The tricolour and its multiple meanings: Open thread

So as promised here’s the follow up to yesterday’s Irish flag thread. So normal rules apply now, you can debate with each other. I’ll open with three concise observations as a starter. There are probably more important themes, but these are just ones that leapt out at me:

  1. At the time of writing, the  most favourited comment is Keano’s (seven). It’s one I chose as well. It may be a reflection of the fact culturally the idea of a 32 county Ireland has more substance in culture and sport than it does politically. Both the GAA and the IRFU have for years organised across the island with the latter assuming in its professional era a popularity way beyond its traditional player base.
  2. Least surprising perhaps was the degree of alienation amongst unionist commentators. The IRA’s armed campaign was cited over and over as the epicentre of that alienation. But there’s a secondary and less urgent  line of thought which more or less accepts that the original motivating story (a variation on Tone’s idea of unifying Catholic and Protestant in the single name of Irishman) has lost its meaning.
  3. More surprising to me is a small minority of Nationalist who think the flag has outlived its time. There’s no single reason cited for this. ASF wants something more authentic and muscular (Sunburst). Alias wants a return to the old green standard to recognise the presence of two separate nations on the island. FJH with an adept “in the absence of any other credible flag, it is the flag of my nation.”

Finally, I’d just like to thank people for the contributions and recollections. And great to hear from so many new people or oldies we’ve not hear from for a while. The enforced civility of having to be quiet and ‘listen’ to others contributions no doubt helped.

It certainly induced more generosity (and directness) than we are used to seeing. Let’s try and keep that going now you are actually allowed ‘talk to each other’?

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty