Flying the flag: New Zealand debates a new flag

New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key proposed a few years back his desire to see a new flag for the country. Referenda will be held later this year and in the early part of 2016 on whether to replace the existing flag the country has since 1902. He has come into some criticism for one-focusing on a flag and two the cost of doing such a lengthy process which will cost around $26 million. Key has expressed a preference for …

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Cartoon – Parity of Steam…

On Wednesday June 3 2015 an Irish tricolour appeared for around ten minutes atop Stormont; cue unionist outrage, and steam bellowed from the ears. Brian SpencerBrian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger. Actively tweeting from @brianjohnspencr. More information here: http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/ www.brianjohnspencer.com/

1916 Centenary – Cherishing All the Children Equally?

Yesterday we saw the government reveal more detailed plans regarding the official commemoration of the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Plans to mark this key event in the history of the state include a major exhibition of 1916 archival material at the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks and series of commemorative events, including a parade from Dublin Castle to Parnell Square on Easter Sunday 2016 and a special state reception for the 1916 relatives. In order to …

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Flegs and Anthems

I was interested to note the Union Flag carefully positioned immediately beside Belfast PUP Councillor Julie-Anne Corr Johnson for her interview with BBC NI’s The View recently. “On one hand they tell us the British identity of Northern Ireland citizens is under threat”, she thundered, “whilst at the same time denying British citizens like me access to British laws and British rights.” The openly lesbian Corr Johnson was objecting to the DUP campaign for a ‘religious opt-out’ to equality laws …

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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: 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 …

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Rioting: Northern Ireland Street Theatre

As the violence over flags inevitably wanes, debates over the legitimacy of loyalist actions will continue. What will be obscured in the discussion is a key feature of rioting in Northern Ireland – namely that it is a controlled performance and creative spectacle. A burning car in the middle of the road is a striking scene, whether watched in delight or disgust. Petrol bombs hang in the air like Chinese Lanterns; fireworks and police vans light up the night sky; …

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Unionist violence after flag vote…

AS predictably as night follows day, unionist protesters have turned to violence after tonight’s City Hall vote to restrict the flying of the Union Flag to designated days. Trouble erupted in and around the City Hall itself, but is right now spreading to other areas, noteably East Belfast. A number of police have been injured, and two female officers taken to hospital. You can leave reports of any trouble you observe below. Belfast Gonzosluggerotoole.com

The curious incident of the City Hall and its flag-related security breach

City Hall with Union flag flying over it

Around tea time on the 11 July, a bizarre story came to light. A man had found by security in the City Hall overnight, and allowed to leave the building, claiming (according to UTV) “he had been locked in at a function”. It was later noticed – some reports say by a tourist during the day – that the City Hall’s flag/flag pole was damaged. By the next morning – the Twelfth – the Union flag was flying from a …

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London Letter: A new flag for Northern Ireland?

A Tory MP said yesterday that Northern Ireland should have its own recognised flag, but is it realistic to think that the people of Northern Ireland could ever become united under one flag, symbol and nation? The MP in question, Andrew Rosindell, dressed his dog, Spike, in a union flag waistcoat whilst campaigning during the 1997 election, and is known for being in favour of firearm ownership, the death penalty and the detention of asylum seekers. “Northern Ireland is the …

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Photograph of the day – found

Moochin PhotomanPhotographer and visual artist based in Belfast. I have facilitated community based workshops with groups as diverse as visually impaired individuals in Dungannn, Travellers across Northern Ireland, Young Offenders and many community groups across Belfast. My work has exhibited extensively here in Northern Ireland in group and individual shows and has been shown in North America and i had my first solo international exhibition in New Zealand. I have been the recipient of a number of grants from the …

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Photograph of the Day – Remnant of a flag aka ‘The lost battle of the elements’

Moochin PhotomanPhotographer and visual artist based in Belfast. I have facilitated community based workshops with groups as diverse as visually impaired individuals in Dungannn, Travellers across Northern Ireland, Young Offenders and many community groups across Belfast. My work has exhibited extensively here in Northern Ireland in group and individual shows and has been shown in North America and i had my first solo international exhibition in New Zealand. I have been the recipient of a number of grants from the …

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