New Northern Ireland flag?

What do you think? If it doesn’t quite fit the bill, what would?

,

  • Brian Walker

    Not bad.. The Crown on top of course will be a bone of contention. And some will object to NI again nicking the Ulster Red Hand. The way round that one is to remind pedants it’s an O’Neill emblem and an English defined province needn’t have exclusive rights to it. After all, Georgia in the Caucuses shares the St George emblem with England. Why not take a leaf from the PSNI and put the Crown and Harp on opposite sides near the meeting point of the St Patrick’s cross, with a slightly thinner diagonal?

  • Nordie Northsider

    How about a pint of Harp perched atop an Ulster fry? The harp imagery could placate nationalists.

  • Rory Carr

    No! No! No! This simply will not do as a flag to represent any aspect of Irish tradition that has not already been bowdlerised by ham-fisted Ulster Unionists desperately seeking an identity. Besides which it is much too busy and quite appallingly ugly.

    The only flag I can think of at the moment which might in any way be held to symbolise the common plight of both communities would be a white flag in the centre of which rests a large question mark.

  • Scaramoosh
  • Commenter

    IMO what’s needed is a flag that will appeal to both communities, not merely be tolerated.

    So I think this is much too similar to the old Ulster Banner. Including the crown is divisive and unnecessary–there’s no crown in the flags of England, Scotland and Wales. And following the PSNI badge approach of including the harp as well would lead to a pretty ugly flag.

    Personally I’d start from scratch. E.g. a flag could be based on the logo of the NI Assembly
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Northern-ireland-assembly.png).

  • Joe

    There’s no crown in the UK flag, the English flag, the Scottish flag or the Welsh flag. Why does NI need a crown?

  • Katinka

    Emerald green please. Is the crown actually necessary? The English, Scots, and Welsh flags don’t have a crown on them after all. It looks out of place and is asthetically unsatisfactory. I am not making a political point here. Northern Ireland is still a part of the province of Ulster and has a perfect right to use the red hand in my opinion.

  • fin

    a English invented Saltire, an English crown, British racing green, the Star of David to remind us of the old regime and the Red Hand emblem of an old enemy to give the whole thing a bit of history.

    Like they’d say on through the keyhole, ‘now who’d deesign a flag like this’

    How about designing a flag which recognises the desire for peace between both traditions, something simple, maybe using colours, say green for nationalists, orange for unionists and then think of another colour to represent peace, and arrange them on a flag, maybe with the peace bit in the middle

  • The very concept of a NI “flag” would be anathema to many republicans. A problem with this flag is that it has the crown on top of the state (denoting the Six Counties) – clearly incompatible with even constitutional republicanism. However, perhaps they could use the PSNI flag, albeit replacing “Police Service of Northern Ireland” with “Northern Ireland? http://www.fotw.net/images/g/gb-psni.gif

  • Crown on top of the star I mean.

  • only asking

    It’s too gay.

  • steve
  • unimpressed

    Creative but ugly.

  • Dewi
  • Driftwood

    NI, England, Scotland and Wales are not countries or nation-states. The United Kingdom is..
    http://www.answers.com/topic/flag-of-the-united-kingdom
    So we already have a flag.

    If we want our own regional identity, FIFA have given us a flag..

    http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/preliminaries/europe/teams/team=43952/index.html

    but its really like designing a flag for London. Or any other UK region.

  • Guest

    Can we play lego too?

  • Jamesy

    “6.There’s no crown in the UK flag, the English flag, the Scottish flag or the Welsh flag. Why does NI need a crown?”

    …because Ireland was the birth place for the monarchy in these isles.

  • Greenflag

    Horrible looking thing -YUCK YUCK and more YUCK -Ghastly does’nt come close .

    The only part that has any legitimacy is the red hand . And therein lies the clue to a flag which could represent all sides in NI .

    I suggest a white background – no crosses -no crowns no shamrocks no harps no green no orange no tribal symbols of any sort just a portrayal of those things which ‘unite’ both communities in their congenital misery ..

