Flags and the future of Northern Ireland

Yesterday I blogged about flags on O’Conall St.

This evening I arrived home from a day’s work in Dublin to news that Junior McCrum, a DUP representative in Banbridge Co Down, claimed there was no problem what so ever with the continued flying of Union Flags there because in his words it is over 60% Protestant and therefore a “Protestant town”. The SDLP’s Dolores Kelly took serious issue with his remarks during a live debate with reporter Kevin Sharkey. The comments were made on BBC Radio Ulster’s evening Xtra Programme tonight. Link here – its about 39:50 in.

  • Mucky Pig

    Couldnt agree more with Ms Wiz. I live in a 76% Nationalist town in Fermanagh, every summer the town is covered and I do mean COVERED with loyalist flags top to bottom.

    There are more each year now with new parades to assure they are up longer.

    Isnt it time for Unionists to bloody catch themselves on? Do they think change can be held back with flags!

    If you are / feel British good for you, put your flag on your property. Have a bit of respect for the symbols you hold to and stop shoving them in the faces of people who want shared spaces left to be just that – shared.

  • Mucky Pig

    Just listened to Mong McCrum – very interesting mistake on his part – listen again 42:38 “a small MAJORITY in Banbridge town want to cause division”

    Freudian slip or what!

  • An Lorgain

    Lurgan is a majority nationalist town and has been for the last 10+ years, many unionists moved to Banbridge, probably to escape the torture of the LVF. For 3+ months of the year unionists erect bunting and flags in 70% of the town, including all but 300 yards of the town centre. Nationalists erect tri colors along the route of the Easter parade, consisting of two streets and 300 yards of the town centre and take them down after a week.

    Sectarian tensions rise the evening the flags go up and often result in a riot, tensions remain throughout the summer, culminating in numberous sectarian attacks. If unionists are serious about a shared future then why do they insist on putting up too many flags in a shared space and leaving them there all summer?

    What’s more interesting is how the town has been run down the last 15 years, half the shops are boarded up, transport/roads are a joke. When compared to Portadown it’s easy to see where Lurgan rate payers money is being invested.

    The Irish jack?

    http://img34.imageshack.us/i/irishjack.png/

  • Brian MacAodh
  • YelloSmurf

    I’m also inclined to agree with Ms Wiz and ninteensixtynine, flags should, generally, not be hung from lamposts or traffic lights etc.

  • milo

    This all just shows that Sinn Fein aren’t fit to solve problems that are specific to the political north or the issues common in any society. Under them, we’ve no hope now or any time soon.

    Conor Murphy, you’re silence on this has been deafening. I would take the flags down myself only I can’t get my ladder to sit right in the West Tyrone potholes.

  • milo

    My extreme apologies for the typo “you’re” when I meant “your” I have shamed mysel…no wait, I blame Caitriona Ruane

  • An Lorgain

    Sorry, here’s the [url=http://internetcommentator.typepad.com/internet_commentator/images/irish_jack.png]Irish jack[/url]

  • Archie Purple

    Where are Mick Fealty and Pete Baker when you need me to remove posts that ‘play the man, not the ball’.

    Oh !!!! I forgot….Unionists / Protestants / Loyalists are eligible to be libelled unlike Nationalists / Roman Catholics / Republicans….

    Should have known !!!!

  • Personal and derogatory comments do nothing to progress debate or further anyone’s cause. It is deeply regrettable that some continue to post material of a that nature on this thread.

    I do not want to make an editorial judgment here as I am only a guest blogger but I strongly suspect Mick and colleagues may remove some of them at the earliest opportunity.

    The rest of us would quite like to continue to debate some of the geniunely important issues which have been riased.

  • oldruss

    Others have said this above, but it seems that in the interests of public peace, ALL flags, bunting, curb painting, etc. should be prohibited: red/white/blue and orange/white/green both.

    Probably too simplistic, and it would take some amount of force by the PSNI, which in and of itself might doom any such plan, but it seems that these displays only exacerbate the tribal tensions, which lead to tragedy, like the murder of Kevin McDaid in Coleraine or Michael Mickey Bo McIlveen in Ballymena.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘(and I am sure the claim is either false or wholly misleading)’

    Brit just because something happened which you refuse to accept happened, your rebuttal of it by merely encompassing the words ‘false’ or ‘misleading’ without actual evidence is pretty childish.

    ‘ that most nations closed their doors to anything more than a small symbolic number of Jewish refugees.’

