Grand Lodge’s inward-looking resolutions focus on flags,marriage and a one-sided shared future?

The outward march on the Twelfth of July leads each Orange lodge to ‘the field’. As well as picnics, burger vans, bouncy castles and stalls, there is a service of worship and speeches. A set of resolutions compiled centrally by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland are read out at each field.

The resolutions give an insight into what’s occupying the minds of the Grand Lodge.

This year the first two resolutions cover The Faith and Loyalty, acknowledging religious freedom and reaffirming support for the Queen and her health. The third – The State – is where the issues of the day tend to be raised.

As proud citizens of the United Kingdom we support the display of the Union Flag on public buildings across the United Kingdom.

We have been dismayed at attempts to undermine the Union and to dilute unionist identity at every opportunity. We look forward to a shared future where the Union Flag will be respected by all and our culture will be respected and celebrated, free from prejudice, hatred and intolerance.

We reflect on the centenary year of the formation of Lord Carson’s Ulster Volunteers, a great many of whom were members of the Orange Institution, and who were determined to defend for themselves and their children their cherished position of equal citizenship in the United Kingdom. We give thanks to God that at a time of crisis, men and women were prepared to take a stand for civil and religious liberty.

We reflect on the many attempts being made to undermine the traditional values of our society. As an Institution we affirm the firm and unwavering Biblical and Christian understanding of marriage as between one man and one woman, seek to uphold it and deplore all efforts to undermine it.

No allusions to the Parades Commission this year. No scolding politicians or political institutions.

A “shared future” is mentioned. Yet there is no sense of generosity or reciprocity in the resolutions. It’s all about me, inward facing rather than for the good of all of Northern Ireland.

There’s a desire for “the Union Flag will be respected by all” but no words to suggest that as “we look forward to a shared future” that might involve respecting other flags too.

Similarly the resolution yearns that “our culture will be respected and celebrated, free from prejudice, hatred and intolerance” but stops short of taking a step in the direction of inclusion to say this should be true for other cultures as well as “our culture”.

With only a few extra words, the Grand Orange Lodge could show leadership. Instead, their resolutions make the Orange sound like victims rather than participants in a process with the power to effect change for the good of everyone and demonstrate the Christian charity at the heart of their faith.

Another Twelfth of July, another opportunity missed.

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  • Ulster Press Centre

    There’s a desire for “the Union Flag will be respected by all” but no words to suggest that as “we look forward to a shared future” that might involve respecting other flags too.

    Which flags?

    Those who voted for the GFA in 1998 accepted Northern Ireland’s place in the UK and promised to respect that until some possible point in the future when a vote would change it.

    The Union flag is the flag of this country. No other foreign flags should be given any kind of official status – especially not the rag that was wrapped around so many evil, religiously-motivated catholic fundamentalist terrorists from the IRA when they were put into the ground.

  • Coll Ciotach

    But this is what the shared future is, it is a unionist construct. It is not about Ireland. It is just another expression of “our wee country”.

    That is also what the OO is about too. They claim to be the Grand Lodge of Ireland. But really they are the Grand Lodge of Our Wee Country. If they were the Grand Lodge of Ireland they would say “As proud citizens of the United Kingdom and Ireland we support the display of the Union Flag on public buildings across the United Kingdom and Ireland” and the following text would reflect that sentiment. I wonder what that says of their respect for their membership in the Republic?

  • Coll Ciotach[12.22] ‘I wonder what that says about their respect for their membership in the Republic?’
    It says everything and the word respect is key to their totally self-centred mindset, as their entitlement mindset, shows one way demands for respect to them but no obligation of reciprocation. They never grow up. Freud would have had a field day if he were alive and dealing with them

  • pomdotcom

    dinosaurs always did have very small brains, that was one of the reasons they became extinct.

  • Morpheus

    “Those who voted for the GFA in 1998 accepted Northern Ireland’s place in the UK and promised to respect that until some possible point in the future when a vote would change it.”

    That’s correct. Has the flag of Northern Ireland been changed? Nope.

    What has changed is the flag flying policy which is democratically decided by the people. If the majority In Belfast/Lisburn want to fly the Union Flag on designated days then that is up to them. If the majority in Derry don’t want to fly the Union Flag then that’s up to them. If the majority in Ballymena want to fly the Union Flag 365 days a year then that is up to them.

    Has anyone pushed for equality by insisting that the Tricolour goes up? No. The only thing that has happened is that in the absence of equality some have democratically opted for neutrality. Simple housekeeping.