    Just severed body parts of a cadaver starting with the ‘red hand ‘ in blood dripping mode in the top left hand corner and filling in the rest of the white space with severed heads , legs , and other body parts which should serve to remind all the people of N. Ireland of the carnage of the past how many years .This might get them to focus on avoiding similar in the future . I say might .

    Certainly would put the fear of god in away games against those of the Crescent Moon and dragons and such like symbol;)?

  • Arthur

    That has to be the ugliest flag I have EVER seen.

  • fin

    The most representative flag for NI would be the Tricolour, Ireland should adapt another flag and donate the Tricolour to NI, what better way to please unionists than ‘by taking it back’ from republicans. Confusion would reign and everyone would be flying it

  • John

    Artist needs to remove the Star of David and the Crown.

    Great idea fin – would be hilarious to see the tricolours flying proudly on the “Glorious” Twelfth…

  • Thereyouarenow

    The crown bit looks likes two scalet red testicles squeezed into a strange squeezing divice that results in a rather disappointing penis.

  • Jamesy

    “20.The most representative flag for NI would be the Tricolour”

    They’ll be no Ivory Coast flag flying in N.Ireland, even if its flying the wrong way round.

  • Mick,

    I would have appreciated if you could have also posted a link to the original (and in my, biased :P, opinion classier) flag design that I had posted on that OWC forum. The version you posted here was created as a modification by someone on OWC because the original “didn’t look British enough”.

    Well, anyway, here is the link to the original design I posted:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_northern_ireland_flag.svg

    I actually also posted this design on Slugger a few weeks ago – there was a brief discussion on this, but it got buried deep in a comment section full of the usual sectarian wrangling on here:
    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/flags-and-the-future-of-northern-ireland/P25/

    and here is the original OWC post:
    http://ourweecountry.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=26815&st=15

    and my explanation behind the design is reproduced below:
    I wanted to create a fresh-looking design for a flag that would have a cross-community appeal.

    I based it on shared symbolism and colours. The ancient mythic red hand is kept as it is the most realistic cross-community symbol we have in Northern Ireland. The St. Patrick’s cross and green background add a bit more of a Celtic feel to it (less England, and more Ireland/Wales-like). I also have a hexagon instead of a 6-pointed star – this still represents the 6 counties, but now also is like a stone from the Giant’s Causeway, gives a fresher look, and also removes any confusion and erroneous associations with the Star of David. The hexagon and colours are also very similar to the logo used by the Northern Ireland tourist board (http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/). Hexagons are also used by many Northern Ireland government departments (http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/) and websites like Taste of Ulster (http://www.tasteofulster.org/). Scotland, England and Wales also don’t have a crown on their flags, so I don’t see why Northern Ireland does.

    I also have several other variants , however, I feel the original one I posted here has the most realistic chance of actually being a NI flag. Some of the variations:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:St._Patrick's_Northern_Ireland_Flag_Hexagon.svg
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_Saint_Patrick's_flag_for_Northern_Ireland.svg
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_northern_ireland_flag_shield.svg
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saint_Patrick's_flag_for_Northern_Ireland_shield.svg
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saint_Patrick's_flag_for_Northern_Ireland.svg

    You can see (and add to) a compilation here:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category…orthern_Ireland

    If you want to edit such designs, I recommend to keep them in a vector format such as SVG. I used the excellent, and free, Inkscape (http://www.inkscape.org/) program to do this, and recommend that you do the same!

    Paul

  • ah, damn! Andrew Gallagher, you beat me to it while I was typing!!

  • Too slow! 😛

  • BTW, the Slugger website has mangled your links. The category is here: http://tinyurl.com/kor4az

  • One of my last links got corrupted – it should have said this:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Proposed_flags_of_Northern_Ireland

  • damn it, Andrew Gallagher, you did it again!!!! 😀
    I really must go to that touch-typing course! 😉

    Paul

  • Noodly Appendage

    Hateful concoction…..

