Time for a flag for Northern Ireland? We’ve been without for forty years.

There have been news reports in recent days of a flag being removed from display in an British Army canteen in Camp Bastion in Aghanistan. Many people here in Northern Ireland appear to be getting their knickers in a twist over this.

The problem?

The Flag in question is the flag of the former Government of Northern Ireland, as depicted below.

Flag of Government of Northern Ireland 1953-1972

Flag of Government of Northern Ireland 1953-1972

Since the prorogation of the Parliament and that Government in 1972 there has been no official flag for this part of the United Kingdom, other than the Union Flag.

The Union Flag of the UK

The Rt Hon. Jeffrey Donaldson MP has written a letter to HM Secretary of State for Defence on the subject—which has also been posted to the Lagan Valley MP’s Facebook wall—but makes the usual errors about the status of the so-called Northern Ireland Flag. What doesn’t help is that in media reports it was described as an ‘Ulster Flag’.

A solution?

This year it is forty years since the Parliament of Northern Ireland was prorogued. Perhaps in this Diamond Jubilee year, we could petition Her Majesty The Queen and her officers of arms to devise a new flag for this part of Her Majesty’s United Kingdom? A flag that can be used and respected by all in this part of Ireland.

There have been many suggestions over the years for proposed new designs. Even on Facebook there is a group for this subject. One of the designs in it is really rather pleasant. Different and striking, but one which could be recognised by everyone. It was designed by Ewout Bernardus Lamé.

Northern Ireland flag proposed by Ewout Bernardus Lamé

Northern Ireland flag proposed by Ewout Bernardus Lamé

The design is explained as:

Another, more outside-the-box design for a new flag for Northern Ireland drifted into my head. The design symbolises the Giant’s Causeway, an area of hexagonal basalt columns on the coast of Northern Ireland. It’s a unique natural wonder. I added six flax flowers to symbolise the six historical counties that make up Northern Ireland.—from New Flag for Northern Ireland.

What do you think? Would this design work? It would be completely different.

Originally posted on Gyronny Herald.

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