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Morpheus: What has changed is the flag flying policy which is democratically decided by the people. If the majority In Belfast/Lisburn want to fly the Union Flag on designated days then that is up to them. If the majority in Derry don’t want to fly the Union Flag then that’s up to them. If the majority in Ballymena want to fly the Union Flag 365 days a year then that is up to them.

    I take it you’ll have no complaints if that same pure form of numerical democracy returns to Stormont in the near future?

  • “A “shared future” is mentioned.”

    Have you missed the nuance, Alan? It’s about a shared future within the UK; cf nationalism’s shared future within a UI. Neither ‘tribe’ is acting ‘for the good of all of Northern Ireland’.

  • Morpheus

    None at all. If the majority vote for a change at Stormont then so be it.

  • cynic2

    Next will we pick over the resolutions at the Ard Heis looking for fervent appreciations of their Britishness?

  • Morpheus

    I find it ironic that he is calling for respect for the Union Flag when thousands are in tatters on lampposts, it was literally used as a weapon, dragged along the floor and used as a cape or to hide faces in the flag protests and then, the kicker, flags from other countries will be burned next week – a practice which the DUP thinks is great by all accounts.

    This is a million miles away from this

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Morpheus

    I agree entirely with your points about the fleg.

    I’ve brought my wife (foreign, Catholic, pro- British royal family) back to NI to witness ‘carnival’ season.

    She would happily wave a union flag around a la the 2nd link that you posted but seeing the sheer number of flags draped from lamp posts in tandem with other flags such as UDA flags or even Rangers flags really does taint the idea.

    The OO should openly condemn this practice and help make the fleg more appealling to all.

    “Here! Respect our flag! Respect it! Now! ‘Mon!..”

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Am Ghobsmacht: …but seeing the sheer number of flags draped from lamp posts in tandem with other flags such as UDA flags or even Rangers flags really does taint the idea.

    The OO should openly condemn this practice and help make the fleg more appealling to all.

    “Here! Respect our flag! Respect it! Now! ‘Mon!..”

    Yes, all those flags put up in Donaghadee, Islandmagee and Bushmills are put up just to annoy the local catholics. Oh wait…..

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    So, let me see if I’ve got this straight:

    In response to my point about the assortment of flags that I have seen on arterial routes (I’ll be clear, Drumahoe, Londonderry Waterside and the Donegall Road area) your response is to produce a straw man in the form of 3 areas with Catholic minorities?

    Do you see NOTHING wrong with flying the Union Flag in tandem with other flags such as the UDA flag, UVF flag, Rangers flag or indeed the Lion Rampant flag (which is used in particular by anti-union Scottish nationalists).

    In areas such as Magherafelt, it was once the case that Catholics were a small minority and logic similar to yours decreed that as such the flegs could be flown with gay abandon.

    Fast forward a few decades and now Protestants are in the minority and have effectively tainted the flag for nationalists by the decades of unnecessary gloating and waving.

    Surely that in it’s own right might suggest that flying the flags willy nilly just cos there’s only a few Catholics in the area might not be a great long term strategy?

    I’m so grateful to my uncle (an Orangeman) for talking me out of putting up more flegs around Castledawson during Drumcree in the mid 90’s, I can see now that it was a tunnel visioned and detrimental idea.

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Am Ghobsmacht: In areas such as Magherafelt, it was once the case that Catholics were a small minority and logic similar to yours decreed that as such the flegs could be flown with gay abandon.

    Fast forward a few decades and now Protestants are in the minority and have effectively tainted the flag for nationalists by the decades of unnecessary gloating and waving.

    Surely that in it’s own right might suggest that flying the flags willy nilly just cos there’s only a few Catholics in the area might not be a great long term strategy?

    You don’t seem to get my point. Flags go up to decorate an area – not to offend anyone. There are flags flying at this moment in villages and housing estates with not a single catholic resident. If they were put up solely to offend or intimidate catholics, why would people in Donaghadee, Islandmagee and Bushmills waste their money???

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Perhaps you miss my point too.

    I didn’t say ‘solely to offend or intimidate’, did I?

    I said “Do you see NOTHING wrong with flying the Union Flag in tandem with other flags such as the UDA flag, UVF flag, Rangers flag or indeed the Lion Rampant flag (which is used in particular by anti-union Scottish nationalists).”

    and


    She would happily wave a union flag around a la the 2nd link that you posted but seeing the sheer number of flags draped from lamp posts in tandem with other flags such as UDA flags or even Rangers flags really does taint the idea.”

