The good Lord Kilclooney and his flag

 

imgres

Ah, the voice of Christmas past. Somewhere in the political undergrowth there is a rustling of leaves, a grave opens and out emerges Lord Kilclooney, aka John Taylor, to tell us what to think about flags.

First, we should have a Northern Ireland flag. Just the way Scotland and Wales and England have their flag, but still stiffen to loyal attention in the face of the Union Jack, so Northern Ireland can and should have a flag that represents it alone, while at the same time stiffening with pride before the Union Jack.

“It should now be possible to design a regional flag, not to replace the Union Flag, which is acceptable to both communities in Northern Ireland and flown at all local authority buildings irrespective of which party controls these councils”. Poor and confusing syntax there, John, but I think we get the idea.  Flying the Irish Tricolour, on the other hand, according to John, would probably see Stormont collapse.

God, John, you’re a laugh a minute. This burning desire to create a Northern Ireland flag, and at the same time threaten meltdown if there’s any Tricolour flying – it wouldn’t have anything to do with the change in the number of councils that’s coming up? Because it’s a decent bet that of the eleven new councils, some like Derry City and Strabane District  or Fermanagh and Omagh District or Newry City, Mourne and Down District will want to fly the tricolour. And think how awful that would be.

What the rest of us must get into our heads is that the flying of a NI flag is good, the flying of the Union Flag is good, but that the flying of the Tricolour would be disastrous. With his proposal the good Lord is showing the importance of getting your retaliation in first.

Will many people salute this new NI flag that dear John is running up the flagpole?  Not in the nationalist/republican community there aren’t.  Given that many of us finding it jarring to even use the words “Northern Ireland” as that would be to give some form of assent and legitimacy to a state carved out under threat of force and along strictly sectarian lines, there’s as much chance of that community agreeing to a Northern Ireland flag as there is of dear John making a comeback and seizing the UUP steering wheel from the trembling hands of Mike Nesbitt.

But full marks for trying, John. Now back you go to that grave in the political jungle, better known as the House of Lords.

 

14 Responses to The good Lord Kilclooney and his flag

  1. paul December 18, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    Another example of Unionism and it’s dinosaurs failing to realize that the “good old days” where ‘they wouldn’t have a catholic(or nationalist/republican) about the place are over”

    Taylor is a bigoted old man . Merry Christmas to the old Scrooge

  2. giordanobuno December 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    A new flag will not solve anything.
    Those who do not like it will ignore it.
    Those who do like it will fly it,as John Taylor suggests, alongside existing flags.
    Another raggy bit of cloth fluttering from our lampposts.

  3. Colman December 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    A flag of Green, representing the Irish nationlist republican tradition, Orange, representing the Unionist planter tradition, and White, symbolizing peace and equality between them, is provocative, and likely to lead to meltdown?
    There’s your problem in a nutshell lads. Therein lies the real bulwark to a lasting peace. The meanness and bigotry of political unionism knows no boundarys. No spirit of generosity, no tolerance of any other viewpoint. Ulster is British and you Taigs can lump it…

    On the other hand..
    Uk City of Cuture? Majority of Nationalists swallowed hard and celebrated it.

    Apprentice Boys, Black and Orange Parades? Nationalist controlled Derry City acommodates the incesssant demonstrations of Unionist loyalty to the British throne, and now less than a handful of parades are an issue. (And even they would have been resolved by now if there was any magnanimity on behalf of the loyalist leaders who haven’t the common decency to speak to community resident groups)

    Flying the Union flag over Belfast City Hall? Even Sinn Féin councillors voted to fly the Union flag on designated days. (How could Unionism mess a victory like that one up?)

    Fleadhs, Feile,s and other events? Unionist spokespeople invited with open arms to give their viewpoint, and even loyalist bands invited to participate.

    Where and when have we seen any respect or an embrace of Irish culture and tradition from political Unionism?

    St Patrick’s Day Parade? What to do with all that color and fun? We know; Withdraw funding for flying the Tri-colour.

    Bonfires? Unionist statesmen ( there’s an oxymoron) say they have no problem with burning the flag of a “foreign” country.

    Irish Language Act? Not on my watch, they say. It’s a leprechaun language, is it not?

    Yes, there are denizens out there on the Nationalist, Republican side, but in the main, respect for other traditions and culture is much more forthcoming from the Nationalist and Republican community.

    Unionism will never quench the thirst of Irish Republicans for bringing about a United Ireland and fulfilling the equality between all our people as envisaged in the Irish Proclamation, but they could reduce some of the antagonism toward the existence of the six county state by recognizing the traditions and cultural aspirations of almost half the population living there.

    Sinn Fein. Don’t roll over.