    For a ‘historian’ your ignorance surrounding various zionist organisations and their attempts to limit the choices fleeing jews had for their imigration, thus facillitating the largest possible number for their project in Palestine is embarrassing…..for yourself. It is a fact, no amount of you throwing the words ‘flase’ or ‘misleading’ at these facts will ever change that. How about this from another book….

    ‘So, while the generically Jewish response of seeking refuge wherever they could was genuine self-defense, the specifically Zionist response of insisting on emigration to Palestine was not. It amounted to choosing a single escape route, not because that strategy saved the most lives, but because it promoted Jewish sovereignty. Ben-Gurion himself made this brutally clear at the time, saying:

    “If I knew that it was possible to save all the children in Germany by transporting them to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, I would choose the second – because we face not only the reckoning of these children, but the historical reckoning of the Jewish people.”(Ben-Gurion)

    This seems a rather vague reason for leaving children to die. In simpler terms, Ben-Gurion was far more committed to Jewish sovereignty than to saving jews from what came to be called a holocaust. Already in 1933, the Jewish Agency and the Nazis had signed the “haavara”(transfer) agreement that allowed Jews to emigrate with 1000 pounds – but only for Palestine, where the british required that sum for admission.’
    (The Case Against Israel – Micheal Neumann p81)

    I await your usual shooting of the messenger Brit regarding Neumann, but it is abundantly clear your pissing into the wind with this one.

    ‘Anyone who takes from that conference an opportunity to bash Zionism, rather than to appreciate its real significance, is someone with a skewed and de-legitimising agenda.’

    Appreciate such an obnoxious ideology…you really are twisted. WHy do you keep promoting an ideology which is racist in nature and one which advocates subjugating the rights of an indigenous people in their own land to those of outsiders/settlers. Nevermind its an ideology which was more concerned with its own project that the safety of the people it ‘claimed’ to care about. Furthermore the racist aspect of zionism is evidently clear from the manner in which many advocates of zionism speak about non-jews. Whilst such language rightly horrors many liberal jews who reject zionism, it is a virulent strain in the ideology you seek to defend.

    ‘I hope this gives you some pause to question some of the other false, misleading, partial, and de-contextualised “facts” on the history of Israel which you appeared to have swallowed unthinkingly from some shallow anti-Zionist text.’

    The only thing that gives me pause is how you have the enviable ability of being able to denounce fact as false and wrong without neary a bit of eveidence from yourself. Furthermore your unwavering support for zionism nauseates me. How in this day and age someone can openly support such a racist and twisted ideology without actually really knowing much about its founders or modern advocates. Which lets face it you don’t, as is abundantly clear from your continued laughable ‘retorts’. It is you Brit, who has swallowed the ‘history’ of zionism and Israel, hook line and sinker from the zionists themselves.

    ‘I studied the Holocaust at University and have read half a dozen histories of histories of Israel.’

    Forgive me Brit but you’ll understand if i take that boast with a pinch of salt(given your ‘grasp’ of the history). I suggest you temper your reading of the Likes of Dershowitz or Pipes with some Neumann, Finkelstein or Chomsky, then perhaps having read both sides you’ll realise who is in a better command of the facts. BTW its bad form to post on another thread so perhaps you could eamil me if you wish. (Apoplgies Conall)

  • eranu

    guest, im sorry but im not quite sure where you’re coming from. perhaps you think that NI is somehow part of the republic of ireland? i think many republican posters seem to think that they are in some way living in the republic. to be honest it really is silly nonsense when people try to act like they arent living in the UK. that guy who got worked up the other week about a union jack on his cooked chicken is a good example.

    as far as plagues of flegs go. i totally agree with other posters, they shouldnt be hung from lamp posts and generally all over the shop. at a basic aesthetic level it looks tacky as hell and probably the work of complete morons. the decor inside their own homes must be a sight to behold. personally id prefer multi coloured bunting and flower baskets on lamp posts, perhaps with orange as the main colour for orange order events. basically something that looks nice! and take it down afterwards and keep your area looking tidy!

  • guest

    Eranu,

    My point is that NI is not as British as,well,Britain.It doesn’t mean that I think I’m living in the the Republic.That would be some confidence trick, and there are those who see the Belfast agreement as the basis of that leap between negation of one nationality and the other.You may not consider yourself anti-agreement but just to take the principal of consent as the only article that matters is as silly as that chicken guy, and to ignore that room as been made for the Republic to grow within NI.

