There’s nothing that cannot be achieved with a little cultural generosity.

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  8. IrelandNorth (profile) says:

    Gerry Moriarty, in this Weekend’s edition of the The Irish Times, displayed the British union flag with the top and bottom quadrants in Saint Patrick’s green instead of Saint Andrew’s blue. Gazing at it, somewhat cross-eyed in Dublin’s Central Library challenged my rods and cones to work overtime. Such is the power of flags and emblems. But how about a union Jill, ie the union jack but in Irish colours. (Green where the blue is. White where the white is. And orange where the red is.) Or the Irish tricolour in British colours, like an inverted flag of the French Republic for a Republic of England or Britain. Or the conventional British union flag, with the broad-sides of the off-centred Saint Patrick’s saltire lined with green and orange.

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  9. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    The best flag would be the eu flag. I am sure it would get the Alliance party support for an agreed solution to having something to fly.

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  10. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Mc Slaggart

    I see your point but think of it from a sporting point of view; NI fans waving an EU flag when playing an EU country?

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  11. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    NI fans would be in an excellent position in europe.

    Currently when ni play in scotland, england, wales they use the flag of the uk.

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  12. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    “Currently when ni play in scotland, england, wales they use the flag of the uk”

    Are you 100% sure of that?

    And if this is the case then for the sake of uniformity would it not make more sense for them to have their own flag i.e. like Scotland, England and Wales?

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  13. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Northern ireland has always used a regional flag and that is why the european flag makes most sense.

    It is an inclusive flag which would show northern ireland in a progressive modern light.

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  14. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    So, you’re saying, should Northern Ireland play against Belgium i.e. the home of Brussels, they should have an EU flag to represent them whislt the Belgians (a country of 3 linguistic groups) should fly their own flag?

    How about just giving Northern Ireland its own flag and using this newfound progressive attitude to counter any resentment that may follow from the loyalists and nationalists who are opposed to the idea and whom have no inclination of ‘live and let live’?

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  15. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Northern ireland played in london with the uk flag without any problems.

    You cannot be any more progressive than using the european flag. This is the great symbol of people getting over past issues and working together.

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  16. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    “Without problems?”

    In that case maybe the Union Flag is the way to go then?

    And how would getting involved in designing a new Northern Ireland NOT be a symbol of people getting over past issues and working together?

    You’ve just argued my case for me.

    I find it noteworthy that a lot of the arguments against a new NI flag actually support it once they’ve been scrutinised…

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  17. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    Am Ghobsmacht

    Do you think you can bypass the politicians, by getting the sports codes to agree a new flag?

    The idea is that it is the flag of NI for sporting purposes as recognised by NI sports bodies.

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  18. Nevin (profile) says:

    Richard N. Haass ‏@RichardHaass 7 Dec
    returning to NI dec 9 to work w #NIpanel. goal remains to reach agreement before year’s end. continue to believe this aim desirable & doable

    This tweet has a certain resonance here:

    Richard N. Haass ‏@RichardHaass 9h

    #arctic: area of growing eco & strategic importance–but also competition. ice melting faster than diplomacy moving.

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  19. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Charles

    I hold out hope that this is the case.

    As difficult as it may be it nonetheless has potential.

    In fact, sometimes when I’m arguing with people about the status of the Ulster flag they actually refer to its use by sporting bodies as ‘proof’ that it is official.

    But alas, that then involves trying to convince the IFA…

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  20. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Am Ghobsmacht

    I have no problem with the IFA keeping the British flag.

    Now the issue was what shall we put on public buildings and that is a much trickier issue. What ever symbols are picked for a flag will have aspects that many people will object.

    In a society gone mad over flags the solution is not to add a new flag to the fire.

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  21. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Mc Slaggart

    “I have no problem with the IFA keeping the British flag. ”

    Well, I do.

    “In a society gone mad over flags the solution is not to add a new flag to the fire”

    In a normal society perhaps, but on the road to normality it may be a necessity.

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  22. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Am Ghobsmacht

    “Well, I do.”

    The IFA can use whatever flag they like an you can do nothing about it.

    ” on the road to normality it may be a necessity.”

    Go get on the road and you will see people putting up 3 flags on one pole. If you give them a 4th flag I do not know how they will put it up.

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  23. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Mc Slaggart

    “The IFA can use whatever flag they like an you can do nothing about it.”

    Correct, but it is beside the point, you articulated your personal point on the matter I reciprocated similarly.

    My inability to influence them matters not in this context.

    “Go get on the road and you will see people putting up 3 flags on one pole. If you give them a 4th flag I do not know how they will put it up.”