    • Jackson December 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

      Calling people planters is a sneaky way of demonising members of the PUL community and only goes to highlight your own innate prejudices. I bet you don’t call Americans planters either those in the North or South, even though members of the Protestant community have been in Ulster longer than all the countries on that continent have been in existence. Just goes to show die hard republicans still can’t get over the fact Unionist Planters aka Protestants exist in Ireland

      • Jude Collins December 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

        This comment belongs in the Politcs-free Zone surely, Jackson? Can you make it there? Otherwise I’ll have to take it down. ( I’m unable to transfer it). Thanks.

        • Jackson December 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

          Planter is like the F word for Republicans or N word for African Americans. Members of that community may use that word among themselves but when their cultural/political opponents use it to describe them, it is done so in a derogatory and demonising way. Point still stands. Republicans don’t identify all those white Europeans in North and South America as planters, so why are Unionist’s still labelled as such? You won’t find a Republican calling an Irish American a Planter. And the vast bulk were economic migrants coming over to improve their lot in life in an underdeveloped land. Same way others left Europe and went off to America. The first natives that came in via the land link with Scotland 10,000 years ago were planters. Or the Gaels that went back over to Scotland and culturally usurped the Picts, they were planters too. Republicans don’t have a problem with that type of planting though or view Scots Gaelic as a planters language, but ask a Pict and he may have a different point of view

        • Jackson December 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

          Planter is like the F word for Republicans or N word for African Americans. Members of that community may use that word among themselves but when their cultural/political opponents use it to describe them, it is done so in a derogatory and demonising way. Point still stands. Republicans don’t identify all those white Europeans in North and South America as planters, so why are Unionist’s still labelled as such? You won’t find a Republican calling an Irish American a Planter. And the vast bulk were economic migrants coming over to improve their lot in life in an underdeveloped land. Same way others left Europe and went off to America. The first natives that came in via the land link with Scotland 10,000 years ago were planters. Or the Gaels that went back over to Scotland and culturally usurped the Picts, they were planters too. Republicans don’t have a problem with that type of planting though or view Scots Gaelic as a planters language, but ask a Pict and he may beg to differ

  4. neill December 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    Another example of Unionism and it’s dinosaurs failing to realize that the “good old days” where ‘they wouldn’t have a catholic(or nationalist/republican) about the place are over”

    Taylor is a bigoted old man . Merry Christmas to the old Scrooge

    Sadly once again this is the default position if you dont agree with our viewpoint you are secterian.

    What we need to do is find some common ground and develop some trust between the two sides because that is the right thing to do

  5. neill December 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    A flag of Green, representing the Irish nationlist republican tradition, Orange, representing the Unionist planter tradition, and White, symbolizing peace and equality between them, is provocative, and likely to lead to meltdown?
    There’s your problem in a nutshell lads. Therein lies the real bulwark to a lasting peace. The meanness and bigotry of political unionism knows no boundarys. No spirit of generosity, no tolerance of any other viewpoint. Ulster is British and you Taigs can lump it…

    On the other hand..
    Uk City of Cuture? Majority of Nationalists swallowed hard and celebrated it.

    Apprentice Boys, Black and Orange Parades? Nationalist controlled Derry City acommodates the incesssant demonstrations of Unionist loyalty to the British throne, and now less than a handful of parades are an issue. (And even they would have been resolved by now if there was any magnanimity on behalf of the loyalist leaders who haven’t the common decency to speak to community resident groups)

    Flying the Union flag over Belfast City Hall? Even Sinn Féin councillors voted to fly the Union flag on designated days. (How could Unionism mess a victory like that one up?)

    Fleadhs, Feile,s and other events? Unionist spokespeople invited with open arms to give their viewpoint, and even loyalist bands invited to participate.

    Where and when have we seen any respect or an embrace of Irish culture and tradition from political Unionism?

    St Patrick’s Day Parade? What to do with all that color and fun? We know; Withdraw funding for flying the Tri-colour.

    Bonfires? Unionist statesmen ( there’s an oxymoron) say they have no problem with burning the flag of a “foreign” country.

    Irish Language Act? Not on my watch, they say. It’s a leprechaun language, is it not?

    Yes, there are denizens out there on the Nationalist, Republican side, but in the main, respect for other traditions and culture is much more forthcoming from the Nationalist and Republican community.

    Unionism will never quench the thirst of Irish Republicans for bringing about a United Ireland and fulfilling the equality between all our people as envisaged in the Irish Proclamation, but they could reduce some of the antagonism toward the existence of the six county state by recognizing the traditions and cultural aspirations of almost half the population living there.

    Sinn Fein. Don’t roll over.

    Proves my point…..

  6. cautious December 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    John Taylor threatening to bring down Stormont…gis a break Jude! Do a bet with him or something as I seem to recall that he like yourself was fond of a flutter. So uttering Northern Ireland gives legitimacy and assent to the State of Northern Ireland. I was in a cafe on the Falls recently and you could have a small fry or a Six Counties fry. The Six Counties fry jarred in my throat but it was the bacon I think.

  7. Am Ghobsmacht December 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    Dr C

    I agree with his big white self in the call for a new NI flag. It may only appeal to a minority of us but at least we’ll have something for sporting events that isn’t defiled by loyalists each summer.

