jueves, 16 de abril de 2015

The struggle for a flag

When I think about a country, one of the first things that it comes to my mind is the flag, but when the conflicts go beyond religion and political perspectives, even this symbol becomes a subject of discussion.
While I was searching some information for Ireland’s map, I realized that Northern Ireland is the only one constituent country of the United Kingdom that doesn’t have its own flag. My confusion got bigger when I found out the many different flags that can be used.
Saint Patrick’s saltire was representative of the Kingdom of Ireland, but when it was divided, the Republic of Ireland adopted The Tricolour and started to use the flag of Ulster to represent the north province. In 1953, the Government of Northern Ireland stablished the Ulster Banner as the official flag, but in 1973 the parliament was abolished and so it was the flag. Since then, the ‘’Union Jack’’ has been the official emblem. Nowadays, the Ulster Banner represents Unionists (Protestants), but Republicans (Catholics) prefer the flag of the Ulster Province. 
Although the differences, I found out that the red hand of Ulster, which represents the bloody hand of a member of the O’Neill family, it seems to be the one who symbolizes Northern Ireland without any complaint, because it’s the result of an ancient legend about how a man became king.
Something that caught my attention was the fact that even the sports have been affected by this confusion, for example, the national football team uses the Ulster Banner, but the rugby team shows the Four Provinces Flag or the IRFU Flag.

So, what flag should I use to represent this country without being rude to anyone? This disagreement has caused street protests, fights and even more polarization.

Saint Patrick's saltire and the Union Jack

The Flag of Ulster

 The Ulster Banner

 The Four Provinces Flag of Ireland

The IRFU Flag

By Carla Menares

3 comentarios:

  1. But why the actual government doesn’t do anything about this? Why they don’t proclaim and make a flag that represent the country so they avoid all the confusion and polarization? I know that maybe is not that simple, because they have to agree in everything that will compose the flag (They have to ask the people too, I think) but they have to give a solution.

    1. The government has already tried to do something about it, but I think they can't do anything about what people think. I mean, people feel represented by one or another flag because this one represents a different country, government, religion, etc. Even if a majority wins by voting, what is going to happen to the rest of the country? They won't feel represented and maybe they would start to fight against the other group. I think is really complicated.

  2. I think it's really complicated. On one hand, the government can not do much, because people have already a sense of belonging with respect to their flags, and if they establish a common flag for all, going to be really difficult.
    Surely, for them the identity their society can not capture in a single flag, I think.
    On the other hand, I think the government is out of hand about the situation, and if they have not done anything, perhaps because it is not really an emergency.