The Northern Ireland government’s coat of arms was approved for use in 1924, three years after the government was established. Its “supporters” – the red lion of Scotland and an Irish elk, carrying (respectively) Irish harp and De Burgh flags, and standing on a grassy mound with flax plants – were added later.
This mural celebrating the centenary of Northern Ireland’s creation, in the Woodburn estate, Carrickfergus, accurately shows the Tudor crown on the arms, as was used at the time of creation and prior to the Edwardian crown (WP).
Part of the most recent development of the upper streets in the Village was not to rebuild the two rows on houses on Ebor and Nubia/Moltke streets and in their place construct a park – the Village Green – and playground. This new board on the outside railings make the park a “community park of remembrance” for WWI, showing an Ulster Banner with a Union Flag in the canton. There was formerly on this site an image of Thiepval Tower and a UVF stone.
“This site housed the former Mid Donegall Road Bonfire for over two decades, until the expansion and development of the surrounding area including the City Hospital meant that it was no longer viable for a bonfire to remain on this site. Greater Village Regeneration Trust, through its work with The Health Trust, who own the site, and the local community, including the local bonfire builders wanted to have something on the site that could benefit the whole community and agreement was given for it to be transformed into the garden that is here today. Local Artist Johnny [sic] McKerr worked alongside Greater Village Regeneration Trust and the local community and this artwork was designed to depict and celebrate the heritage, history and culture which the people of this area are extremely proud of.”
The info board includes a photograph of the bonfire spilling out towards the car-park for the City. The other image is a photograph from the Peter Moloney Collection, used without permission, and photoshopped to add “DRL” – Donegall Road Loyalists.
According to Eddie Kelly of the GVRT, Carrickfergus castle is included because “This is where King William landed, and the annual bonfire is a symbol of a beacon lit across the coast to guide him” (Belfast Live).
Painted by JMK/Jonny McKerr (tw) at Coolfin St on Donegall Rd.
In September, 1914, six weeks after the Great War had begun, Edward Carson wrote to the Ulster Volunteers entreating “those who have not already responded” to “my call for Defenders of the Empire” to “enlist at once for the Ulster Division in Lord Kitchener’s Army”, fighting alongside “our fellow Britishers”: “Quit yourselves like men and comply with your country’s demand”. The impulse for the display of force shown here – two panels of hooded gunmen from the 1st East Antrim battalion of the UVF – is the other, original, motivation for the paramilitary force, which Carson describes as “to defend our citizenship in the United Kingdom” (Strachan & Nally).
For the RIR mural, see For Valour. The new panels shown here re-re-image the VC part of that previous mural.
“Loyalist Woodburn celebrates 100th anniversary Northern Ireland”. Maintain the union of (left to right) England (St George’s Cross), Wales (The Red Dragon), Northern Ireland (Ulster Banner), Scotland (St Andrew’s Saltire). Along the fence we have the NI coat of arms, Ulster Grenadiers flute band (Fb) celebrating its 25th anniversary, King Billy at the Boyne, “Ulster Scots” (on an Independent Ulster flag?), Captain Sir Tom Moore, a Union Flag, Rangers 55, an Ulster Banner. The crown sits atop all.
Compared to the UVF, the UDA more strongly detect an existential threat to loyalism and evince a siege mentality that provokes the need for armed resistance. Hence the more frequent presence of armed gunmen in UDA murals (which is also due in part to the UVF being able to “re-image” around the Ulster Volunteers and the Somme). With Brexit and the Protocol, however, armed gunmen have recently been appearing more frequently in UVF murals – see, for example, If Our Shores Are Threatened | Bang Up To Date | Our British Identity.
“Springmartin–Highfield–Glencairn Ulster Defence Association est. 1971. Defending freedom from hate.” As the companion mural (We Will Take Nothing Less) makes clear, the hate is coming from a “fascist republican enemy” (“Sinn Féin/IRA”, presumably) and the government of Ireland. Graphically, this mural is the same as the previous one on this wall: Under The Protection Of The UDA.
Eimear’s Wish (web | tw) last night launched a fundraising and blood cancer awareness campaign selling gin with a bottle raffled to supporters attending the first Irish League match of the new seasons between Glenavon and Portadown; it has the support of many soccer, rugby, GAA, and bowling clubs – this is the tarp outside Seaview on the Shore Road, Belfast. “Crusaders FC & Eimear’s Wish working together to raise stem cell donor awareness in Northern Ireland and create hope for people with life threatening illness.”
An estimated 100,000 people congregated at Craigavon House on the 23rd of September, 1911, to hear Edward Carson’s inaugural speech as Unionist leader (McNeill Ch. 4). In his speech he said “Our demand is a simple one. We ask for no privileges, but we are determined that no one shall have privileges over us. We ask for no special rights, but we claim the same rights from the same government as every other part of the United Kingdom. We ask for nothing more; we will take nothing less”. Ten years later, in 1921, Northern Ireland was created and it has survived to reach its centenary, despite (according to this mural) “100 years of fighting a fascist republican enemy sponsored by the Irish state.”
The white dove (an albino rock dove/pigeon) is a domesticated bird and so not commonly seen in wilds of Belfast’s gardens and hills. It is probably more commonly seen in murals, serving as a symbol for the peace process (see “Hawks” & Doves). This one, by emic (web | tw | ig), can be seen at the Spectrum Centre on the Shankill.