Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Flagging The Past

The Irish Times flagged up a controversy recently that relates directly to the Battle of the Boyne site.

The Republic of Ireland’s flag, the tricolour of green, white and orange, was placed on top of the remains of the Obelisk monument at the battle site by an unknown person. While the flag flies on private property, the site has of course strong historical links to the Orange Order in Northern Ireland.

The plot thickens with the information that a planning application is currently being assessed to erect a replacement monument on the site. The application is from the Boyne Foundation which is supported by the Orange Order. The monument itself, which stands where William of Orange would have encamped before the battle of the Boyne, was blown up in 1923 just after the foundation of a Southern Irish state.
This has caused great local controversy but not with whom you’d think.

In fact, it’s local county councillor Frank Godfrey who has spoken out against the flying of the Irish flag. “I have no problem with flying the tricolour. But this one is sending out the wrong message, it could be seen as antagonistic. With the peace process, we are trying to promote friendship and goodwill. If someone put a Union Jack at Kilmainham Gaol there would be a lot of people who wouldn’t feel too happy about it.”

It’s a strong indicator of how attitudes have changed in the South towards both Northern Ireland and the Battle of the Boyne when you have an Irish politician speaking out against the flying of the Irish flag on a battlefield site.

Still it would be interesting to find out who put the flag up and why.

You can read more on this story here.

23 comments:

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