  • LongDanSweeney

    This is one of those subjects that is pre-determined to set my heart racing. (wait for insults)

    It would appear that with the exception of areas of Newry and Armagh that flags of a republican nature are erected for events and then removed (probably to be stored for next time) whilst those of our loyalist brethren are placed in areas to make the most point, be that territorial, offensive or threatening.

    As a republican, I may be missing the point, but my tricolour comes out for sporting events and StPats Day and Easter. I fly it in my own garden.

    I don’t go down the road find someone who disagrees with me, plant it outside his house and then beat him to death when he gets upset.

    maybe it’s just me

  • Seán

    Just you Dan. Careful now, someone will be along with a shovel to batter you over the head for daring to fly a foreign flag on the Queen’s soil.

  • Archie Purple

    Whatever Councillor McCrum may be….it is unlikely he controlled terrorists like our Deputy First Minister, murdered people like the Mayor of Northern Ireland’s second city, bombed London like a female Sinn Fein MLA from Londonderry and is unlike any of the Sinn Fein elected MLAs and Councillors who have had between them sentences of over 2,000 years in jail imposed upon them during their sectarian war against Protestants and their British heritage within Northern Ireland and elsewhere.

  • Brit

    “Appreciate such an obnoxious ideology…you really are twisted. Why do you keep promoting an ideology which is racist in nature and one which advocates subjugating the rights of an indigenous people in their own land to those of outsiders/settlers. Nevermind its an ideology which was more concerned with its own project that the safety of the people it ‘claimed’ to care about. Furthermore the racist aspect of zionism is evidently clear from the manner in which many advocates of zionism speak about non-jews.” RS

    No RS I meant appreciate the real significance of the conference not Zionism. Thanks for the “twisted” I’ll add that to the other epithets you have applied to me – sick, disgusting and, of course, racist.

    I’m not promoting Zionism particularly I’m just suggesting you analyse it for what it is – ie one amongst many nationalisms with its roots in the 19th Century and one which can only be fully understood against the context of a long history of oppression and dispossession of the Jews of Europe and worldwide. The practical realisation of Zionism was problematic, to say the least, in part because of failure to really see the or at least properly engage with the arabs who lived in the area which was to form the proposed Jewish state. The problems were also caused by the rejectionism of the arab inhabitants, who were to become Palestinians, and importantly the wider arab and muslim world (a much bigger community than Jewry with plenty of seats / votes at the UN).

    For reasons I have set out before I do not think that the imperialist / colonial paradigm is properly applicable here. Less still the currently popular apartheid one – which I think is self-evidently false. Have a look on the Engage website if you want to see the kind of argumentation and evidence which I would rely on if I was to debate this with you.

    Zionism at its barest means the belief in a nation-state/homeland for the Jews. On that broad definition Zionism is compatible with all sorts of other views, free market liberalism, jewish supremacism, socialism, theocracy, totalitarianism. More specifically Zionism is generally understood to be secular and democratic and the its concept of a Jewish state is not an ethnically “pure” state but one in which other ethnic groups have equal civil and political rights.

    Although some Zionists, at least in the bare definition, hold views which are obnoxious, racist, xenophobic, bigoted so do Italian or Irish nationalists – and they are not essential or necessary features of Zionism.

    Your constant reference to the rights of the indigenous peoples against outsiders/settlers is interesting. This approach, hostility to the other the newcomer and outsider, has a long pedigree in the racist reactionary right. Furthermore there is a case that the Jews were the first and true indigenous people in the land of Palestine/Israel – and one with a long and unbroken presence in, say, Jerusalem. Your reference to settlers brings to mind a blonde Afrikaner settling in black Africa or a ginger Scotsman in British India. The European Jews were Semites and they were not “from” Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine many of whose inhabitants repeatedly told them to “go back to Palestine”. Many of the early and current inhabitants of Israel were from north Africa or arab countries and were going back home rather than settling. If you think Israel is a “white” country then you obviously haven’t been there. Many Israelis (including the 20% Israeli arabs) are “swarthy” to use the expression you have repeatedly used in relation to the Palestinians.

    The arab inhabitants in what is now Israel or the occupied territories were in the 20s/30s and before, arabs of the Levant. There was no Palestinian nation or nationality or identity and they had no more affiliation to the British mandate or Ottoman Palestine than to Jordan, Syria etc. Furthermore no one was forced out of there homes or subjugated when Jewish immigration started. Land and property was lawfully purchased and settlements and kibbutzim set up in empty areas. Displacement etc took place in the context of a war started by the Palestinians who rejected a fair and reasonable partition plan. There as a roughly equal displacement of Jewish refugees from the muslim world at the same time. I do not think the Palestinian claim to statehood in ’48 was any stronger or weaker than the Jewish claim and I think the fair deal for Palestinians now must reflect the aggressive wars that it and its supporters have waged.

