What flag to use?

There has been quite an interesting discussion on Wikipedia over what flag should be used to represent Northern Ireland

  • pith

    I saw train number 92 in Bangor the other day and again at Belfast central the following day. I have never had a 92 two days in a row at the same station before.

  • Michael – I think you have just re-defined interesting.

    Personally I just wish we could fly the Union Jack, Tricolour and the EU flag.

    There seems little worth in Unionists re-defining a new N Ireland flag given the haemorraghing of the Union by splinter-groups running under regional flags.

    Either you like the UK, so run with it, or you don’t.

  • Glensman

    Yeah just fly all 3 or don’t fly any- neither side would take to a ‘new’ flag

  • Gerd Muller

    In my view the flag should incorporate a horse.

  • darth rumsfeld

    .. awhite one with King Billy on the back would do the trick :0)

  • Ian Traces

    Yerra f*ck that. Design a new flag. They did it for the PSNI logo/symbol and I’m sure they’ve re-designed a few imperialist iconographs in recent years so what’s the big deal? The old flags are shit anyway.

    Come to think of it, I wish we could have a new flag for the Republic. Our flag makes it seem like the whole existence of the place revolves around the conflict in the North, which is bullshit. I’d say 90% of people in the Republic have never even been near the border let alone in NI, and have no intention of going there anytime soon. Most of the people I know who HAVE been to NI say it’s a shithole and have no intention of going back anytime soon.

    It’s also very easy to confuse the ROI flag with the Italian flag. Did this never occur to the people who came up with the idea for a national flag in the wake of independence? Oh let me guess – it was Dev’s own personal gem of an idea, and none of the other lads sitting around the table had the balls to point out that it wasn’t the coolest, most original flag ever conceived of. They all just sat nodding their heads, smiling and going, ‘er yeah, Eamon, that’s dead cool altogether that is’.

  • Bigger Picture

    I get sick of the flag debate. We live in NI there should be an NI flag but since they ditched it fly the UJ until one comes that both can agree on. Stuff this 3 flags nonsense. It worked with the PSNI, what was the alternative there?? Wear the badge of the RUC and the Gardai?? What other nation fly’s a foreign countries flag on their govt buildings, except on public visits??

    Get one that works for all or just fly the flag of the UK which we are still apart of.

  • Leaving aside all cases put forward by Sinn Fein and looking to mainstream Irish Government influencers, Ireland, if it continues to help Northern Ireland in a workable and financially beneficial way, would deserve to be taken seriously as a key national-partner towards creating a rejuvenated region.

    Therefore, at Stormont, if the MLAs are pondering over how to spend Irish Euros, based on the fact that there is now a legitimised Irish population in Northern Ireland, the least that could be done is to accept that contribution and fly a flag of partnership. Two heads, two financial funding streams, et al that jazz are better than one.

    As to Sinn Fein wanting statues of Republicans belonging to a by-gone era, simply take down Carson, rather than open up land for ideological relics, which now seem to appear outdated in a multi-sovereign region within the European Union.

    Now anyway, I’m away off back into work for an American-owned mutli-national company in Belfast, along with many others fellow Northern Irelanders.

  • páid

    Aaah, a flags debate on Slugger.

    I’m sure we’ll all agree on something.

  • wild turkey

    wasn’t there a flags competition sometime ago?

    how about a variation on the skull and cross bones?

    omit the cross bones and substitute a pound and euro sign.

    colours? f#%* the debate about colours.

    black and white… with no shades of gray.

  • JG

    The Italian flag dates back to 1945, the Irish Tricolour to the 1840’s.

    Interestingly when Jordanstown hotel and Catering students were having an Italian evening all the Italian flags were ripped off the posters.

    Almost as thick as potato students!

  • D-C

    It reminds me of the story I heard about some hardcore Rangers fans who were in Strasbourg for an away game with them in Europe and who took to giving out the Nazi salute to the home crowd. Of course, met with bemusement.

