Norn Iron…The Musical

So….August. Its the Silly Season and over on Slugger O’Toole , Mick Fealty is making his annual appeal for a new flag for Norn Iron. Something with which we can all identify.

I cant log in to Slugger and comment. I am a technophobe and all those new changes are just too complicated for an old fogey like me. So I have to say it loud and clear ….as Brian Feeney in An Feile lecture said yesterday…Norn Iron is not a country and does not have a flag and as Commonwealth Gold Medalist Paddy Barnes said “Its not my anthem”.


its the LetsGetAlongerist dearest wish. A flag and an anthem. Even Ian Parsley (a serial LetsGetAlongerist) has blogged about a design. Irish citizens DO have a Flag. We DO have an anthem. What we seek is some respect for it within Norn Iron.

Bizarre happenings at the Commonwealth Games. A boxer from Norn Iron wins his opening contest and the TV catches some supporters waving the Irish National Flag. So next night, another Norn Iron boxer wins and TV captures -an obviously placed Dame Mary Peters waving a Norn Iron Flag…..actually technically there is no such thing as a Norn Iron Flag. it is merely a banner invented in the 1950s. it has absolutely no official status.

Yet with the Scottish Referendum on Independence just next month…flag protocol at the Commonwealth Games …in Glasgow, Scotland was a bit tricky. Scottish Flags bearing the word “YES” were banned from venues. It was deemed a political message. Yet Flags of Britain (the so called United Kingdom) were permitted. Surely waving a “Union Jack” is at least as political. Britain or United Kingdom…doesnt actually have a team in the Commonwealth Games (England, Wales and Scotland competing in their own right) so it looks like the “establishment were …as usual….operating double standards.

Not surprisingly, a Nationalist like myself has no problem with the Norn Iron banner in a Commonwealth Games setting. Β To put it simply…it is MEANINGLESS. The LetsGetAlongerist dream is based on Norn Iron having MEANING.

Let me state this as clearly as I can….I hate, loathe and despise “Norn Iron”. I hope that as an entity it is someday confined to the dustbin or sewer of History. Necessarily I have to make compromises with it all. But my commitment to Norn Iron is non existent and my involvement is minimal.

There is a 1950s musical….Brigadoon…starring Gene Kelly. The unlikely premise is that a Scottish village becomes visible for only one day …every one hundred years.

Well at the Commonwealth Games, Norn Iron becomes visible for two weeks every four years. I can tolerate that…especially when Gold Medal winning boxers like Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlon (already medal winners at London in 2012 for….IRELAND) are getting better with every performance and have Rio 2016 or professional careers in their sights.

It is of course wrong to burden sportspeople (often apolitical) with OUR aspirations for them.

But the sense of gain or loss that we feel when one sportsman or sportswoman opts for a nationality (a right enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement) is pathetic.

We must not put our Irish or British choices above their choices. Nor must we find a way (anthem and flag) which makes the athletes compliant with a LetsGetAlongerist fantasy.

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22 Responses to Norn Iron…The Musical

  1. pippakin says:

    The thing is Paddy and pals didn’t have to go did they? Presumably they are busy risking permanent brain injury for Ireland on all other occasions so why go to the Common Wealth Games when they know they will be representing the entity known as ‘Norn Iron’?

    Its up to them but if they choose to go to an event representing anything that is not Ireland then unless the brain damage has set in early they have no complaint.

    Good to see you have one foot and an arm out of the closet FJH…

  2. The ghost of Conor Cruise O’Brien continues to haunt SO’T. They need a good exorcist πŸ˜‰

    • Its also the fact that theres no meeting of minds.
      Theres a big difference between a Blog with comments (this) and a general message board (SOT).
      This is I hope …a blog of interest to the wider republican-nationalist-lefties.
      Very little animosity here. And I like that atmosphere.
      We tease things out here. There is nuance, emphasis but broad agreement.
      I would not get that if it was a message board. Obviously Alliance supporters have got the message that there is no point trying to post here.
      There is a place for a wider message board (SOT) and even if it has a letsgetalongerist mind set, I certainly wish them well.

