More flag wars

Sinn Fein councillor Johnny Gibbon has written a letter of protest after the Equality Commission refused to ban Craigavon Council from flying the London 2012 Olympic Flag. The flag ended up flying over Craigavon Civic Centre for four hours last Sunday afternoon. Mr. Gibbon objected to the flag as it is based on the Union flag and as such would have contravened the council policy of flying the Union Flag only on specific days.

Mr Gibbon stated: “There was also a choice of a plain Olympics Flag that did not incorporate the Union Flag and I proposed this one could be flown, but I was out-voted. The council had an opportunity to show leadership and to send out a signal to the nationalist population, but again it failed.”

In reply the Deputy Mayor Arnold Hutch (UUP) said: “This is typical of Sinn Fein councillors. They are totally opposed to all things British, and when the commission — which usually finds in their favour — actually opposed them, they react like spoilt children.”

  • Pete Baker

    Turgon

    Some background here.

  • Is it just me, or does this seem incredibly petty?

  • cynic

    ….and terribly Craigavon …..you can almost smell the glee on both sides that they found something to fight over

  • They should spare a thought for folk with real problems in their town.

    Lemme see?

    How about New Orleans?

    Now there are folk with real problems.

  • tom

    “Despite the advice of the Borough Solicitor they proceeded, by vote, to fly a flag which clearly incorporates the Union Flag. The Borough Solicitor himself acknowledged that the flying of this flag is in breach of Council policy, in his advice to Councillors.”

  • Ok Tom-it breaches a rule,some by-law, whatever.
    the last time I looked SF had agreed to administer a devolved part of the UK as part of the UK.
    Their days as revolutionaries are long behind them.
    You would think that an olympic flag isnt a step too far for them at this stage.

    Wouldnt you?

  • slug

    It violates no law.

  • tom

    Phil

    According to the reports unionists refused to fly the Olympic flag and insisted on flying the one with the union jack.

    Sounds like the flag was being used for petty political point scoring.

  • latcheeco

    More evidence to support UMH’s recent assertions on local sophistication.

  • Thanks Torn.

    My shoulders are sagging at the petty nature of all of this.

    I suppose you have to be born into it to get it.

    I dont get it.

    It is actually quite a comforting feeling not to get the nuances of this squabble.

    National liberation struggle?

    Err……

  • joeCanuck

    Unbelieveable. Or maybe not.
    Bah!

  • Tazia Doll

    You have to be born into it, a clique of SF politicians will stand next to an over-flowing sewer to look at a lamp post with a flag.

    It’s difficult to ge SF to do stuff about regular stuff, I’ll be glad to get out of it, the solution is less money, to force them to spend it on important stuff.

    NI politics is incredibly wasteful. For example the two week cycle garbage heave, is costing thousands of destroyed whhelie bins wrecked by the tractor unit because they are too full.

    It took months to get that by FOI despite the fact Gerry Adams wrote to me and was allegedly on the case. I’ve no time for them, a vote ticked is a vote wasted, don’t votec and don’t register is my advice.

    I just want out of here, I’d be happy to swop WEst Belfast for a slum in Richmond or Chicago. Belfast is just too corrupt for my palate.

  • oneill

    According to the reports unionists refused to fly the Olympic flag and insisted on flying the one with the union jack

    My Union flag has four right angles, four straight edges and consists of three easily identifiable national flags; slightly different from the jigsaw monstrosity flying at Craigavon. Time for SF to stop wasting time on this one and get back to painting those postboxes green for Ireland.

  • You have to be born into it, a clique of SF politicians will stand next to an over-flowing sewer to look at a lamp post with a flag.

    Yes TD.

    This suggests politicians that know thye will not be punished at the ballot box for getting the basic stuff wrong.

    they inhabit the space-we-the voters create for them.

    this is so reminiscent of the labour party in Glasgow.
    damp slums, but rename the street Nelson Mandela avenue………….

  • does no-one notice the obvious reason for this objection – local Sinn Fein Cllrs are using the same old PR tactics to try and show themselves as fighting British something or other by making this (rather petty) complaint because they fear the power of local dissident republicans – not remember the incident earlier in the week? shooting ring a bell? – they just want to make the “community” feel they are doing something again – check me short piece on it: http://the-dark-eleventh-hour.blogspot.com/2008/09/this-again.html

  • DK

    What’s the SDLP’s stance?

  • DK-the SDLP often find themselves in a race to the bottom so as not to be outdone in the tribal beauty contest.

  • Rooster Cogburn

    Gosh, another tricky one for the BBC (and other SF enablers). If you remember, the BBC decided Robinson calling Murphy on unilaterally changing *agreed* wording of Executive documents was petty, as that was ‘merely technical’ and not worthy of any fuss, even though it plainly broke the letter of the law. Likewise, if *this* even does that – infringes the rules – will the BBC proclaim it to have been a minor irrelevance? Republicans evidently won’t, but then they’ve always believed in one rule for them and another one entirely for everyone else.