  • Martin


    Re the Italian Flag. That’s not quite true. Although it is quite correct the Italian Flag was altered in 1946 to remove the royal arms upon the country becoming a republic (the previous Italian flag was like the modern one with the coat of arms of the House of Savoy in the centre) the Italian Tricolour is much older than that.


    “The Green, White and Red Tre-Colore Flag first flew at Modena in 1797 as the banner of the Cisalpine Republic. (Located between Parma and Bologna, Modena is in the Province of Emilia-Romagna. It is the home of the Ferrari and Maserati auto works).

    The new entity began with a brilliant festival in Milano. Its constitution was modeled after that of the French. At that time much of Italy was controlled by the Hapsburgs of Austria – directly and through inter-marriage of the royal families: Milan, Tuscany, portions of Genoa and Piedmont. The Spanish bourbons held Naples and Sicily. The papacy exercised temporal power over the extensive area of central Italy. These were the conditions in 1804 when a Cisalpine deputation went to Paris to solicit Napoleon I to accept the crown of the Kingdom of Italia.

    In early 1805, when Napoleon I grouped the Northern Italian provinces into one kingdom, he also adopted the Tri-Color Flag. Arriving in Milano accompanied by Pope Pius VII, on May 26, 1805, Napoleon received the crown of Charlemagne in the Milan Cathedral. Condensing fifteen states into three, Napoleon leveled the barriers of local rivalries and brought a good administration – an approach to political unity.

    Napoleon’s success was short-lived. The Conference at Vienna in 1815 again divided Italy into nine separate states with individual governments. The Austrians still controlled their same territories.

    Not until the famous patriot, Giuseppe Mazzini, successfully stimulated and organized the uprisings of early 1848 was Italy to throw off the yoke of other nations.

    The Tri-Color was again proclaimed the national flag in late 1848 when King Carlo Alberto, of Piedmont and Sardinia, led the Nationalist force in his effort to free Italy of outside domination and formed a constitutional monarchy. King Alberto, of the House of Savoia, added the arms of his royal house to the flag. His shield displayed a black eagle. The whole was surrounded by the collar of the Order of the Most Sacred Annunziata, the third highest in rank of all European Orders.

    Following his landing in Sicily in 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi progressively freed most of the country and turned over control to King Vittorio Emmanuele I, the son of King Carlo Alberto.

    In 1870 when the Prussians invaded France, Napoleon III found it necessary to withdraw his troops from Rome. With Italy totally liberated, Giuseppe Garibaldi carried the Flag as embellished by the late King Alberto.

    Following the death of his father, King Vittorio Emmanuele II, from his capital in Florence, added a crown above the Arms and Shield on the Flag. Seizing on the opportunity of Napoleon’s departure in July 1871, King Vittorio Emmanuele II entered the Eternal City to the tumultuous cheers of the people. In 1872, Rome was made the capital of the Kingdom of Italy.

    The Arms and Crown were removed from the Flag when Italy became a Republic in June 1946, returning the Flag’s design to the simple Tri-Color of Green, White and Red.”

  • Ian Scrate

    I thought the Irish flag up until 1922 was a dark green background with a gold harp symbol on it or something. Are you sure the Italian tricolour dates back to only 1945? I find that surprising since they have been a sovereign country for sevral centuries, if not millennia. What was it before 1945 then?

  • Ian Retcas

    Thanks for anticipating my question (and providing a most informative answer) Martin!

    ‘Note to self: Must learn to type quicker…’

  • Prince Eoghan


    You really should have read Martin’s post. Oh and google Google Garabaldi will you.

  • JG

    Yes, should ahve gone to wikipedia.

    That is a bad keyboard.
    You are a bad keyboard.

  • Giussepi Macaroni

    Garibaldi? Was he one of Scappaticci’s guys?

  • Valenciano

    There’s been a lot of edit wars on Irish related topics recently which verge on the near pointless. Another example was the controversy/edit war over whether to add Bobby Sands to the ‘Roman Catholics’ category. Valencia related pages have continual edit wars over whether to call the local language Valencian ; Catalan or Valencian-Catalan.