    First impression was that the red hand would need to be clutching one of those wee glowing lollipop devices beloved of the security forces during the emergency when they would guide you into the side of a lonely road for further interrogation.

    Where are ye comin’ from /going to etc !!!

  • borderline

    Brian Walker,

    where do you get the idea that the English defined Ulster?

    Defined the counties? I supppppoooooose so.

    Defined Northern Ireland? Strong case.

    Defined Ulster? On dodgy ground there mate.

  • JimR

    Borderline/Brian,

    The more recent Ulster/Connaught/Leinster/Munster divisions were most definitely defined by the English! Here is a map of Ireland from 650AD:
    http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/maps/historical/map650.gif

    As you can see, Ulster/Ulidia (meaning the land of the Ulaid) covered an area approximately equivalent to that of Antrim/Down.

    Could I also add that the existing Northern Ireland flag gets around “nicking the Ulster Red Hand” by enclosing it in a 6-pointed star, hence differentiating it from the 9-county flag.

    I think the original flag design posted is not bad. I’m not so keen at the removal of the crown and star, but I would agree that the one suggested by Paul is not bad either.

  • Brian,

    “Why not take a leaf from the PSNI and put the Crown and Harp on opposite sides near the meeting point of the St Patrick’s cross, with a slightly thinner diagonal?”

    I could try and make a mock-up of that based on the design I posted, however, I don’t think that it will work. The PSNI flag is very complex and cluttered, and that was something I wanted to avoid. In the hexagon design I was trying to create a balance between something that is simple and boring vs. something that is complex and cluttered. If you read the previous Slugger thread I discussed also how I was trying to avoid sectarian tokenism. i.e. taking shared colours and symbols, rather than taking the blatantly naff approach of including the symbols to represent “each side”. In this respect, I think you’re better to leave both a crown and harp off the flag, but perhaps save them for use in a new Coat of Arms.

  • DoctorWho

    I like it but it could do without the crown.

    rory

    Putting identidy or lack of it aside, a neutral flag for NI and indeed a regional anthem could be purely used for civic and sporting occasions without diluting anyones aspirations or identidy. Incidentally as a unionist I am quite comfortable with who I am and do not seek neutral symbols to reinforce my national identidy.

    BTW didn´t there used to be football threads on this site or have we given up on that. I think some of our more colourful republican posters where uncomfortable with any mention of Nigel´s green and white army.

  • borderline

    JimR,

    you show a map. Very good, no reason to doubt it’s authenticity, but pray tell me how this means

    “The more recent Ulster/Connaught/Leinster/ Munster divisions were most definitely defined by the English!”

    or indeed the Croats! or the Bantu!

  • Diluted Orange

    Surely the problem does not lie in the flag design itself but with the connotations that such a flag will ultimately arouse once it becomes adopted more by one side of the divide in NI than the other?

  • Commenter
  • Chris Donnelly

    If it doesn’t quite fit the bill, what would?

    Mick

    No harm to the fella Paul who’s claiming that concoction, but it’s a bit of a waste of time.

    There really isn’t a desire for such a flag in the first place. A better idea would be to embrace the concept of the simultaneous flying of both National flags, Irish and British, to represent the peoples here. That way there really won’t be reason for anyone to complain.

    Reminds me of when I posed the question to an ardent GAWA supporter on this site about whether a Northern Ireland banner with the team’s name emblazoned on an Irish Tricolour would be welcomed at Windsor. The response, that it wouldn’t because it didn’t respect the ‘National sensitivities’ of supporters, gave the game away.

  • The Truth

    A makey-uppey flag for a makey-uppey country. Oh please.

  • DoctorWho

    Chris D

    “Reminds me of when I posed the question to an ardent GAWA supporter on this site about whether a Northern Ireland banner with the team’s name emblazoned on an Irish Tricolour would be welcomed at Windsor. The response, that it wouldn’t because it didn’t respect the ‘National sensitivities’ of supporters, gave the game away.”

