Loyalist In Lockdown

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people celebrating the Twelfth yesterday were encouraged to maintain physical distance from others by staying in their gardens as the bands marched by. Homeowners decorated their properties (perhaps using these Twelfth At Home packs in Lurgan). Here is video from the Belfast Telegraph of yesterday’s marches.

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Tour Of Clough

The Red Hand Defenders flute band will commence its march from the Clough (Co. Down) Orange hall at 12:30 and its route will take it under the Orange arch in Main Street, shown here, with King Billy flanked by portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (on the left) and soldiers from the 36th (Ulster) Division (on the right). It will visit the houses in Jordanstown, Church Grove, Church Court, and Claragh Court (PC).

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Stay Apart

Here is the bonfire in Pitt Park (east Belfast) that was set alight yesterday evening for “Eleventh Night” (for some images see this Kevin Scott gallery). This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is a banner advising people to “Stay 1m apart! Thank you”, in addition to nationalist symbols such as the Irish Tricolour.

For the mural in the background, see Culture Threatens No One.

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Battle Of The Bug

Flags are flying in east Belfast in preparation for this year’s marching season (and the 75th anniversary of VE Day. All seems normal but the coronavirus epidemic has meant the cancellation of many parades for this year’s Twelfth (which will be celebrated on Monday, the 13th) and a social media campaign to get people to stay at their homes and “let the band come to you” (Newsletter | Irish Times | BBC).

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The New Normal

“Community warning. This area is being monitored for antisocial behaviour. Your behaviour has consquences. Think of your community. Don’t do anything you might later regret. This sign was amended by Lasair Dhearg [web | tw] as part of our campaign against imperialism and PSNI normalisation.” The substitute version is from the Fall Road, the original (below) is from Ballysillan Road.

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Here To Stay

“#ICantBreathe – George Floyd RIP”. Spurred by the killings of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and others, marches against police brutality and racism are now well into their second month, with (it seems) greater coordination but diminished frequency and intensity. The graffiti shown here on the wall below the old Sean MacDiarmada club replaces the “IRA here to stay” graffiti, which was on top of the “Dichoilinigh D’intinn/Decolonize Your Mind” graffiti, which was on top of “Heroin dealers will be shot dead” graffiti.

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Thank You NHS

Union flags with “Thank You NHS” in east Belfast, one (above) in front of “Freedom Corner” on Newtownards Road (for the recent history of the mural on the right, see East Belfast Brigade) and another (below) in Ballarat Street.

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Orange Memorial Hall

The foundation stone for North Belfast Memorial Hall (Fb) was laid by Edward Carson in 1923 (Fb) to a plan by Gabriel Porte. Here is the facade in brilliant sunshine, with a banner in support of NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic. “Thank you to all our NHS staff and essential workers from the local Orange family together fighting Covid-19.”

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Human Life International

HLI (web | tw) works to bring about “An Ireland where God is first”. Its “holy face” campaign asks people to partake in a form of devotion dating back to 1885 that involves reflecting on the face of Jesus in order to affirm the first three commandments (HLI). One of the images used is from the Shroud Of Turin, which radiocarbon dating has dated to the 13th-14th century (which is when it first appeared, in France), hence the graffiti “Get a life, not an afterlife”, “[Seek my face] … find a forgery” (in North Street). On another hoarding, in University Street, “the H_ngm_n” has lost a game of hangman with “Bella”. The final image, with SPUC’s “Repeal Section 9” is also from University Street. For a history of the shroud, see this CNN article.

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As The Stars Are Known To The Night

William McFadzean won a VC for sacrificing himself on the morning before the Battle Of The Somme (in WWI) and is commemorated in several murals. He shares a plaque here with “Vol W Miller”, who is perhaps the (modern UVF) volunteer Billy Miller from Donegall Pass who was killed in an RUC ambush in 1983 (Long Kesh I/O). The two names on the newer plaque are unknown on-line, perhaps having survived the Troubles and recently deceased.

The title of today’s post comes from the Laurence Binyon poem For The Fallen.

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