Richard Haass asks NI politicians that immortal question: “Do you have a flag?”

Scroll on to 6.46, and Barney Rowan explains just why this project is likely to run into a step bank of dry sand. Unionists don’t like the idea of tampering with what is, and if for very different reasons, nor do Republicans.

Never the less it is worth recapitulating the actual question: “What might a process to design and validate a new Northern Ireland flag look like? What role might such a flag play in civic life?”

It has the potential flush to out some pretty stodgy thinking. Yet Flags and anthems by short term process have a dissatisfying way of falling short of the ideal.

It puts me in mind of Eddie Izzard’s great sketch, “Do you have a flag?” “We don’t need a flag, we live here ya b*******.” “No flag, no country. Those are the rules (I’ve just made up).”

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