    How do you think I would be received in Croke Park if I waved a union flag with the names of the Irish grand slam winners emblazoned across it.

    I still find it strange you would rather have the union flag represent you than an apolitical nuetral symbol. A new flag won´t make you any less republican, why worry.

  • otto

    We do agree on one symbol and we use it all over the place.

    http://www.ireland.anglican.org/
    http://www.catholicireland.net/pages/index.php
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_pattée
    http://www.ballyholme.com/
    http://www.celticglassdesigns.com/ShowProducts.cfm?SubDesignId=40
    http://ulster.gaa.ie/

    I propose a simple white cross patteé on a blue field with a gold border around the cross – the colours of the presidential standard;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_Ireland

    and the IFA symbol;

    http://www.irishfa.com/

    Who can argue with that?

  • Students’ Union

    We cannot have THAT flag as the thickos at Jordanstown would tear it down due to the colours. (Particularly if local cuisine was featured!)

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Keep re-arranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic, lads…

    More interested in bunting and china designs than addressing real problems. Then again, if you can’t agree on the bunting and the china, maybe real problems are a bridge too far.

  • Dread Cthulhu,

    While I agree that flags are really just silly pieces of cloth, they do have a significant psychological/emotional effect on people. Anything that can psychologically show people from all Northern Irish backgrounds that they and their neighbours all have Northern Ireland in common is surely a positive step.

    It’s certainly better than the recent beatings that have been reported over the years just because of the presence of the “wrong” flag.

  • The Truth

    Its better ye keep ye’re english flags and english national anthem , its cracks me up, I love the bending over barells to the englishman by ye, I never stop laughing at it, ye kill me.

  • … another good thing about having a flag is that it’s better for the branding of Northern Ireland for selling it to tourists, foreign businesses investment, etc.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Paul: “While I agree that flags are really just silly pieces of cloth, they do have a significant psychological/emotional effect on people. Anything that can psychologically show people from all Northern Irish backgrounds that they and their neighbours all have Northern Ireland in common is surely a positive step.”

    The dogs in the streets still tote their guns and rockets, Paul. Before you can think about draining the swamp, you have to do something about the alligators, rats and other vermin.

    A new flag is like putting a flash paint-job on a 1973 AMC Gremlin — it isn’t going to change the reality of the car underneath. This is an exercise in quango-esque — that some new flag, new name, new layer of shellack is going to mean the turd being shellacked isn’t really a turd.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Paul: “… another good thing about having a flag is that it’s better for the branding of Northern Ireland for selling it to tourists, foreign businesses investment, etc. ”

    Sure — you can show them the new flag right after the lads manning the impromptu road-block with their AK-47’s and RPG launcher distributes their political literature… What a thrilling experience for the folks to go back to Peoria and tell their neighbors about.

  • Jonrus

    Don’t need another flag. Why not just give both flags parity?

  • fin

    possibly the favourite for a new flag will be a crown over a swastika

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/sep/06/northern-ireland-racism-loyalists-neo-nazis

  • The argument “we already have a flag, it’s the (tricolour|union jack)” is spurious. Just because you are (or want to be) part of some larger entity doesn’t mean that local identity is therefore meaningless.

    (And BTW, yes you do drain the swamp first.)

  • Neil

    The problem is that too many people will be happy with the flag that they feel represents them. To me the notion of changing allegiance regarding flags is the same as changing allegiance regarding your national football team, it’s never going to happen.

    You tout a new flag, and fair enough some people will go along and some won’t, in the end you’ve got three flags instead of two, with IMO the vast majority still waving their tri colours and union jacks. It’s tantamount to inviting other nations to laugh at us – look at the silly paddies, all their fighting and fucking about, now they’re adding even more flags to the mix, like the addition of another entity for people to fall in behind is the answer – especially in the patriotic, jingoistic allegiance that flags inspire.

