The Poppy…A Neutral Symbol?

So what about the Poppy? The one that unionists wear in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday.

The Unionists and the LetsGetAlongerists would have us believe we should respect it. It commemorates…they would claim….the (British) soldiers who lost their lives in World War One and subsequently in British campaigns….”good” wars like World War Two and “bad” wars like suppression of nationalism in India, Kenya, Cyprus, Malaya, Aden….and Ireland.

We are asked to believe it is about good guys and freedom and that it is part of our so-called “shared” history.

image  image

It is a sham. This mural is in Donegall Pass, Belfast. It links the World War One monument in Flanders (“The Ulster Tower”) commemorating the Ulster Division (the “old” Ulster Volunteer Force) to the 1970s UVF and a list of the dead from “Second Batallion”, South Belfast UVF.

LetsGetAlongerists would fake shock at this. To them, it is an abuse of a more “respectable” history. But thats not how unionists see it. To wear a poppy…a so-called shared symbol is to buy into the worst excesses of loyalist violence.

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10 Responses to The Poppy…A Neutral Symbol?

  1. John McMahon says:

    In Northern Ireland the poppy is usually an anti-Catholic emblem. It probably was not meant to be such but the Protestants have used it as one of their tribal emblems, so it now has become an anti-Catholic emblem. In Northern Ireland the Union flag is usually an anti-Catholic emblem. When it is being flown over a UK army or naval establishment, it is not an anti-Catholic emblem. Otherwise it is.

  2. roddy says:

    Does Margaret Ritchie not wear one?

  3. roddy says:

    And every sdlp mp swears alleigance to mrs windsor.McGuinnesss regards her as a foreign head of state.

  4. roddy says:

    So Alasdair and co dont solemnly swear alliegance to her majesty and all her successors ?.Did Martin not say “she is not my queen” ?

    • Dont take this the wrong way Roddy. This is not that kinda blog. We do “informed conversation” here within the context of republican, socialist and nationalist.
      Certainly its Election Campaign and we are in election mode. But just making the same points over and over again is silly.

  5. zig70 says:

    I wonder sometimes what it takes to make a culture so militaristic. I have a lot of respect for the people that fought in the 2 world wars, especially those conscripted. I have some sympathy for the young kids that go off for a sense of adventure in recent British forays and find themselves giving their lives for a political goal. That said there seems to be a doctrine in unionist culture towards military action. About a month ago, I ran home, through Sandy Row, past murals with poppies and the more recent UVF, later I drove past a roundabout in Newtownabbey where the council had erected a big poppy commemorating some event. The next day I was in the Boys Model for a hurling match and as I looked around the lovely school and at the library, the first thing I saw was a poppy display and I just thought that they are obsessed with war. Like kids that never grew out of cowboys and Indians. The poppy is a tool used to indoctrinate people to accept risking their life for political aims and as such I think it is fairly evil. On the other hand, If you are running the country, it has to be a political aim to engender loyalty to your country. Something which I think the Irish are particularly bad at especially compared to the US or England.

    • I think that British militarism is based on Victory.
      They have been lucky for centuries. Really from 1700, their only military defeat was the American War of Independence….but when you get that kinda luck, it breeds a sense of superiority (military and moral almost)….they must feel GOD is on their side.
      Possibly USA and Israel have the same attitude.

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