    GOOD!

    If Loyalists/Rangers fans start putting up a new NI flag on telegraph poles as they do with Ulster flags, Union flags, Independence flags (?) and Israeli flags (?!) then the new NI flag will be soiled by their embrace.

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  24. Does anyone know what the majority of people would prefer?
    There seem to be four schools:
    1. Only fly the union flag and do it every day of the year.
    2. Only fly the union flag but on designated days only.
    3. Fly the union flag and the tricolour together (won’t happen until there ever is a U.I. and it’s notable that no nationalist controlled council have tried that).
    4. Design a new flag.
    I suspect that it’s very probable that a majority couldn’t care less.

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  25. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Mister_Joe

    “Does anyone know what the majority of people would prefer?”

    Shopping.

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  26. Not a few people have suggested the old N.I. flag but including a crown and a harp. That suggestion might be more acceptable to some if they were side by side rather than having the crown on top.

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  27. Good one Mc Slaggart.

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  28. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Am Ghobsmacht

    “If Loyalists/Rangers fans start putting up a new NI flag on telegraph poles”

    what about saved Orange men?

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  29. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Mc Slaggart

    If saved Orange men/Rangers fans start putting up a new NI flag on telegraph poles as they do with Ulster flags, Union flags, Independence flags (?) and Israeli flags (?!) then the new NI flag will be soiled by their embrace.

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  30. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Mister Joe

    ‘There seem to be four schools:’

    You forgot two possibilities.

    5. That only the tricolour should fly

    6. That a new national flag for Ireland should be agreed and flown.

    You assert that the two flag solution will never happen ‘until there is a UI’ – but what a cheeky presumption that is. A two-flag protocol on the context of a UI would be a huge concession on the part of an Irish nationalism that has just achieved its historic objective. Why would such a concession be made, if no comparable concession was forthcoming from unionism when it had the power to decide?

    And why do you think it’s good enough to blithely assert that a two-flag solution ‘won’t happen’ and then just leave it at that?

    Who says it won’t happen? Why does Jamie Bryson get to decide this?

    The fact is that loyalism in 2013 is a paper tiger. The fear factor is no longer there.

    ‘…it’s notable that no nationalist controlled council have tried that…’

    This is the sort of talk that sticks in the craw of many nationalists. Nationalism has taken a conciliatory approach to flags, and been generous enough not to fly the tricolour in areas where it could do so tomorrow. And now that very conciliatory approach is being used as a stick with which to beat them as proof that the tricolour doesn’t mean that much to them.

    The truth is simpler. Nationalists area just much more respectful of unionist sensitivities than vice versa.

    But if you or other unionists are going to make out that the lack of a tricolour over the councils in Newry, Omagh, Strabane, Derry (and soon enough, Belfast) is proof that nationalists don’t identify with the tricolour, then they may have to prove you wrong.

    ‘…a majority couldn’t care less.’

    You’re very naive if you believe that. Now, perhaps a majority doesn’t care enough to take to the streets, but you’re in fantasyland if you think people here don’t care.

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  31. Barnshee (profile) says:

    ” Nationalism has taken a conciliatory approach to flags, and been generous enough not to fly the tricolour in areas where it could do so tomorrow.”

    LOL –the second they do it The ROI should get the bill for the British funded taxpayer services they so gratefully hoover up by “nationalists”

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  32. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Barnshee

    But the nationalists/republicans of, say, Fermanagh, are taxpayers into HM Treasury. They’d prefer not to be, but they are forced to be. As such, they are entitled to receive public services, same as any other taxpayers.

    Incidentally, the tricolour is the flag of the the 26-county republic to our south, but it is not ONLY that. It’s also the flag of the Irish nation.

    If, say, Dungannon council decided to fly the tricolour, it would not be claiming Dungannon as the sovereign territory of the 26-county republic. It would be asserting the inalienable position in the Irish nation of the people of Dungannon.

    The government in Dublin is an interested party in all of this, certainly, but it’s not the sole owner of the tricolour, nor the final arbiter of its use.

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  33. Son of Strongbow (profile) says:

    Perhaps Richard Haass would be doing us all a service if he sat down nationalists and gently explained to them that the Irish Tricolour is the flag of the Republic of Ireland and not the flag of the “Irish nation” (whatever that actually is).

    Should he do so I doubt that it will dissuade the deluded who think that raising a tricolour on a lamp post, block of flats or even a townhall somehow changes the fact that NI is a part of the UK.