    The Brits are Brits and the Irish are Irish, the solution is going to have to be learning to tolerate one another, not some doomed attempt to create a new identity for people to sign up to in the hope that it will cancel out the old identities and the problems arising from those identities.

    As a PS, the flag we were encouraged to comment on in the first place, as a nationalist I say no chance.

  • Ulster McNulty

    JimR

    “The more recent Ulster/Connaught/Leinster/Munster divisions were most definitely defined by the English! Here is a map of Ireland from 650AD”

    The English didn’t define Ulster, they modified the boundary – essentially by leaving out Louth. Your analysis leaves a gap of about 1,000 years. You should ask yourself how boundaries developed in the meantime.

  • JantyJ

    “You can show them the new flag right after the lads manning the impromptu road-block with their AK-47’s and RPG launcher distributes their political literature…”

    Dread Cthulhu,

    Didn’t you get the memo?
    The war is supposed to be over.
    I don’t think that anything would knock that message home further to the so-called “dissidents” than an agreed flag.

    Why let the scumbags dictate progress? There are many ordinary people in NI who want to move on together. The time for appeasing terrorism in name of the “peace process” should be over – further guns and bombs should face the full force of the law.

    As for Neil claiming
    “not some doomed attempt to create a new identity for people to sign up to in the hope that it will cancel out the old identities”

    Sorry, but a Northern Ireland identity is not some “new identity for people to sign up to”. Maybe the dinosaurs aren’t aware of it, but the majority of people in younger age groups already identify themselves as Northern Irish:
    http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/2008/Community_Relations/NINATID.html

    And note that identities in Northern Ireland are NOT mutually exclusive – I identify myself as Northern Irish, which is also British as being part of the United Kingdom / isles, and Irish as from the island. There was a recent Slugger discussion on this here:
    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/does-northern-ireland-exist-in-the-dublin-newsroom/

    As for the flag, the one at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_northern_ireland_flag.svg is a winner!

  • JantyJ

    Slight correction:

    The *plurality* of young people in NI identify themselves as Northern Irish.

  • JantyJ

    … though it’s likely that there could also be an outright majority claiming Northern Irish identity, given that Northern Irish, British and Irish are not mutually exclusive identities.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    JantyJ: “Didn’t you get the memo?”

    Sure — did the hoods in Meigh? How about the Loyalists — they get the memo?

    JantyJ: “Why let the scumbags dictate progress?”

    They don’t dictate progress… however, their ability to make shows of strength, like setting up impromptu roadblocks, manned by hoods with AK’s and RPGs, or lack thereof, is a barometer of progress. Civil society does not countenance these little “displays.” In fact, effective societies do more than wring their hands and make mealy-mouthed excuses for why these things are permitted.

    JantyJ: “The time for appeasing terrorism in name of the “peace process” should be over – further guns and bombs should face the full force of the law.”

    Sure. But until it starts actually happening, its just another day of the same old same old.

  • JimR

    Borderline/Ulster McNulty,

    I think it’s no great coincidence that the borders of the provinces exactly match those of the English defined counties. I would say that Ulster McNulty’s sentence of “The English didn’t define Ulster, they modified the boundary” makes absolutely no sense at all, considering that to define the boundary defines the area. Sure, of course there was Ulster before the English (or probably more accurately Anglo-Normans to define the counties) came, but the recent “9 county” definition that nationalists like to bitch on about any time that they hear “Ulster” referring to Northern Ireland is completely based on this English definition. In fact, Ulster has never been well defined before the English, being more of a cultural region than anything else, with its approximate area being both greater than the 9 counties and smaller than the 6 counties in the past.

    Changing topic…
    Chris’s proposal to have “the simultaneous flying of both National [sic] flags, Irish and British” yet again shows the Irish Republican la-la land that this guy lives in. He, yet again, completely fails to recognise one of the main principles in the Good Friday Agreement – the sovereignty of Northern Ireland and the principle of consent – and under these both flags are not, and should not be, equal – the flag of the United Kingdom has authenticity, whereas the flag of the Republic of Ireland has none.