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Am Ghobsmacht: I said “Do you see NOTHING wrong with flying the Union Flag in tandem with other flags such as the UDA flag, UVF flag, Rangers flag or indeed the Lion Rampant flag (which is used in particular by anti-union Scottish nationalists).”

    Not at all. You seem to imply that, because one group of people use a flag, then anyone else who uses it must share their beliefs. The Free State banner draped on IRA coffins would then indicate that all Irish citizens support the murder of protestant civilians – if we followed your logic of course…

    She would happily wave a union flag around a la the 2nd link that you posted but seeing the sheer number of flags draped from lamp posts in tandem with other flags such as UDA flags or even Rangers flags really does taint the idea.”

    I could tell you about my catholic girlfriend who loves seeing UVF, UDA and Rangers flags flying alongside the flag of this country but I’m guessing, as I have no way of backing it up, you wouldn’t believe me….

  • UserAinm

    ‘I could tell you about my catholic girlfriend’

    Evidence please.

  • Ulster Press Centre

    You seem to have missed my point….

  • ayeYerMa

    It’s almost as if he wants us to remain in an abnormal state in perpetuity. This notion that in any normal country in the world loyal citizens should be expected to endlessly bend over backwards to appease a tiny number of supporters of treason is absurd and simply asking for a lot more trouble in the future!

    If you had have kept your post to promoting freedom of expression of all as a prime message from the Grand Lodge you would have had a point, but extending it in such a way means you will be rightly ignored.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    UPC
    ” The Free State banner draped on IRA coffins would then indicate that all Irish citizens support the murder of protestant civilians – if we followed your logic of course…”

    Please do follow this logic, and it’ll bring you to Paul Girvan and many others who see the tri-colour in that very same fashion and as such advocate the burning of tri-colours.
    Also, many people do follow that logic and believe that ROI citizens do support the murder of Protestants. Just read the letters page of the Newsletter for evidence of this.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    UPC

    Also “Not at all. You seem to imply that, because one group of people use a flag, then anyone else who uses it must share their beliefs”

    I don’t imply it, the the field of psychology dictates it.

  • Morpheus

    “I’ve brought my wife (foreign, Catholic, pro- British royal family) back to NI to witness ‘carnival’ season. She would happily wave a union flag around a la the 2nd link that you posted but seeing the sheer number of flags draped from lamp posts in tandem with other flags such as UDA flags or even Rangers flags really does taint the idea.”

    My wife was born and bred in Southeast England and is stereotypically British – stiff upper lip, won’t complain in restaurants, loves William/Kate/Harry, Queen’s speech at Christmas etc – and not only doesn’t she recognise the particular brand of Britishness that is on display here she actually fears it. When she sees the lampposts, the kerbstones, the arches etc her first instinct is to lock the car door. She absolutely dreads going to Belfast and pointblank refuses to go on her own even though we both agree that it is a beautiful city.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Damn it, hit the wrong key too early…

    “I don’t imply it, the the field of psychology dictates it….”

    As in they will become associated with each other’s meaning and stance and as such a perception among 3rd parties will grow accordingly.

    The Legion know this and that’s why they don’t want people like Nick Griffin wearing poppies as people don’t want the poppy symbol to be soiled by his usage of their cherished symbol.

    (yes, I know it could be applied to NI too, but it’s another topic…)

  • ayeYerMa

    Am Ghobschmact, illogical emotional perception to you seems more important to you than reality. Bowing to such anti-logic and perception over reality is the symptom of a weak mind, and such poor communication is what I believe to be a major source of conflict. Rather than elaborating on the facts and stats, and increasing understanding of nuances, the result of appeasing the ignorant is to allow problems to fester and perpetuate indefinitely.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    ayeYerMa
    I can’t deny that my mind may not be made of pedigree stuff and during my many imbecilic fits I have come to the conclusion that perception is the major problem here.

    Some people see ‘men marching to church for worship’ whilst others view it as ‘triumphalism’, it’s not too distant from Edward De Bono’s ‘black & white car in a car crash’ where witnesses view the exact same crash but have very different takes on the matter i.e. one sees a black car in a crash and others see a white car in a crash.

    So, I’m all for painting the car as the same colour.

    You recently treated the placing of the statue on a bonfire pyre as a very light matter, perhaps blinkered by logic.