    That is of course not to say that unionists should get overly agitated about the flying of the Irish tricolour. Who are we to deny anyone the comfort of gazing on the physical embodiment of their political and romantic aspirations? There is no social requirement that places an imperative on us to push others to accept the reality of the world in which they live.

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  34. Barnshee (profile) says:

    “But the nationalists/republicans of, say, Fermanagh, are taxpayers into HM Treasury. They’d prefer not to be, but they are forced to be. As such, they are entitled to receive public services, same as any other taxpayers.”

    AS repeated ad nauseum elswhere on Slugger the NI tax base has to be “subvented” by the British taxpayer (SE England branch whose endless patience amazes me )

    The shortest glimpse of the population statistics for Fermanagh/ Tyrone will show a rural population heavily dependant on benefits and tax refunds with few largish salaries outside the (tax payer) funded “British”public sector.

    Pull the subvention and tell N Ireland to fuck off and live with the tax it generates.

    “If, say, Dungannon council decided to fly the tricolour, it would not be claiming Dungannon as the sovereign territory of the 26-county republic. It would be asserting the inalienable position in the Irish nation of” SOME “of the people of Dungannon

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  35. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Barnshee

    Surely the reunification of Ireland would be the most obvious way to liberate the long-suffering taxpayers of SE England, whose plight so concerns you? Then they’d never have to pay another penny of subvention.

    It would also be an emancipation for the people of Fermanagh, Tyrone et al.

    Win / Win surely?

    And all the people of Dungannon have an inalienable right to be part of the Irish nation. But of course, each citizen also has the right not to exercise that distinction. There will always be a place at the table for all Irish people, even those who insist they will never accept the invitation.

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  36. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Strongbow Óg

    ‘…Richard Haass … sat down nationalists … Tricolour is the flag of the Republic of Ireland and not the flag of the “Irish nation” (whatever that actually is).

    Funny enough, that’s not Richard Haass’ call.

    And I’m sorry that you don’t know what the Irish nation is. Especially since a place within it is your birthright. You should read more.

    Incidentally, the tricolour has been around since at least 1848. It didn’t become the exclusive property of the Irish Free State in 1921, nor the Republic of Ireland in 1949. The Irish state has never claimed that it did.

    Why are you claiming for the Irish state a right of possession that the state itself does not claim?

    ‘…the deluded who think that raising a tricolour on a lamp post, block of flats or even a townhall somehow changes the fact that NI is a part of the UK.’

    Who thinks that? Who told you that nationalists think that?

    How come you know so little about the other major tradition with which you share this tiny little place?

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  37. Barnshee (profile) says:

    “Surely the reunification of Ireland would be the most obvious way to liberate the long-suffering taxpayers of SE England, whose plight so concerns you? Then they’d never have to pay another penny of subvention.”

    Step 1 remove the subvention

    Step 2 Inform NI you are now in charge (already started)

    Step 3 Run referendum in NI -question do you wish to remain in the UK–yes /no if yes -live within your means– if no –go to Step4– Introduce passport control etc for traveller’s from “Ireland”

    Step 5 Heave great sigh of relief– draconian penalties for any “Oirish” troubles in England–punitive measures applied to the new “Ireland” if they fail to keep their house in order.

    Snouts removed at last from the trough-( and cant wait for the havoc that a consolidated prod vote will have on the factional PR voting system that is the ROI)

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  38. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Step 6

    Barnshee’s spleen explodes

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  39. Son of Strongbow (profile) says:

    Liam Oilithreach,

    You’re not getting this ‘nation’ thing are you?

    What is a nation? A large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language inhabiting a particular state or territory.

    Now you claimed that the Irish tricolour is the flag of the “Irish nation”.

    Wrong.

    I am Irish, having been born on the island, but I hazard that I am not united with you on many aspects of what it means to be ‘Irish’, not lest my view of the tricolour and its place in Ireland.

    So enjoy your exclusive definition of Irishness, but have a modicum of courtesy not to imply that there exists a requirement for others to subscribe to it in order to ‘qualify’ as Irish.

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  40. Barnshee (profile) says:

    “Step 6

    Barnshee’s spleen explodes”

    Step 7 Barnshee smirks as “Ireland” sinks slowly in the west and whats left of the Navy turn back the Irish Boat people (possible exceptions for British passport holders)

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  41. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Strongbow Óg

    That’s a very good definition of a nation, yes. I think it certainly applies to all the people of this island. Of course it doesn’t preclude differences within the nation. No nation need be totally homogenous. Indeed, I doubt any nation in history ever has been. Heaven forbid the Irish people would ever be a homogeneous gloop.