    The fact that an advocate of Zionism is racist towards non-Jews would not, of itself, prove that Zionism is racist. That said I don’t recognise such racism within mainstream Zionists. It goes without saying that Palestinian political parties, society and the broader arab and muslim world is saturated with anti-semitism – which does not delegitimise the rights of the Palestinians to statehood.

  • Rory Carr

    Congratulations, Archie Purple, you have just been awarded the Grand Prix de Whataboutery for 2009 for the above post which was so pure, without any taint of subtlety or relevance to the original topic that it surely is unlikely to be parallelled for many years to come.

    You are truly a worthy champion and a credit to your people (if they still speak to you).

  • Ms Wiz

    Here’s an interesting article from the Observer earlier this year on the Springfarm estate in Antrim:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/12/housing-estate-northern-ireland

    In particular I’d like to quote Seamus Davis the community association’s chairman:

    “There are a few basic rules everyone adheres to: no flags to be flown at any time of the year; no paramilitary or political murals; no kerbstones painted red, white and blue or green, white and orange. And while we can’t vet anyone coming into the area alongside the HE, we do try to ensure that our religious and ethnic balance is maintained.”

    Perhaps the aspiration for shared spaces in Northern Ireland isn’t as idealistic as we probably think.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    Just off the topic, but stil talking about flags, etc… but with the Easter Rising centenary coming up in 2016 how about changing the Tricolour and removing that Orange bit as it basically means nothing.

    A good old gold harp on a green background will suffice to represent Ireland….maybe include 4 stars to represent the provinces.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘The problems were also caused by the rejectionism of the arab inhabitants, who were to become Palestinians, and importantly the wider arab and muslim world (a much bigger community than Jewry with plenty of seats / votes at the UN).’

    Brit you are like a moth continually banging your head against a bulb. I have already stated that the palestinians were well within their rights to reject giving away any of their land. Yet you blissfully ignore this and continue with the arab rejectionism line. It seems you are incapable of reading.

    ‘For reasons I have set out before I do not think that the imperialist / colonial paradigm is properly applicable here.’

    It matters not a jot what YOU think. The fact is Israel was settled by colonists under the auspices of the imperial power of the time Britain. I suggest you look up the definition of colonization. Again thsi has been dealt with before but you insist on acting like a moth.

    ‘I’m not promoting Zionism particularly I’m just suggesting you analyse it for what it is’

    Its evidently clear i have analysed it better than you considering you seek to contradict the uuterrances of the founders themselves. You seem to have a blind spot as far as quotes from early zionists go.

    ‘Zionism at its barest means the belief in a nation-state/homeland for the Jews.’

    And Jews only. Again you seek to impose a dual loyalty/nationalism on many jews who do not wish to be saddled with it. NOT ALL JEWS SUPPORT ZIONISM. Once again I have stated this in earlier postings but yet AGAIN you continue to act like a moth.

    ‘More specifically Zionism is generally understood to be secular and democratic and the its concept of a Jewish state is not an ethnically “pure” state but one in which other ethnic groups have equal civil and political rights.’

    Listen you moth, its abundantly clear you haven’t the slightest inkling what the founders of zionism or Israel intended, they by their own words admitted they wanted to remove the non-jews. Please desist with acting stupid after all this has been pointed out to you.

    ‘Your constant reference to the rights of the indigenous peoples against outsiders/settlers is interesting.’

    Your constant belief that native people should subordinate themselves to settlers is sickening.

    ‘This approach, hostility to the other the newcomer and outsider, has a long pedigree in the racist reactionary right.’

    The Palestinians were right to view zionism with suspicion. Ben-Gurion himself admitted he would act the same. He admitted they wanted to steal their land, I would be hostile to anyone who wanted to force me out of my house too. Again I have dealt with this in earlier psots but you are either to proud or too idiotic to admit you are wrong.

    ‘Furthermore there is a case that the Jews were the first and true indigenous people in the land of Palestine/Israel’

    Again your ignorance is astonishing. There were people in the land before the isrtaelites conquered it. Also Palestinians would be descended from jews and other tribes who converted to islam and chritianity. Yet again this fallacy of yours was dealt with in earlier posts but you keep doing the moth thing.