    If certain editors on there would spend more time trying to improve articles than scoring political points it would be a better place.

  • graduate

    Lads, this one is dead simple.
    Sinn Fein have accepted partition and the unioinst majority of the state of Northern Ireland ( believe Conor Murphy actually managed to say those two words the other day) and thus have accepted the reality of this corner of the world remaining WITHIN the UK ergo the flag is the Union Flag. Geddit?
    The rest is wishful thiking

  • sammaguire

    On the subject of Valencia and NI flags, I can remember being in Valencia in 1982 after the World Cup and seeing the Irish tricolour proudly on display in a restaurant to honour the NI team (together with the flags of the other participants)!

  • The Devil

    I think they should fly a loo roll because the place is SHITE,

  • “Sinn Fein have accepted partition and the unioinst majority of the state of Northern Ireland”

    Okay the same way as the Unionists have accepted that there is a Nationalist large minority in Northern Ireland.

    Both of which are explicitly legitimised in the GFA.

    So what is the problem with flying two flags to include the European Union given the new NSMC power-sharing arrangements are merely an intensification of an EU political system and indeed of integration and assimilation of practical policy.

    In the end – down with Ultra-Nationalism.

  • Pounder

    This is bloody stupid. There are important things to consider like running the damn country and these arseholes want to talk about flags.

    My suggestion would be a St Patricks cross. It throws a bone to each side. The St Patricks cross makes up part of the Union Flag, so Dr No and his crowd can be happy, and since St Patrick is the patron Saint of Ireland he an sell it to his side as an acceptance of the eventuality of an All-Ireland.

    Many bars in Belfast City Centre use the St Patricks Cross during the 6 nations as a way ot causing least offence.

  • D-C

    “This is bloody stupid” – No it’s not just fly three flags, problem solved.

    What’s your argument for not, other than sectarian nationalism.

    This is a changing region, a proud and diverse one at that, which is attracting many EU nationals, who expect to receive Human Rights and indeed identification with a Union that allowed them to move freely to here in the first place.

  • tony

    I hate this St Patrick’s Cross crap.

    Its no one’s flag

    Any bar i watch rugby games in has the irfu flag.

    During the 6 nations, all the bars in Belfast had the irfu flag.

  • D-C

    In part, I wish the Unionists would come to terms with the European Union and its free movement of people and I mean its about time they educated backwoodsmen as to the practical and beneficial realities of it.

    As you only have to look at the treatment of minorities in some parts in Northern Ireland, particularly in East Belfast, for example. What with Swastikas, desecration of Churches, Poles treated as obscene imposters.

    It’s time to move the agenda on somewhat and cough up some truths over EU integration.

    Namely, whilst it’s ok for middle-class mummies and daddies to buy up properties in Northern France, with villas in Bulgaria snapped up too, then it’s sure as hell just as fine to have the Polish and other Europeans set up here to build new lives with their cultures accepted to boot.

    Except many Europeans coming here are doing so to work not to rest and play.

  • foreign correspondent

    The EU flag would do fine, I think.

  • John East Belfast

    I would have a flag that represented each of the 6 counties.

    I dont know what it would look like but I would use that as the basis.

    It does not need any British symbolism as unionists have that in the Union Flag.

    Indeed I would be happy for the NI Flag to emphasise more of its Irish identity.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    A tricolour in the corner then, John? (like Oz and NZ have the UJ)

  • Aldamir

    What about the gold harp on a blue background? It has several advantages:

    1. It looks good;
    2. at the moment it is the official flag of the Irish President with one type of harp design.
    3. It is also the part of the Royal Standard that represents (Northern) Ireland with a slightly different harp design.
    4. It was the official flag of Ireland before the Act of Union

    So good looking and already official in both states.

    I would suggest a different harp design from the two existing ones and there we have it.

  • Reader

    Tochais Siorai: A tricolour in the corner then, John?
    So do you want a Tricolour to be carried in the Commonwealth Games?