    ‘I am Irish… I hazard that I am not united with you on many aspects of what it means to be ‘Irish’,’

    And there’s absolutely no reason why you need to be. There is no absolute consensus on these questions even within that subset of the nation that we might call ‘nationalist Ireland’ – so of course there isn’t any absolute consensus in the nation as a whole. So what? Personally, I enjoy a good debate. I think difference is healthy.

    ‘…not lest my view of the tricolour and its place in Ireland.’

    And you know what? I understand that, and I’m willing to meet you halfway on that. I honestly don’t see any problem with devising a new Irish flag that we can all identify with, even though the tricolour has as positive a connotation for me as it has a negative one for you.

    Any flag is only as valuable as the thing it represents, so I accept that, when the PULs are ready to join the discussion, a new flag for Ireland will probably be inevitable.

    But to deny the existence of the Irish nation because you don’t like the tricolour is the height of ideological ridiculousness.

    ‘(don’t) So enjoy your exclusive definition of Irishness, but have a modicum of courtesy not to imply that there exists a requirement for others to subscribe to it in order to ‘qualify’ as Irish.’

    I don’t believe I’ve done anything of the sort. On the contrary, I’ve provoked your ire not by denying your Irishness but by insisting upon it. Far from being exclusive, you’re annoyed that I’m being far too INclusive by including you.

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  42. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Barnshee

    LOL!

    You must be one of the few people around who believes that the problem with British/Irish relations is that there just hasn’t been enough human suffering.

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  43. Barnshee (profile) says:

    “You must be one of the few people around who believes that the problem with British/Irish relations is that there just hasn’t been enough human suffering”

    I have zero sympathy for self inflicted wounds

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  44. Barnshee (profile) says:

    “I am Irish, having been born on the island,”

    yep and my cousin born in Hong Kong (army parent posted there) is er Chinese?

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  45. Son of Strongbow (profile) says:

    Ah Liam you just couldn’t help yourself. Now you’re telling me what I mean and how I’m feeling.

    Barnshee,

    There is of course more to it than the birthplace alone – although technically in some countries being born there would I believe qualify you for a passport and in that regard an individual could legitimately claim to be of the place.

    Parentage, cultural background, history inter alia all play a part. Personally I see absolutely no conflict between being both Irish and a British citizen. Indeed I believe that the ‘micro’ cultural influences I have drawn from within NI (shorthand for want of avoiding exhaustive philosophical musings) enhances and adds unique qualities to the ‘macro’ culture of the UK that I feel a natural part of.

    That overarching culture has itself been influenced by elements drawn from the other constituent regions of the UK and the many immigrant communities now domiciled within its borders.

    For me to deny being Irish, even should others, for the sake of comfort perhaps, need to qualify it with placing ‘Northern’ before it, is as fanciful as those who think that running an Irish tricolour up a flagpole dissolves the border.

    But back to your cousin if I may. Should they have been exposed to Chinese culture (in your cousin’s case the Hong Kong variant which itself has subtle differences from mainland China); schooling, language, society etc they would not be ethnically Chinese but may be regarded as one of the world’s many ‘hyphenated’ people. Like an Ulster-Scot for example.

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  46. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Son of Strongbow

    “What is a nation? A large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language inhabiting a particular state or territory.”

    If you prick us do we not bleed the culture, history of our territory? If you tackle us do we not have a swarm defense? If you poison us do we not die? And if you beat us shall we not revenge?

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  47. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Barnshee

    “yep and my cousin born in Hong Kong (army parent posted there) is er Chinese?”

    Spike Milligan turned out to be Indian when he asked for a British passport :-)

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  48. Son of Strongbow (profile) says:

    McS,

    Who are “us”? Who is “you”?

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  49. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Son of Strongbow

    ask william

    “If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?”

    sorry it very famous.

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  50. Son of Strongbow (profile) says:

    “My nation? What is my nation? It’s a villain and a bastard and a coward and a rascal. What is my nation? Who talks of my nation?”

    William, part II.

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  51. Cripipper (profile) says:

    “What is a nation? A large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language inhabiting a particular state or territory.”

    No, it is a large body of people who believe they are united by common descent etc. etc. Whether they are or not is for all intents and purposes irrelevant, and is something that too many people in N.I. forget.

    I’ve a post on my blog discussing a new flag and the options for it. Comments are always welcome!

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  52. Son of Strongbow (profile) says:

    Cripipper,

    If you have issue with the definition I used take it up with the OED. I’m sure they’ll edit the entry in the next publication.

    Btw trolling for hits for your “blog” on other sites smells a little of desperation.

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  53. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    What’s in it to be Irish? that which we call a Irish
    By any other name would be as sweet;

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