    ‘The European Jews were Semites’

    Right so the Khazars were a dream, jews never had converts. Once again this has been dealt with, several time yet you keep coming back with long debunked nonsense.

    ‘Many Israelis (including the 20% Israeli arabs) are “swarthy” to use the expression you have repeatedly used in relation to the Palestinians.’

    Obvioulsy, because palestinians are from palestine, oriental jews are from non-white countries, many of whom would be converts tio judaism 100s of years ago.A jew from England or America would be english or american. Moth thing, seems you are fond of it.

    ‘There was no Palestinian nation or nationality or identity and they had no more affiliation to the British mandate or Ottoman Palestine than to Jordan, Syria etc.’

    I(t matters not a jot whether they had a central govt or not, they lived and owned the land. It is quite racist to assume a less developed people have less rights than people from more advanced nations. By your logic Britain should still rule all of Ireland and her african colonies. Quite racist. An again already dealt with.

    ‘ Land and property was lawfully purchased and settlements and kibbutzim set up in empty areas.’

    Again I have dealt with this. approx 7-8% of what is now Israel was lawfully and legally bought by the zionists befoire the nakba. How do you think they got the rest?

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Displacement etc took place in the context of a war started by the Palestinians who rejected a fair and reasonable partition plan.’

    Brit do you have a learning disability? Why on earth should a people give up their land to outsiders. The palestinians were correct to reject the developed worlds planb for taking their land from them. Again already dealt with. You also fail to recognise that the rise of anti-semitism in the Arab world is as a direct result of zionism.

    Brit, you are beginning to bore me now. Every single ‘point’ you raised with that last post, i have already dealt with in the earlier thread. But like all good supporters of Israel you think if you shout a lie long and hard enough some people will believe you. Please do me a favour and read back through the posts and do not keeping harping on with the same nonsense. Like I said its bad form to post on an unrealated thread. (Apoplogies again Conall)

  • Brit

    “If I knew that it was possible to save all the children in Germany by transporting them to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, I would choose the second – because we face not only the reckoning of these children, but the historical reckoning of the Jewish people.”(Ben-Gurion) RS

    If that quote is accurate and not be distoted by being taken out of context then it is a despicable thing to say and worthy of contempt. Ben-Gurion was good for a quote and said lots of things, many outrageous and many inconsistent. In any event this is not proof of the wrongness of Zionism.

    One could find quotes for almost any political figure and use them to bury him/her. Particularly in the case of historical politicians in the mid- 20th Century before political correctness and media training for politicians.

    There are also many false Ben-Gurion quotes, either falsely attributed or entirely fictitious, doing the anti-Zionist rounds and recycled by Chomsky, Finekstein, Pilger, Counterpunch at al

    “Forgive me Brit but you’ll understand if i take that boast with a pinch of salt” RS
    Are you suggesting I would make up biographical facts? If so you haven’t got the measure of me at all. I studied a course at Manchester run by Norm Geras (the liberal-Marxist and Zionist Professor of Politics who blogs at normblog).

  • michael

    Gragoir O Fraincln

    Maybe three and a third stars would suffice ,two thirds of one province being… *ahem* occupied ;-).

    Also, a thread about flags on slugger = 130 posts. A thread regarding NAMA = 3.

    Quelle surprise!

  • I like the nice mix of flegs waved by the nice folk on the terraces @ Ravenhill – all part of the peace process maybe – yella 9 county ones fluttering alongside red & white 6 county N.I. ones – and not a tattered one in sight. Roll on first match next friday – against Newcastle – don’t know what their fleg(s) are like. And when Ireland play there down comes the Union Jack from the main flegpole and up goes the IRFU fleg and there are even reported glimpses of Tricolours. I also like the fleg showing all 4 provinces fleg – and even have one which has fluttered @ Croke Pk.
    Sorry this post is so non controverial – all part of being in the Alliance Party i suppose – but it annoys me a weebit that we dont have our own fleg..

  • YelloSmurf

    Mike

    I quite like the four provence one as well.

    Did you see the Alliance proposals for a new flag? How bad were they? And why were they in our party colours

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    That flag effort is appalling, a map of NI.

    Aye maybe the 4 provinces flag could suffice instead of the wrongly adopted tri-colour.

  • abu nicola

    The constant over flying of flags is a sign of deep insecurity.

