“Big Lily” is a giant (~40′ x 30′) Manchester United flag created by Whitehead man Keith Norris in 1999 as a gesture of friendship towards a fellow United fan from Belfast from the ‘other side’, Martin ‘Faceman’ Cleary. It has subsequently travelled the world – the flags shown are of Catalonia, Japan, Australia, England, the United States, Italy, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Scotland, Russia, Brazil, Spain – uniting United fans and being used to raise funds for anti-racism charity Kick It Out and Unicef. The mural is situated in no-man’s land on Northumberland Street and features the Orange lily of unionism and the Easter lily of nationalism. (Carrickfergus Times | Belfast Live | SignBigLily.com)
The Pride Of Ballymacash flute band, formed in 2011 from the Pride Of Prince William (bottom left) and Ballymacash Young Conquerors (bottom right), uses the emblem of the 36th (Ulster) Division, in the centre of the mural. In the background on the left is the Thiepval Memorial and, on the right, the UDR memorial statue in Market Square, Lisburn. To the left (in the second image) is a UDA plaque “In memory of fallen comrades Ballymacash B coy D battaltion, South Belfast Brigade. Quis separabit.” For a close-up of the memorial on the ground, see Death & Life.
The skull-and-crossbones is the emblem of the Ballymacash Young Conquerors, which merged with the Pride Of Prince William in 2011 to form the Pride Of Ballymacash. (Fb) The symbol is a potent one, however, and still used by the new band in addition to its own. In the mural in its memorial garden, it is surrounded by poppies, thistles, and orange lilies. If you know the name of the young man in the memorial display (second image), please comment/get in touch.
William III of England, commonly known as William of Orange, led his troops to victory on July 1st, 1690 at the Battle of the Boyne against the forces of James II, the deposed English monarch and the father of his wife. The Williamite campaign began with successful resistance against the Siege of Derry in 1689 and James’s final defeat came a year later on July 12th, at Aughrim.
The fourteenth and final panel in Thorndyke Street contains a number of small panels, including the two above, along with emblems of local Orange and Black lodges, John McCrae’s In Flanders’ Fields, a list of acknowledgements, and a copyright claim.