Apparently the flag is flying over public buildings to celebrate the birthday of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in England and Wales; probably also in Northern Ireland. It is to be hoped that this will stop the five nights of rioting all about whether the union flag should be flown over City Hall in Belfast for 365 days of the year.
Of course, it is all about politics, not flags. It is also rocking the boat of peace and that is a frightening thought for those of us who have lived in Northern Ireland during its less peaceful times in what was euphemistically referred to as ‘The Troubles’.
My younger sister returned to her home in NI after spending Christmas with me only to learn she had missed the dubious pleasure of being evacuated from her home because IRA terrorists had planted a pipe bomb outside the police station. It was thankfully defused and no-one was killed or maimed but it took me back to my past life in NI.
I have also lived in Spain and decorated my balcony with a mixture of the red and yellow flags of Spain, together with the green and white stripes of Andalucia during fiesta week! When it was the Royal Wedding I waved my union flag with all the other royalists but rioting for five nights because the flag can’t be flown every day over City Hall is a backward step for Northern Ireland and exposes the vulnerability of the peace process.
The majority of people living in NI are peace-loving and have enjoyed living in peace outside of ‘The Troubles’, so do not want to be dragged back into what a small minority see as a continuing war against the status quo!