In April, UK Defence minister Johnny Mercer resigned/was sacked due to his protestations over the Overseas Operations bill (which passed on April 29th but does not apply to service in NI (BBC)) and the prosecution of two soldiers for a 1972 killing of Joe McCann – they were acquitted (BelTel). Cases against British Army soldier will continue to be investigated, however, unless there is legislation introduced by the British government to deal with “legacy” issues in Northern Ireland. This VASU tarp is next to the Boundary Way waste ground, site of the lower Shankill bonfire. “Support the men who supported & protected us against Sinn Fein IRA – Soldier A-Z.”
After a break for the funeral of the Duke Of Edinburgh, the Loyalist Communities Council has resumed its protest of Brexit with a banner campaign (Irish News). The banner seems to be offering viewers the choice of one of four affiliations (“Europe – UK – USA – Ireland – choose one or the other! It’s your decision!) but the “correct” answer is at the bottom (and in the faded background of the Covenant): “Ulster is British and this we will always maintain!” even though “Political leaders are not listening!” (including, perhaps, Arlene Foster and the DUP.) The Belfast Agreement (Good Friday Agreement) allows people in Northern Ireland to identify themselves as Irish, British, or both.
Banners have been placed in various PUL areas; this one is along the York Road. The launch of the campaign outside the Irish Secretariat Office in Linenhall St, which the Belfast Telegraph called “tiny” as it involved only the LCC’s David Campbell and David McNary, was interrupted by Gareth McCord (BelTel video) whose brother Raymond was beaten to death by the UVF in 1997, allegedly to cover up drug dealing by the Mount Vernon UVF (Magill).
“Loyalist Ballysillan says NO! to Irish Sea border.” The Ulster Banner merges with the Union Flag, and a Northern Ireland floating free of the south is cradled by Britain. (Compare with Give And Take from last week.)
Although not completely visible in the image below, the ‘Britain remembers’ Remembrance Day flag includes the Ulster Banner, the flag of NI parliament until 1972, rather than the St Patrick’s Saltire. This is also the flag used by the Irish Football Association, the governing body of soccer in NI, to represent its teams, as is shown by the personalised supporter’s plaque in Cosgrave Heights. The organisation’s name derives from the fact that the body pre-dates partition and used to govern the whole island and not just “our wee country”.
The Irish Football Association (web | tw) is the governing body for Northern Irish soccer, overseeing both domestic and international events. The original Our Wee Country (fan organisation Web | tw) mural was in Carnforth Street, east Belfast. For another and one of the emblem with Ulster banner and Union flags, see Irish Football Association and Our Wee Country.
“2009: Welcome To Loyalist Linfield Road. Celebrating Our Culture 1690.” The central panel is a combination Union Flag, Ulster Banner, and free-floating Northern Ireland.
The banner hung on the railings in Linfield Road from 2009 until it was stolen and placed on a 2013 Republican bonfire (see Bonfire Flags) which then elicited a comment on the wall just east of this location (see They May Have Stole Our Banner).