  • Driftwood

    This demonstrates clearly why SF need to take their seats at Westminster, as clearly the issue should be raised at Prime Ministers question time tomorrow, in between the economic downturn and Russia/NATO stand off in Georgia.

  • Driftwood.

    Surely the Craigavon flags standoff is a much more serious situation.
    Surely the UN security council needs to focus on this one before serious bickering breaks out!

    The world holds it’s breath………….

  • Driftwood

    I agree Phil
    This has the potential to be a much worse crisis than the over hyped situation in Georgia. And clearly a matter for the prospective US presidential candidates to give their views. How they would handle this major issue will give a clue as to their ability to deal with other potential world crises in the years ahead.
    CNN, Sky News etc appear to be holding back on this one, obviously not wanting to inflame the delicate situation on the ground.

  • Although she has shown some knowledge of the ancient hatreds of the Georgians and the Ossetians.
    The Craigavon Olympic flag issue will stump forign policy newbie Sarah Palin.

    Having said that it would probably test Michael Palin.

    Not even the Monty Python team could make this nonsense up…………..

  • rubin

    The deputy mayor must be well ‘into’ his flags.

    He went to the empty and closed civic centre on a Sunday afternoon to raise the flag himself.

    He said – “The performance of the UK Olympics team has been phenomenal,and everyone with the country’s sporting prowess at heart should be rejoicing.”

    Perhaps we should raise the tricolour over the civic centre, seeing as more competitors from the North represented Ireland rather than Britain?

  • DC

    Stormont estate has a gold rush town atmosphere, except our politicians aren’t good at finding any, just spending it.

  • Rubin-your vignette convinces me that Gordon Brown’s Britishness campaign (please middle England overlook the fact that I am Scottish) is only a hit in the place where he doesnt want it to be a hit….

  • eranu

    i think all the good feeling about the olympics was too much for the shinners. imagine objecting to the olympic flag. what sort of grumpy old git do you have to be to want to cause a petty argument and be negative about something that was considered to be a great success?
    you could just imagine the sky news report. it would flick around shots of smiling atheletes from various countries, cheering crowds of all nationalities. then a shot of the craigavon shinners outside their council office angry faced and shaking their fists at the olympic flag. what arses!

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    This is rediculous. Nit picking by Sinn Féin. The Olympic flag should be flown, (loosly based on union flag design or whatever). Job done!

  • Greenflag

    Posters here just don’t get it . We all know that flags provide jobs in China and they can be eaten as well 🙁

    Is there any end to the ‘brainlessness’ of these eejits !

  • Dev

    *sigh*

    (A) SF should not have made an issue of this in the first place, it’s an Olympic flag ffs.

    (B) A compromise whereby the ‘non-contentious’ Olympic flag was flown should have been agreed upon.

    Does no elected official in the entirety of NI ever take the high ground? Is ever single poltician really so hell-bent on a race to the lowest common denomenator just to prove what complete & utter childish bastards they all are?

    Jesus, stuff like this makes me glad I left for saner shores.

  • Ciaran

    John O’Dowd said (re: the DRD document debacle) “people will be amazed that at a time when there are real outstanding issues to resolve Mr Robinson has the time to play petty politics”.

    That’s quite easily turned around on Sinn Fein on this issue. Surely when there are real outstanding issues to resolve, they shouldn’t be focusing on a bit of one flag being on another one.

  • When are the unionists/loyalists going to learn that they have to become inclusive.Its as plain as the flag flying over craigavon civic centre.Its not Finchley you know!

  • Suilven

    Calm down, blinding – don’t have a stroke. Whenever the RoI next hosts the Olympic Games, I sure Craigavon will gladly fly whatever symbol Dublin comes up with 🙂

  • concerned republican

    “[i]My Union flag has four right angles, four straight edges and consists of three easily identifiable national flags; slightly different from the jigsaw monstrosity flying at Craigavon. Time for SF to stop wasting time on this one and get back to painting those postboxes green for Ireland.”[/i]

    No way, the postboxes are controlled by the Brits. We need another movement to get our people in line, we need to reorganise.

  • Pounder

    Out of curiosity exactly how many people from Northern Ireland where on Team GB? The very fact that it was called Team Great Britain and not Team United Kingdom makes it apparent how well thought of athletes from Northern Ireland are thought of, i.e. not at all.

  • ulsters my homeland

    [i]Sinn Fein councillor Johnny Gibbon has written a letter of protest [/i]

    OK, what next?

  • UMH-err thats it………

    Letter of protest about something that isnt very important in place that isnt very interesting.

    Move along now

  • Driftwood

    Who is Johnny Gibbon protesting to? Monica McWilliams?
    The Human Rights Commission could challenge the Equality Commission, perhaps with back up from the Victims commission?
    Does Boris Johnson know about this?

    Or Johnny Gibbon and Arnold Hatch could each get a life.

  • crc

    Is Craigavon an Olympic host city??

  • albert horsepig

    I see the “Real UVF” are threatening to murder SF councillors in Fermanagh, wonder was it them that burnt the SF office in Lisnaskea.

    Any thoughts Turgon?. Or is this petty shit more interesting