  • Unionist

    Yet another Republican blogger on Slugger …

    Flags are about pride and I’m glad NI has some pride unlike the UK mainland where people are becoming unknown identities because they are afraid to offend anyone.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    “The constant over flying of flags is a sign of deep insecurity.”

    Absolutely correct!

    “Flags are about pride and I’m glad NI has some pride unlike the UK mainland where people are becoming unknown identities because they are afraid to offend anyone.”

    I take it that your home is painted red white and blue and bedecked with Union flags, just to remind other folk that you are a “known BRITISH identity” in Ireland.

  • Ms Wiz

    Unionist

    If you need a flag to define you then maybe there’s something deeper lacking in your life.

  • RepublicanStones

    Brit im sure im not the only one who sees that when debating with you, anything which rubbishes your ‘thesis’ you claim is either false or distorted. You sit in the lofty position of being able to not inconvieience yourself with little things called ‘facts’.

    ‘recycled by Chomsky, Finekstein, Pilger, Counterpunch at al’

    I really appreciate it if you could show me where Finkelstein has lied or Chomsky for that matter on the issue of the I/P conflict. I, unlike you, can accept correction.

    ‘In any event this is not proof of the wrongness of Zionism. ‘

    Indeed it is zionism itself which demonstrates its own ‘wrongness’. Brit from its first inception to the present day, zionism was and is devoid of any moral legitimacy. From Herzl himself….

    “We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country….Both the process of \expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly” (Theodor Herzl)

    Try this admission from Menuhin…

    “It was drummed into our young hearts that the fatherland must become ours, ‘goyim rein'(free of gentiles)
    (Moshe Menuhin)

    Or how about the American jewish philosopher Morris Choens verdict on zionism….

    “A national Jewish Palestine must neccessarily mean a state founded on a peculiar race, a tribal religion, and a mystic belief in a peculiar soil.”

    The very fact zionists (some to this day) try to propagate the myth that ‘Palestine was a land without a people for a people without a land’
    reflects the fact that zionists themselves knew their ideology was inherently wrong and so had to pretend that there was no indigeous people there who would be affected by their ‘vision’. It is a myth long seen to be the fraudulent claim it was. Yet the very fact some idiots still try to perpetuate illustrates the lack of morality that zionism has. Let me ask you this, if you think zionism is so good and right, why are there legions of Jews who disagree with you? Now compare the amount of jews who disagree with zionism with the amount of Palestinians who agree with zionism. How many palestinians are there who say ‘Zionism is right, I should vacate my land’? That in itself tells a story you are not willing to hear.

    Brit who you studied under matters not a jot. You seem to think because you had a few classes with Geras that that makes you correct, and I wrong. What an absolutely idiotic line of thinking. I spent years studying Shakespeare and Jonson, do i claim to be an expert on Elizabethan drama, or does my module on politically didvided socities make me an expert on intercommunal strife? The simple answer is No. And i wouldn’t be that much of an ass to think it did. Honestly, you are making a bit of a wally out of yourself with the ‘i done this, i done that’ attitude. What you clearly haven’t done is investigate thouroughly the ideology you seem so desperate to defend. Please desist from regurgitating the same old points after they have been rubbished. It only serves to add to your embarrassment. If you feel you need to go back to the start and have a re-read, i suggest you do that. But please stop with the moth thing and thinking just because you ‘studied it’ you’re right, refrain from thinking that just because a fact or a quote is not to your liking that by you saying its ‘false’ or ‘distorted’ or the person ‘may’ only have said it, that that constitutes any kind of a serious rebuttal. Because im afraid it doesn’t. Like I said earlier, its bad form to keep posting on an unrelated thread. Email me.

  • Janty J

    @YelloSmurf

    Indeed, those Alliance flag proposals were absolutely terrible designs.

    Alliance would be better to promote something like what Paul had suggested earlier in this thread (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_northern_ireland_flag.svg )

  • danielmoran

    paul. perhaps an appropriate flag for n.i. [not that i’m suggesting i would want one] is a rubik cube design. no one outside here has yet got the place worked out.

  • OC

    Janty, replace the red (except for red hand) with orange, no?

  • @OC – trust me, I tried many many variants in colour combinations, and that was one of them. The orange and red just clashed together making it look aesthetically ugly.

    Additionally I wanted to avoid having all three of red/white/blue or green/white/orange in the design.

    I don’t like the old cliché of green=nationalist/catholic and orange=unionist/protestant, and wanted to promote symbols and colours that we have in common, rather than sectarian tokenism.