    In my ‘perception’ it was a great disgrace and a very insulting move.

    Follow your way of ‘logic’ then these acts go on unopposed, follow my feeble minded approach of thinking how it may be perceived and we can help to prevent such monstrous acts.

    I use similar logic whenever I’m tackling the issue of the GAA, the use of the tri-colour in sports and other topics. i.e. Think of how one’s actions are perceived.

    By no means am I saying that I am completely right on the matter but the bull dozing of people’s objections by putting things into a binary perspective is a major player in the trouble here, a classic example is of Paisley taking the ‘illegal’ flag down from Divis in the 60’s:

    YES, it was illegal, but the emotions that it triggered helped to destabilize the country.

    So being right isn’t necessarily being ‘right’.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Also

    With regards to appeasing the ignorant:

    Celebrating the acquisition of the 17th century Dutch Stock exchange under the guise of ‘religious revolution’ by a saucy dutch type on a ‘white’ horse by means of raising flags that contradict each other or saluting Anglican figures such as Cromwell (who killed loadsa Presbyterians) or gov Walker (charlatan extraordinaire ) with out question or oppostion is very much appeasing the ignorant wouldn’t you say?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thanks, AmGhobsmacht for the comments to put the ignorant right! First Class!

    Diaries of the period show merchants suddenly stopping trading in commodities and buying stocks and shares. Modern Banking had arrived with all the opportunities to defraud the general public that it offers. The first modern government debt is floated via the new Bank of England to pay for William’s war, which James tried to keep his kingdoms out of. And taxes rose and have been rising ever since to feed bankster bonuses.

    While I’m all for Rainbow Nation (really! I’m not joking….) just how many of the marchers today know the truth about the Prince of Orange’s sexual interests! Perhaps they should offer a lodge to support the Belfast Pride Festival next year! This is a serious suggestion as it may prove genuinely educational for the Orange Men involved.

    While William was actually on the Boyne, most of those who had invited him were writing secretly to James to ask him to return. They had just discovered what “despotism” and “arbitery rule” really meant.

    Just one small correction, and no shadow on your excellent educational efforts, but this is (forgive the allusion, please) rather my own King Charles’s Head. Cromwell was not an Anglican (his religious affiliation is usually described as “Independent”) and in fact he outlawed the practice of Anglican worship and persecuted Anglican clergy. The beheaded Charles is actually the sole Anglican Martyr, with his own Saint’s day, suffering his Martyrdom under Cromwell and his chums. The sermons for the Festival of Saint Charles, King and Martyr preached during the usurpation of the Prince of Orange make very interesting reading indeed…….

    And unsurprisingly, Cromwell (using his man Venables as cats paw) wiped out the Presbyterians of the Laggan army at the battle of Lisnagarvy in 1650 precisely because they were affirming the right to rule of Charles II.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    In saying “marchers today” I am speaking about today’s marchers supporting the Orange Institution in their commemorations, rather than those fine people who may march in support of Belfast Gay Pride.

    And just one other comment on my “While William was actually on the Boyne, most of those who had invited him were writing secretly to James to ask him to return. They had just discovered what “despotism” and “arbitery rule” really meant.”

    Just like ourselves, as the OFMdFM continues its relentless rise to full plenary powers!

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    To be honest, my alarm bells were ringing when I wrote that bit about Cromwell, couldn’t be assed checking it…

    Thanks for the elaboration though!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Good heavens! I forgot to mention that the Dutch had been national enemies of the three kingdoms for almost 50 years in 1688. Calling the Prince of Orange over in October 1688 was a little like calling in Hitler to get rid of Churchill in 1940 because no-one trusted his religion.

    And just over three hundred years on…..

    And thanks Am Ghobsmacht, it always helps to remind ourselves that Old Noll hated almost everyone in the Ireland of his day! And he started the trade wars with the Dutch….

  • 6crealist

    “UPC HAS A GIRLFRIEND??????”

    Yeah, and she’s a taig. Mail order from Vietnam maybe.

  • Reader

    SeaanUiNeill: The beheaded Charles is actually the sole Anglican Martyr, with his own Saint’s day, suffering his Martyrdom under Cromwell and his chums.
    I’m not sure Anglicanism is particularly keen on the bureaucracy of Saints and Martyrs, and the “Society of King Charles the Martyr” seem to be a strange bunch.
    However, so far as there are Anglican martyrs, you missed a few.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marian_martyrs