Bushmills Confederate flag idolizes slavery claim

Posted By: July 11, 2015

Bushmills Confederate flag idolizes slavery claim 

bushmills photo 2

The scene along the edge of the Dundarave housing estate in Bushmills, where tourists can leave their vehicles in a car park and take the ‘park & ride’ shuttle bus to the near-by Giants Causeway. The American Confederate flag is being flown on a fence where tourists must pass to get in and out of the carpark. The causeway bus at its stop in the park. 10-7-15-MML / NO BY-LINE.


Seamus McKinney . Irish News. July 11, 2015 01:00

The entrance leading off the Main Street in Bushmills, into the Dundarave housing estate where tourists can leave their vehicles in a car park and take the ‘park & ride’ shuttle bus to the near-by Giants Causeway. The American Confederate flag is being flown on a fence where tourists must pass to get in and out of the carpark. 10-7-15-MML / NO BY-LINE.

There have been calls for an overhaul of hate crime legislation to include dealing with the flying of offensive loyalist flags after a Confederate flag was hoisted in a north Antrim village.

The Confederate flag – a controversial symbol of racism – was put up in Bushmills just a week after a row in loyalist east Belfast when a similar flag was hoisted outside the home of a black family.

Causeway Coast and Glens SDLP councillor, Maura Hickey said the flag appeared along with other loyalist emblems at Giants Causeway park and ride facility.

The use of the flag – described this week by South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley as an “insulting symbol of slavery” – is the latest in a series of incidents involving the offensive emblem.

Stormont leaders condemned the flying of Nazi flags near a Twelfth loyalist bonfire in Carrickfergus earlier this week. The emblems, which were flown along with a Confederate flag, were subsequently taken down by residents.

In Limavady the flag of the British army’s Parachute Regiment – who were responsible for the Bloody Sunday killings – was erected at Myroe while UVF flags were put up in the centre of Donemana, outside Derry city.

The Confederate battle flag, also known as the “stars and bars” has been the subject of focused condemnation since it was used by Dylann Roof who has been accused of killing nine black Americans in a church in Charleston, USA last month. On Thursday, South Carolina governor, Ms Haley ordered that the flag be removed from the statehouse grounds.

In Bushmills, the emblem was erected alongside a Scottish Saltire and Northern Ireland flags at Dundarave Park, close to the Giant’s Causeway park and drive facility. Tourists using the facility have no option but to pass the controversial banner.

Ms Hickey said the flag was erected by “elements” who had no interest in job creation or tourism.

“Today it’s the Confederate flag in Bushmills idolising slavery, earlier in the week it was the Nazi flag in Carrickfergus idolising Hitler and continually we witness flags of the various paramilitary organisations,” she said.

The SDLP councillor called for legislation on racism and sectarianism to be urgently revised.

The Orange Order has distanced itself from the flying of the Bushmills Confederate flag.

A spokesman said: “The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland is not responsible for any flags flown from lampposts across the Province. No flags of proscribed organisations should be flown. Historical flags and emblems should not be used, or perverted, by those seeking to offend others.

“We abhor, for example, the hijacking of the flag of the Irish Republic by illegal organisations over the past 40 years.”

The order has also condemned the theft of a Union flag from Ardinariff Orange hall near Dungiven. A spokesman for Limavady Orange Order described the theft as a “hate crime.”