Welcome To Our Homeland

Here are two Sons Of KAI tarps in “the C-double-O” (Rathcoole), celebrating fifty years of the flute band. For the controversy over the name (and date of formation) see The Famous.

In the background of one of the wide shots can be seen (the latest version of) the Marky Quail mural.

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The Famous

Sons Of KAI flute band (ig) re-formed in 2006 (youtube | Coin Talk) but here claims as its origin date “1972” which is when the “tartan” gang (History Ireland) ‘Rathcoole KAI’ was formed.

One of the founders claims that the gang was named after a (not-famous) Danish soccer player Kai Johansen (WP), who played for Rangers from 1965-1970 (IWM) but then (BelTel) and now (Irish News | Slugger) “KAI” is understood to stand for “Kill All Irish”.

A 1982 image of the Rathcoole KAI “red devils” mural can be seen in the Ciaran McGowan collection at IWM.

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SNP Out

The SNP [Scottish National Party] became the largest party in the Scottish parliament in 2007 and went from 6 Westminster seats in 2010 to a completely dominant 56 (of 59) in 2015. It spearheaded a referendum in 2014, which was defeated 55% to 47% (WP). Scottish independence is again included in the manifesto of the SNP – though it has not committed to a specific date on account of the Covid pandemic – and as such the SNP remains a threat to the integrity of the UK that Northern Ireland unionists espouse. Hence this sticker on the Shankill Road, even though the SNP does not stand any candidates in NI elections.

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Friendship Across The Water

Walker Clubs – one of the associated clubs of the Apprentice Boys – are named for George Walker, joint Governor of Derry (with Lundy) during the siege, who died at the Boyne, on July 1st/12th, 1690 while going to the aid of the Duke Of Schomberg. In the centre is the crest of Londonderry: “Vita, veritas, victoria“.

This board in Larne’s ‘Factory’ districts shows, (clockwise from bottom left): the apprentice boys shutting the gates, the breaking of the boom to relieve the siege, Walker (who was also an Anglican priest) inciting the apprentice boys to shut the gates with a cry of “No surrender”, and, clasped hands signifying the connection between Larne Walker Club (Fb) and Maybole Walker Club in South Ayrshire, Scotland. A list of all the Walker Clubs can be found at ABOD.

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The Flax And The Lily

The orange lily and the (pale blue) flax flower take their place around the Ulster Banner alongside the English rose and Scottish thistle, and the Irish shamrock is retained even in the presence of the lily. The flax is perhaps included because we are in the Factory area of Larne, near the site of a (former) linen mill. The Welsh daffodil is excluded. The detail above is part of a wider board “Boyne Square celebrates 100 years of Northern Ireland”; the flanking emblems of the Boyne Defenders (LOL 1297), Rangers Supporters club (Larne Branch) – which also uses the shamrock – Boyne Square Bonfire Forum, and Larne & District Great War Society and included below; the emblems of three flute bands can be seen in Norman Anderson and The Gunrunners.

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Order Restored

Rangers went into administration in 2012 and the “new” club played in the 4th tier of Scottish football. After four years, they had played themselves back into premiership football. Ten years after their previous league championship, they topped the table at the end of the 2020-2021 season, prompting the board shown above “order restored”. See also: 55 | F*ck Your Ten In A Row | Blues Brothers | We’re Back (and Legends Never Die).

The area in front of the Tiger’s Bay Flute Band mural bears an “Anfield Road’ street sign; and there is a Chelsea FC crest on the house across the street (not shown).

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An Act Of Betrayal

“We are united by the Act Of Union, we won’t be divided by an act of betrayal.” The ‘act of betrayal’ in question is the Northern Ireland Protocol of Brexit which puts NI outside the single market but allows for the free movement of goods with the EU but not Britain – hence the “Irish Sea border”.

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Legends Never Die

“Heroes get remembered, legends never die.” Walter Smith passed away on October 26th, after a managerial career spanning 33 years, including two stints at Rangers – winning 21 titles over 11 years – and the Scottish national squad. A tarp in his honour – with poppies around his portrait – has been added to the Shankill Road celebration of Rangers’ 2020-2021 league title.

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What We Have We Hold

This Village board celebrates the Covenant, Ulster Volunteers, and the 36th (Ulster) Division, with photographs both vintage and contemporary.

For the photograph of Carson signing the Covenant, and an earlier mural, see Betting Office. For the photograph of the car-mounted gun, and an earlier mural recreating the photo, see UVF 75th Anniversary. For images akin to the contemporary photos, see these BelTel galleries one | two of the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Ulster Volunteers.

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Maintain The Union

“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.

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