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January 19, 2005



Sorry, that's almost as bad as the Basque flag, the world's ugliest banner.

Young  Irelander


Gerry O'Sullivan

Excellent! LOL

Peter Nolan

I think Paul Smith or someone thought of this long ago.

Portadown News Editor

I remember seeing these fluttering along the Garvaghy Road a few years back and thinking, for one beautiful moment, that a sense of humour had broken out.

Turns out they were Basque flags though. Tragic.

Michael Mac Guinness

Why not keep it simple and revert to the one we had before the tricolour, the gold harp on a green field?

Leinster would have to get a new flag though!

Frank McGahon

It's only a bit of fun really - as Peter pointed out, I certainly wasn't the first to think of this - and not meant to be taken seriously.

But here's a curious thing: I don't see any reason why the tricolour should be abandoned and I wouldn't support abandoning it for the supposed glittering prize of a United Ireland. The way I see it, NI is not equivalent to the RoI in size, population, economic (or footballing!) success. This would not represent a joining of two equivalent territories but rather a smaller, less important territory joining a larger, more important one. It would be compromise enough for the RoI to take on NI especially so if the current Westminster subsidy remained, surely abandoning our national symbols would be a compromise too far. I am not a nationalist at all (or indeed a unionist even by default), I am (more or less) indifferent to the prospect of unification. The irony is that people like me are probably less likely to support changing the flag than more hardcore (but realist) nationalists.


Michael, I thought it was a gold harp on a blue field?

Young  Irelander

John,I think it was a harp on a blue background originally but most recently it was a harp on a green background.

Frank,I too felt the way you did about the flag issue but I think it was John Hume's father who said that "You can't eat a flag".
I wouldn't throw away the prospect of Irish unity(and in my view the greatest day in Irish history)over a piece of cloth that you can still cherish in your own time if you want.

Frank McGahon

Well YI, the difference between us is that you value the prospect of unification a great deal more highly than I do, hence your willingness to abandon some national symbols. As for Hume's quote, I take that as meaning that practical quotidian things matter much more than grand rhetorical symbols and the idea of a United Ireland itself is one of those grand rhetorical things that might make you feel good but isn't going to put any pratai on your plate.

Young  Irelander

A United Ireland is about undoing a wrong and fulfilling the destiny of Ireland which is for the island to be as it was.
Men have died for this goal.Something to ponder on when you're eating your pratai...

Frank McGahon

Er, no it's not. I am not religious, I don't believe that anyone has a "destiny"*, never mind a nation.

* or at least not in the way you imply: I am a determinist (or more accurately a compatibilist!)

Young  Irelander

Oh no not a philosophical argument!From my study of philosophy I can't say I enjoy it very much.I worry about determinism affecting freedom.
It seems compatibilism is easier to identify with though.
What way do you think people have a destiny,then?

I believe that the decision to partition Ireland scarred Ireland and that it is destiny for Ireland to undo the scar of partition.
I also believe that Irish reunification will be caused through proper choices;)

Frank McGahon

Freedom evolves, over in the sidebar to the left deals very well with the issue of free will. Dennet maintains that free will, or at least what we intuitively understand as free will, doesn't depend on indeterminism.

I don't believe in "destiny", what I mean is that there is only one way things will ever turn out, no ineffable mysterious forces apply in the universe, nor is it truly random and there is a physical explanation for any phenomenon. This means that, in principle, everything is predictable (by Laplace's demon) but in practice utterly unpredictable given the amount of information necessary.

Young  Irelander

Suppose you see a girl in a bar,you can either approach her or not.You approach her,date her,eventually marry and settle down with her.
What is your view on this scenario since you could've chosen not to talk to her and had your life turn out very differently.

Frank McGahon

My view on this scenario is that while you are "free" to make choice a: talk to her or choice b: not talk to her, you will still make just one choice and your "free will" decision to make that choice will still be contingent on a whole series of factors, including, but not restricted to, your personality, past experience and frame of mind at that exact moment. The only problem with free will arises if you maintain that you are some sort of sovereign entity apart from the physical universe (which by the way also leads you down the cartesian cul de sac).

Young  Irelander

Interesting.I thought you might say that.Of course in reality you should ALWAYS talk to the girl;)


A lot late, but I would just say; Oh God NO...

Cathal Dunne

I always thought the Tricolour WAS the quintessential symbol of a divided island coming together on a banner.

I was lead to believe that Nationalists/Republicans could draw on the green third of the flag as symbolic of their tradition.

I also thought that Unionists/Loyalists could draw equally on the Orange third for the symbol of their ideas.

And then, considering the 150,000 Poles and other New Irish who have become our neighbours can draw on the neutral white as their symbol. This can nuance its role of symbolisng a bridge of peace.

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