Inspired by this thread. I was reading, it may have been that thread, that a team in Scotland was banning both the Union Flag and the Irish Flag from their games because they were “partisan symbols”. What would the Irish flag represent? Surely not the IRA, as not all Irish people support them? I’m confused, I have an Irish flag in my bedroom to show pride in my Irish heritage, is it used in other ways in Ireland? In short, this is basically a poll: Do you find the Irish flag offensive?
The green represents the Catholics and the Republic of Ireland, the orange represents the protestants and Northern Ireland, and the white symbolizes peace between the two groups. The flag is seen as a symbol of divisiveness in Northern Ireland.
I had to reread this, as it makes absolutely no sense to me. A flag that was apparently created as a symbol of reconciliation is seen as a symbol of divisiveness? Explain, please?
I guess I glossed over that, didn’t I? Wikipedia explains it better than I could:
It boils down to “We (Northern Ireland) don’t like you (Republic of Ireland). Jam your feckin’ unity flag up your arse!”
In the NI context, the Loyalist community considers itself British, and therefore its flag is the Union Flag of the United Kingdom. The Irish tricolour, no matter what its symbolism represents, is that of the Republic of Ireland, and is therefore seen by Loyalists as an erosion of their desire to remain part of the UK, since it is flown by Republicans who want Northern Ireland to become part of the Irish Republic.
Now extend this to Scottish people with roots or affinity to one or other ‘side’ in Northern Ireland (some Rangers supporters to Loyalism, and some Celtic supporters to Republicanism), and add the amplification of nationalism caused by expatriatism or pure bloody-minded learned-at-the-knee prejudice and thuggery, and you’ve got a situation whereby the authorities seek to ban the most obvious symbols of that divisiveness.
Of course, it won’t work, as the Glaswegian football supporters will start to use different symbols to represent the opposing sides - as with the Israeli flags I saw flying in Loyalist areas the last time I was in Northern Ireland, and the Palestinian ones in Republican areas.
Do you have a news cite? I’d be interested in reading the rest of the story, since its a sports team I assume there was a history of crowd-rowdiness that let up to the ban. I can’t think of an similar ban at any US stadium, but at the same time New York and Boston have never been at war with each other.
I don’t find it offensive but I live in the US, most of the Irish I know are at least 3rd or 4th generation and like OP the flag is a symbol of ethnic pride without strong political connotations. I would actually say this is true of any country’s flag similarly displayed within the US, once you get past the 1st generation people stop following the politics of the Old Country, the relatives are all living over here and the family is not as affected by what goes on back home.
The thread I linked to might, but I’ll try to find one.
I think it’s worth pointing out that outside Northern Ireland itself, this kind of sensitivity to nationalist and loyalist symbols is not widespread. The Celtic - Rangers sectarian football rivalry is a notorious exception. There are quite a lot of Irish pubs and social clubs around (I don’t mean theme pubs, I mean places where Irish ex-pats get together), and they often have the tricolour on display, as much as an advertisement as a patriotic symbol. This does not cause mobs of angry British locals to advance on the places carrying torches, although I wouldn’t be surprised if some morons chuck bricks through their windows occasionally.
The chances of a Briton reacting to an Irish flag in a neutral context with an act of vandalism is practically nil. The reverse is not however true. I’m of English/Northern Irish ancestry and am often insulted for it in Ireland. I would never dream of flying a flag of any variety or of wearing an England sports shirt (this became an issue at work during the last cricket world cup) for fear of negative reactions by complete strangers. Wearing a Glasgow rangers shirt would be an open invitation to a severe beating anywhere in the republic.
For whatever reason the kind of historical grudges represented by the Ireland-Britain situation and also by the Scotland-England issue tend disproportionately to be held by the smaller side long after any logical reason for continued hostility is gone. Most British people have no antipathy at all for Ireland, the reverse (while having faded dramatically in my living memory) is sadly not the case.
I just think flags that consist of three big stripes of color are lame, boring, and cliched.
Wow. Ignorance fought! I guess my plan to be proud of my English ancestry by wearing the St George cross is right out then. :: returns to Maple Leaf ::
Incidentally, the St George cross is a neutral alternative in Canada, useful when indicating languages. We use it to indicate English, and the French tricolour to indicate French, as those are the originating countries of the languages. We can’t use the Royal Union Flag to indicate English, as that brings up memories of the British Conquest in Quebeckers. We can’t use the Quebec flag to indicate French, as the confuses with Quebecois nationalism, and besides, what about all the French speakers outside Quebec? The Canadian flag, of course, covers both languages.
Flag politics can be hairy at times.
Please tell me you posted that specifically to whoosh people like me, who really think the word ‘gullible’ isn’t in the dictionary.
here in Boston, the Irish flags come out on St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve always chuckled when I noticed that a few confused souls were flying the Italian Flag (Green-White-Red)! I guess red is close enough to Orange! :smack:
They aren’t the brightest of people. Rangers and Celtic have been trying for years to stamp out the sectarian element amongst the fans (and to be fair, the bulk of both supports are decent people for whom it’s only a game) but there are a handful of towns and suburbs in the west of Scotland that appear to be stuck in 1690.
I once attended a gig at the Barrowland Ballroom in the Gallowgate part of Glasgow - a big Celtic stronghold - in the evening after an Old Firm game (Rangers won IIRC) and it was, frankly, mental in the streets and pubs. I’ve never seen so much blood and broken glass. Stratchclyde police really earn their overtime on such occasions.
My friend from NI told me that it is the case (or at least it used to be), that it was illegal to fly the tricolor in NI. When I visited a couple of years ago, you would fdrive through a small town and it would be a “prod” town (protestant) or a Catholic town, you could tell by the flag that was flying.
I believe (this is only Nationalist hearsay, mind), that in past times it was only illegal to fly the tricolour if it “caused offense”. Often, the person who was “offended” was a passing police officer (since most of the Royal Ulster Constabulary at the time were from the Unionist population, due in turn to the requirement of the police to swear an oath to the British Queen, something nationalists were unwilling to do), who was in an ideal position to do something about the “offense” s/he was being caused.
To address the OP directly, I do not find it offensive. (I couldn’t afford to really, since my wife is Irish and we have a tricolour in the kitchen to wave at Irish rugby matches.)
My problem with the Irish flag is that it doesn’t have a harp.
Seriously - you guys have a simple, easy-to-draw symbol that has represented your country for centuries, and you decide to go with a boring old tricolor? Lame.
The Flags and Emblems (Display) Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 is your man. It was repealed in the late 1980s, I think. Basically, it was an offence for anyone to haul down a Union Flag or to refuse to remove his tricolour if asked nicely by a Peeler.
I had the pleasure of being in Norn Iron in the week before the 12th of July this year and was quite astonished at the number of Unionist flags on display throughout the country - Union Flags, Crosses of St Andrew and Orange Order flags, fluttering from every second lamp-post.