Rachel Cohen takes a perfectly proper long view of where we’ve come from, and sees a harmonious convergence in view. Yet as Frank Millar noted last week, “They made history here yesterday. But they didn’t end it.” And as Damian McCarney notes, the battle a day continues, this time over the lack of Republican icons and emblems at Stormont. He quotes new Sinn Fein MLA Paul Butler at length:
“It is Sinn Féin’s view that where British cultural symbols are involved in public life, equivalent symbols should be given equal prominence. If agreement or consensus cannot be found on this, then a reasonable alternative, which fits the required criteria, is to suspend the flying of flags until such agreement or consensus can be found,” added the Lagan Valley MLA, who in the past has succeeded in preventing Lisburn City Council from flying the Union flag for 365 days a year.
The most obvious example of symbols of unionism at Stormont is the enormous statue of Edward Carson at the front of Parliament Buildings. Mr Butler’s suggestion of an equivalent nationalist symbol could see a statue erected to a historic figure from the nationalist/republican tradition. Mr Butler would not be drawn on who he would like to see commemorated beside Carson but any statue would probably be of a leading republican revolutionary such as, Robert Emmet, Pádraig Pearse, Countess Markievicz or Bobby Sands.