    Ironically, adding the orange would make the design look too nationalist, even though the orange is supposedly a “unionist colour”!! (imo blue would have more “true blue” unionist associations – adding blue, say, instead of the green would make the design look too unionist).

    I added the green colour to add a more Celtic feel, if compared to the existing Northern Ireland flag. Think more Ireland or Wales, rather than the existing flag that looks almost English in terms of colour. Green is also a colour already associated with NI – all NI national sports teams wear green or have some sort of green uniform, and I don’t think any part of the community has a problem with green.

    @eranu – I also tried the red hand at various sizes, however, the current size seemed to look best with the corners of the hexagon intersecting with the St. Patrick’s cross.

  • Big Maggie

    Tomcats piss upon certain sections of “their” territory as a declaration of ownership.

    Man-boys paint kerbstones and hang flags from lampposts for similar reasons.

    Neither female cats nor female humans engage in such idiocy.

    What does this say about the man-boys?

  • Brian MacAodh

    It says that female cats or female humans rarely own anything,so they have no reason to symbolize their ownership.

  • OC

    We used to say, “Cows shit, too, they just don’t brag about it.”

    Sorry, Maggie’s Drawers again.

    Meerkat alpha females, for example, regularly urine mark other members of her “mob”.

    Use animal comparisons at your peril.

  • Big Maggie

    Brian,

    I have the horrible feeling you’re serious.

  • Big Maggie

    OC,

    “Use animal comparisons at your peril.”

    Comparisons? We’re all animals.

    I’ve never seen a woman or girl painting a kerbstone or hanging a flag on a lamppost, have you?

    Possible reason: women generally have a life (or two).

  • eranu

    paul, i was also thinking of problems with making out the small detail in flags when they are viewed from a distance or included on a small logo on a sports shirt etc. also the resolution on a TV cant show the small detail properly. perhaps the hexagon could be removed to allow a bigger hand. although, as it is i like it also.

    it would be great if team conservate/uu could support a new flag as part of their ‘for everyone’ non sectarian party drive. alliance might support it too. if public support built up then that might force the other parties to come on board too.

  • eranu,

    Here is my design in various resolutions:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/thumb.php?f=United_northern_ireland_flag.svg&width=150px
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/thumb.php?f=United_northern_ireland_flag.svg&width=175px
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/thumb.php?f=United_northern_ireland_flag.svg&width=200px
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/thumb.php?f=United_northern_ireland_flag.svg&width=300px

    I think that it’s distinctive enough to recognise even at small sizes (unlike the existing NI flag which looks like it is a St. George’s Cross). In cases where it is wanted to be used as a small logo, then perhaps an emblem like this could be used:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/thumb.php?f=United_northern_ireland_emblem.svg&width=150px

    I also experimented with designs without the hexagon, however, in these cases the red hand on a green background lacked contrast, and the overall design just didn’t appear as striking as it does with the hexagon.

    You can easily edit and create your own (I used a free program called Inkscape) – there are some others uploaded here.

  • Enouhg said

    Hand Weapon

  • eranu

    paul, i hadnt thought about the contrast problem. i suppose it would need the white of the hexagon.

    have you approached any of the parties to seek support for a new flag? what did they say?

    id love to hear local politicians asked about a new flag on a panel discussion tv program, and really pressed as to why they wouldnt support something that everyone could identify with. i dont see why a nationalist wouldnt be happy to get rid of the symbols of the old state they didnt like, and i dont see why a unionist wouldnt be happy to have a flag for northern ireland that everyone identified with. probably too much change to cope with for biter old git politicians, but maybe younger ones would like something new for their generation.

  • barnshee

    Flags and painted kerbstones =

    1 Here be Morons and
    2 Houses- prices already depressed rendered unsaleable or further depressed,

    I am sure the local house owners just love it.

  • Fed up with fucking flags

    Perhaps we could adopt another European “regional”
    flag as or own?

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_the_Basque_Country.svg

    Then again…perhaps not.

  • OC

    The Basque flag seems vaguely familiar…

  • Janty J

    @OC – because the Basque flag is based on the Union Jack!!

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    Paul,

    That’s an excellent flag proposal for NI. Green, white and red are very appropriate colours. If one wanted to identify with their own particular part, but Green = Irish Nationalists, Red = the British, the Red hand of Ulster and the St. Patrick’s Cross summs NI up perfectly today…. and not a crown.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/thumb.php?f=United_northern_ireland_flag.svg&width=300px

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    …and not a crown in sight.

