A display of flags to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 70th jubilee has exposed a lack of knowledge in Orkney about the UK.
The UK comprises, Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. But not according to Orkney where council leaders and tourism chiefs must have missed every history lesson going. Included in the display is the flag of the independent republic of Ireland.
The display is situated at the travel centre in Kirkwall where tens of thousands of international visitors arrive during the summer months. The visitors will include those from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and those of Irish descent now living in the USA.
The Irish Free State was created in 1922 and in 1949, Ireland was officially declared a Republic.
It does present difficulties to represent Northern Ireland with a flag. The Good Friday Agreement states:
All participants acknowledge the sensitivity of the use of symbols and emblems for public purposes, and the need in particular in creating the new institutions to ensure that such symbols and emblems are used in a manner which promotes mutual respect rather than division.
“In December 2021, the Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition (FICT) published its final report which included a recommendation that a new “Civic Flag for Northern Ireland” should be adopted and be flown at buildings of the Northern Ireland Executive, Northern Ireland Assembly and local district councils in Northern Ireland. The commissions suggested that the design for the new flag should incorporate expressions of Britishness and Irishness and should also represent the diversity of the community in Northern Ireland.” Wikipedia
Indeed the flying of the Irish Tricolour displayed alongside the Union Jack is favoured by the nationalist party Sinn Féin as a compromise but not by the Unionists. Maybe those in the higher echelons of School Place know more about the future of a United Ireland than we do?
Categories: Local News