  • Alan – Newtownards

    Pretty horrible looking flag. As a unionist it does nothing for me. I don’t have a problem with a new flag for N.I. if people want one. I don’t mind the one we have at the moment but can understand why nationlist’s don’t like it. Then again, I don’t have any love for the horrible looking R.O.I. flag.

    A question for nationlists… if there was ever a chance of U.I. would you be prepared to give up this flag for a new one which could draw support from both tribes?

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Ah remove the crown, it’s a left over of when folk believed in the divine right of kings and queens (aka snobbery and class division)!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “Then again, I don’t have any love for the horrible looking R.O.I. flag.”

    I agree. That Orange bit has to go, for it means nothing!

    😛

  • Pat’s the name

    I like this one as it doesn’t have anything controversial and has a cleaner look:
    http://www.everythingulster.com/blog/media/new-northern-ireland-flag-23022006.png

    And if NI is going to change its flag, the south should do the same.

    What about the st patrick’s cross with a harp in the middle for the republic.

    And for the whole island – just the st patrick’s cross – this could be used when joint NI and Republic teams are playing e.g. at the rugby.

  • otto

    Here’s a suggestion from an American gentleman.

    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9501E3D81038E633A2575AC1A9619C946496D6CF

    You need to scroll down to find the letter at the bottom

  • borderline

    err JimR old bean, I can understand your anxiety to change topic, but first let’s consider your ahem, explanation that…

    “I think it’s no great coincidence that the borders of the provinces exactly match those of the English defined counties.”

    Yes Jim lad, ’tis no co-incidence, but guess which came first.

  • otto

    Pat,

    Your idea sounds a bit like Jersey’s flag.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Jersey.svg

  • The Truth

    The difficulty with unionists seeing the Tri-Colour flying in the 6 north-eastern counties is the fact that it reminds them again where they are. In Ireland.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    The Truth: “The difficulty with unionists seeing the Tri-Colour flying in the 6 north-eastern counties is the fact that it reminds them again where they are. In Ireland. ”

    They would argue geography doesn’t determine political realities.

    Maybe we need to take a page from “Captain Blood” and replace the flag with a ladies’ purple petticoat…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    What was that jetwash about the war being over?

    “A 600lb bomb has been made safe by an Army bomb disposal team near Forkhill, County Armagh, on the border with the Republic of Ireland.

    The device had a command wire running from where it was planted in Northern Ireland to a firing point across the border.

    It is suspected that dissident republicans planted the bomb. ”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/8244138.stm

    Somehow, I don’t think that everyone got the memo.

  • Here is a flag for the north, the most important thing for both communities is to….

    http://thesituationist.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/hate-image2.jpg

  • JimR

    Borderline “Yes Jim lad, ‘tis no co-incidence, but guess which came first. ”
    I’m not actually disagreeing with you – I’m not saying the provinces didn’t exist before the Anglo-Normans came. What I am saying is that they were never very exactly defined and had rather fluid boundaries. Any clear definition would have been defined and modified by the Anglo-Normans. As for you asking me to fill in the gaps between the original map I posted, I didn’t post all the details because my reply would be several pages long!

    FYI here are a couple of websites that you might find interesting:
    http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlkik/ihm/
    http://irelandstory.com

    The Truth: “The difficulty with unionists seeing the Tri-Colour flying in the 6 north-eastern counties is the fact that it reminds them again where they are. In Ireland. “

    No, that is not the problem at all. Most unionists will accept that they are in Ireland and have no problem with that. The reason that unionists don’t like the Tricolour flag flying in Northern Ireland is because it is the flag of the Republic of Ireland – it is NOT an all-Ireland flag.

    If I may ask a question to nationalists: Have you ever considered flying an acceptable all-Ireland flag like St. Patrick’s Cross? It’s doubtful that most unionists would have any problem with that.