  3. pippakin says:

    OK I’m curious why can’t you comment on Slugger FJH?

  4. I think you just register with Disqus… As for the point, see Pip’s perspective.

    • pippakin says:

      My what…I’ve used Disqus I don’t like it an unnecessary complication. Its about blogging and commenting not guarding state secrets. If you’re that worried about who might comment – don’t blog.

    • I am honestly not understanding Pippakins point.

      Ive registered a few names with Disqus and still not getting on to Slugger.
      Saw Brian yesterday and he kindly suggested emailing him and he will sort it out. Might see him at one or two more things this week.

      • Mick Fealty says:

        That’ll be my MI% Minder keeping you from the gates of Vienna John. Ping me an email, if you want. I’ll try and figure it out.


        It’s not great, but it’s released a lot of resources on Slugger and has made the site faster. For me personally it’s helped ditch an uncomfortably large cost centre.


        I did try interviewing CCO’B when he was still living atop the hill of Howth. I got to ask him the same question three times before he slammed his receiver down in frustration.

        I assure you he’s been no more communicative with me in the years since.

      • pippakin says:

        I had some commenting problems with Disqus, logging in was not always the stroll in the park it should be and I’ve read that others, possibly FJH, have had similar problems. My problem was solved when Harrys Place banned me.

        Disqus feels like an intermediary. almost parasitical but I did read that whilst some commenters (me) don’t like it many blog owners do so it must be doing something right for them

        I don’t understand the cost thing at all Disqus is not free it must be something to do with costs owners of websites incur.

      • O’Brien is possibly the only person bringing “fraternal greetings” to provoke a walk out at a Party Conference.
        Totally hated in SDLP.

    • I am honestly not getting Pippakins point.
      I hd lalready registerd on Disqus.
      In fact, I think I have posted a couple of comments about two weeks ago.
      It has not been recognising me since.
      Tried a new email addy tonight. Registerd maybe twice more. Verified email.
      I talked to “B” yesterday a
      Nd told him and he has offered to help. Might see him again during Feile.

  5. Political Tourist says:

    So FJH is in Glasgow during the “Empire” games.
    Along comes a shiny new Translink bus followed by it’s big cousin Ulsterbus.
    Their over to help out during the games, hands across the water and all that.
    Really in the end, does it matter what the bus is called as long as it gets you to your final destination.

  6. Teri says:

    How observant you were or some of things that went on at the Great British games to keep us nationalists here in our place. Not only were Saltires with YES on them confiscated, the Stewards at the a swimming event sent for Britain’s finest polis to eject her. YES badges were also confiscated. However we worked our way round that with plenty saying Bu Choir or How NO instead. I do know of a tartan badge with Aye written on it that wasn’t seized. So many stewards were from other parts of this disunited kingdom that these badges meant nothing to them.

    Other things that happened that you may not have heard about are that it had been agreed that the red arrows during their flyover of the great Celtic park would trail blue and white smoke only. This was changed by Great Londonshire’s new Defence secretary who stated that the red arrows do not display anything other than red, white and blue smoke. I wonder how that squares with the fact they trailed blue and white smoke only at the Sunderland air show on the Saturday after the opening ceremony. They also gave out for free two faced flags to spectators entering venues – Union jack on one side, Saltire on the other. Maybe that could be the solution in Norn Iron, a two faced flag. Union flag one side, Tricolour on the other. That way it would either offend nobody, please everybody or offend everybody. What do you think?

    They may try to keep us nationalists in our place but they will never succeed.

  7. zig70 says:

    She who knows everything, says the tricolour is crap. Dull, forgettable and everyone has one. I have to agree and suggested the gold harp on a green flag which got agreement. You could have a variation to mix green and orange in one quarter which would give a nice shitty brown one. ☺

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