    As for his comments about the Union flag being “acceptable to both communities in Northern Ireland “, well, hmmmm. That does show some sort of detachment from reality there.

    I agree with most of your points, himself (and many unionists) just don’t seem to get it.

    I’m one of those few unionists (or ‘Lundys’ if you prefer) that thinks “well hell’s bells Margaret, the nationalists like the tricolour, maybe we better take that into consideration…”.

    As such, I thought of a compromise.

    The compromise will annoy 80% of the population.

    Which in Northern Irish terms I consider a ‘win’. It takes into consideration EVERYONE, not just the 2 main poles. (no pun intended)

    Sorry for adding a blog link to your page, it’s not meant to be a cheap way of ramping up my stats (I exceeded my target ages ago, so I’m not bothered) but it’s genuinely something to chew over.

    http://amgobsmacked.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/three-flags-real-compromise.html

    Unionists, British nationalists, Irish nationalists, republicans (?) and Norn-ironers & moderates will all be represented under this proposal and it cuts out the inevitable demarcation that would occur with the dual flag option (which it will, we all know this).

    The main problem with the idea is that although everyone gets what ‘they’ want, the downside is that ‘themuns’ get something too.
    I think it’s a poor reflection on some one if they are angered that someone is also gaining from a situation; zero-sum helps no one.

  8. Jude Collins December 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    Thanks AG – I shall read and return anon…

  9. Virginia December 19, 2013 at 2:36 am #

    AG is correct, zero sum games are rigged. And worse, the smaller the stakes the more petty th games become.

  10. Dal August 17, 2016 at 6:47 pm #

    I don’t mean this as aggressively as it might sound to some of the more stick-in-the-muds, but isn’t it about time some of you had the maturity to accept Northern Ireland as the legitimate entity it is? It has existed in its present form for longer than 99.9% of us. It looks like continuing for quite some time in the future, especially if the Life & Times surveys are any indication.

    ALL states were “carved out” under “threat of force”. Northern Ireland is not somehow unique in this, as some people may believe! England and the English people suffered under domination of foreign forces for many centuries, for example: the Celtic-speaking invaders, the Romans, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, and then the Normans. I don’t hear many people whinging (whining) on about those invaders. Same thing in Ireland – the Celtic-speaking peoples, followed by specifically the Gaels, then the Normans.

    I would suggest to you that 95% of the world’s nation states were created under threat of force, and Ireland is no different with the exception that recent bitter memory was created by mostly Anglo-Irish writers and intellects, undoubtedly suffering from guilt and/or self-loathing, and the fact that our governments of the past either didn’t care much about any area outside London or their own specific areas until they were forced to consider them.

    I agree with Am Ghobsmacht. It’s too easy to dismiss someone like him, or myself, by suggesting we’re simply ‘fleg-‘obsessed. The simple fact is that many moderate people want a sense of normality.

    What Rampant Republicans are afraid of is the idea of somehow uniting the peoples of Northern Ireland, with or without the context of the UK.

    Unionists and Loyalists are afraid of this too, but that’s because they’re generally too stupid to realise that being non-divisive is actually the objective of Unionism. Most Unionists have no right to call themselves Unionist. I would argue that most Loyalists don’t either: the Queen, to whom the word Loyal traditionally refers, is the head and representative of ALL her people. Not just to ‘Ulster Protestants’.

    But while a (new) flag under which most people can accept, which represents Northern Ireland uniquely may indeed play partially into the hands of unionism, the most important thing is that it plays into the hands moderates and it plays into the hands of bridge-building and a pride in the region to which we belong.

    It does NOT have to suggest that someone cannot continue to be an Irish separatist (nationalist).

    I’ll finish with a little bit of irony – something which Irish and British history is full of:

    Many nationalists and Republicans get all in a tizzy when people refer to Northern Ireland as ‘Ulster’. Because the traditional province, the borders of which were defined by representatives of the British monarchy (extra irony here), has areas outside Northern Ireland which do not fall under the jurisdiction of Northern Ireland/UK.

    Most of these same people, however, are hypocritically happy enough to use the name ‘Ireland’ for the Republic of Ireland – with exactly the same jurisdictional ambiguity problem!

    Idiot Unionists and Loyalists, of course, use the same name to describe the Southern country because they generally have no idea of their own history.

    Besides all else, I think it’s about time we had a new flag, since the crown on our current one seems to cause offence, and the fact that the British government doesn’t seem to want to use our current flag.

    By the way, our current flag of Northern Ireland is still ‘official’, regardless of what you might read elsewhere (for example, Wikipedia). It never ceased to be ‘official’. It is a civil flag and has the same legislative background as the flag of England and the Union Jack. Until recently, also the flag of Scotland (which now has more legislation, specifically in the Scottish Assembly). Wales is basically the only country which has very specific legislation surrounding their (sub-)national flag.