    Gréagóir O Frainclín

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    A new flag for the Republic of Ireland …anybody?

    A revival of the old and more appropriate Irish Nationalist Green flag and get rid of that incongruous and anchronistic “Orange” bit.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:New_Flag_of_Ireland.jpg

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    A new flag for the Republic of Ireland …anybody?

    A revival of the old and more appropriate Irish Nationalist Green flag and get rid of that incongruous and anachronistic “Orange” bit.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:New_Flag_of_Ireland.jpg

  • @eranu

    Indeed the white fixed the contrast issue – it’s also why I kept the white from the background of the St. Patrick’s Cross – the red cross on a green background just didn’t look good.

    No, I haven’t approached any NI political parties. In fact, I wanted to keep political parties out of it as much as possible, until absolutely necessary (especially in a place where politicians get elected based on who can be as sectarian as possible). I wanted to have more of an endorsement of a flag from the grass-roots / bottom up. i.e. I DON’T want my design for example being associated with a particular Unionist/Nationalist party, and hence being labelled as such.

    Actually, when Alliance made a proposal for a new flag a few years ago I was really against the idea! This was mainly due to my dislike of the quality of the suggestions for flags that Alliance were making. I don’t want there to be a new flag for Northern Ireland that no one actually likes! Instead of just promoting the concept of “a new flag for Northern Ireland”, I’d rather rally around one or two specific designs and promote them as the solution. Hence, I have posted my design on a few blogs to try and test the water a bit. Perhaps Slugger is not the best place to do this as we do intend to get the extremes on here.

    If I can elaborate on the Alliance designs, they were fine for a corporate logo, but just too complex and logo-like for a flag. Also, unlike say in the US, this part of the world is steeped in ancient heritage and heraldic symbols – to not use such heraldic symbols in a flag design just makes it feel empty and meaningless. Hence, I tried to keep such heraldic symbols, while also trying to maintain a balanced design by taking into account comments from others on the net on what they did and did not like about other similar flag suggestions that had sprouted.

    So maybe if enough people like this particular design, then I/others can get a few hundred of them made and start selling them on St. Paddy’s Day, NI sports events, etc. I can’t really do that on my own (particularly since I’m currently living abroad), hence I’m posting on here to try and give it a bit of publicity.

    So Mick (you listening Mick, eh eh?), how about giving this a bit more prominent publicity so we can get a wider opinion on whether it would have widespread support or not?

  • Paul:

    I like your design. It’s actually rather similar to one I drew up myself a while back (but without the red hand).

    Gragoir:

    Not bad, but it seems a little complicated. Are the gold bands top and bottom necessary? Also, what’s the significance of the four stars? If they mean the four provinces, then surely it would be more appropriate as an all-Ireland flag rather than one for the Republic?

    Which brings me to another point. What flag should we all be flying at rugby internationals in order to cause least offence?

  • eranu

    paul, agree with you on the ancient symbols.
    st paddys day and sports events would be a good starting point. i wonder would GAA fans fly it? an irish flag for an irish state? (which is also british)….. maybe moderate nationalists would be happy with that.
    agree it would be bad news if only one tribal party was associated with a new flag at an early stage. but parties would need to be involved at some stage to make it official. maybe best to get a head of steam with the public and then get one of each tribes parties to back the flag openly.

    “Which brings me to another point. What flag should we all be flying at rugby internationals in order to cause least offence?”
    andrew, matches in ROI – ROI flag. matches in NI – NI flag. there is no UK context for rugby, football or games where ireland (island of) plays as one team. although theres no reason not to also have the UK flag flying somewhere around a stadium in the UK.

  • eranu:

    andrew, matches in ROI – ROI flag. matches in NI – NI flag. there is no UK context for rugby, football or games where ireland (island of) plays as one team.

    I wasn’t thinking of a UK context. What about when we play away in France, for example? Shouldn’t there be some sort of shared symbolism?

  • JantyJ

    Andrew Gallagher:

    St. Patrick’s flag for all-Ireland shared symbolism.

  • YelloSmurf

    Andrew Gallagher

    Cross of St Patrick or 4 provences flag.

    Paul, that green and red design is starting to grow on me.

  • Hearing this report that Junior McCrum made- He is 100%right that Banbridge is a protestant town! If you listen to the media, THEY class towns as either Loyalist or Republican, so why should an electedrepresentative not be able to?