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LETTER: 'Irish republic's flag should not have been flown'

PUBLISHED: 13:38 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:39 26 March 2019

Cromer Parish Church.  Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Cromer Parish Church. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2016

I was in Cromer on St Patrick's Day and indeed live quite near the church.

The flag of Ireland, often refered to as the Irish tricolour. One reader questioned whether it should be flown at Cromer's parish church on St Patrick's Day. Picture: Michal OsmendaThe flag of Ireland, often refered to as the Irish tricolour. One reader questioned whether it should be flown at Cromer's parish church on St Patrick's Day. Picture: Michal Osmenda

I was approached by an ex-serviceman who asked me if I had noticed the flag flying in the churchyard.

It was obviously the flag of the Irish Republic, or the tricolour, and flying to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

To some of us who have served in the province, that flag told you that you were in enemy territory and you were liable to be abused, bricked or even worse.

I met other ex-soldiers during the day and we all agreed that the Irish Republic is not a home nation and that the Ulster flag should have been flown.

Flags can be quite emotive and I appreciate that, but when our soldiers are being hauled up in court and the other side get away with it, then the blood begins to boil.

The official flag of Northern Ireland is the Union Jack, which has the Irish cross in it.

The Ulster flag is a red cross on a white background with the hand of Ulster and the monarch’s crown upon it.

It represents all the people of Northern Ireland, irrespective of religion or culture.

We have just remembered all our soldiers who died in the Great War and many thousands were from Irish regiments and came from all over Ireland, which of course was British until 1922 and their government turned down the offer of joining the Commonwealth just prior to the Second World War.

We are not New York but a small town who I hope respects our kith and kin in that island across the Irish Sea but at the same time remembers servicemen, police and civilians who died during the so called ‘Troubles’.

JOHN NEEDHAM

Cromer

-What do you think? To share your views on this issue and others, email nnn.letters@archant.co.uk

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