Aha, I wondered how long it would take. In today’s Irish News Fionnuala O’Connor that it is ‘time to give all our identities a rest’. But not in Fermanagh. It started with the council airbrushing an English flag of St George from the top of Enniskillen Castle in a leaflet, now, according SF MLA Phil Flanagan, it is time for the real thing to come down.
The Fermanagh-south Tyrone MLA said the flag, which has been present at the castle for over 300 years, is a “constant sore and source of anger” and that “such antagonistic practices have no place in modern Ireland.”
“Enniskillen Castle was actually built by the Maguires and used to aid in the centuries of resistance against British occupation in Ulster. It is therefore greatly disappointing that for so long, that aspect of the castle’s history has been neglected, undersold and virtually wiped from public record,” he said.
Mr Flanagan added: “Enniskillen Castle has a rich and diverse history and it is certainly not the sole preserve of the unionist community or the British establishment.”
The row over the flying of the flag follows criticism from Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliott last week after the flag was removed from a G8 information leaflet by the Council.
The leaflet containing essential information on how the county will be disrupted during the global event was delivered to all households by the Council last month.
Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliott told this newspaper last week: “The re-writing of history is one thing, but here we appear to see part of our history being air-brushed from existence. Both are unacceptable.”
That’s a considerable scaling up of arguments given the council’s explanation just last week for the leaflet:
the design team was mindful of the fact that the flags of the eight countries participating in the G8 Summit plus the flags of the European Commission, the European Council and the Republic of Ireland would all need to be portrayed. Consequently, it was decided that no flags would be included within the leaflet and the document is consistent in that regard.
Kulturkampf anyone? [They do know the war is over, don’t they? – Ed]
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