Tricolour omitted because southern Orangemen feel ‘culturally British’

Posted By: June 25, 2015

Gail Bell. Iish News. Thursday, June25, 2015 01:00


THE Irish tricolour was omitted from a display of flags outside the new Orange Order museum because Orangemen in the Republic feel “culturally British”, a senior official has claimed. The order has faced questions over why the tricolour is not among those flying outside the building to signify nations where Orange lodges operate. The flags of Togo, Ghana, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia have been erected beside the Union flag and a Northern Ireland flag. However the tricolour was absent despite lodges being located in several southern counties. Explaining the rationale after the omission was highlighted in yesterday’s Irish News, director of services David Hume said: “We are the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland but the majority of our members are in Northern Ireland. The members we have in the Republic of Ireland are quite content that the Union flag, with its Cross of St Patrick, represents them.” Mr Hume stressed however that the interpretative centre was keen to reach out to those from a nationalist tradition. He also highlighted the fact the tricolour was incorporated into an audio visual display inside the new centre and that the Irish word for welcome – failte – was among greetings engraved on the museum’s glass door. Mr Hume said the issue of flying the tricolour had been “discussed and considered” but Orange leaders. “We take counsel from our members in the Republic of Ireland who have told us that they feel culturally British, even though they are politically Irish and that’s a very important point,” he said. “I wouldn’t get hung up on the idea of a particular flag being or not being on display. I think the real issue here is we are very committed to the outreach to other people and to explaining to other people who we are and what our background is.”