Thursday, August 12, 2004

Rebel Flags

I guess I missed this in the Irish papers while I was away, but apparently the SWP (that's the Socialist Workers Party, but can also be thought of as Seriously Wacko People) wants the Cork GAA to ban the Confederate Flag from its grounds.

The fans are, as you might imagine, none too happy that this silliness is being taken seriously.

I'm pretty much go along with Dave Hannigan who says that the various flags only add to the pageantry. I've seen all sorts of bizarre flags at GAA matches (Mayo fans love the Portuguese flag which made a Portuguese friend of mine a Mayo supporter). But, I do wonder how far I'd go along that line. I wouldn't be so tolerant if NAZI flags were being waved gaily. Intent matters. Anyone would have a sense of what the Nazi's were about, but the Confederate flag to people in Cork is only a "rebel flag".

I wouldn't ban the Confederate flag and I wouldn't ban the Hammer & Sickle, even though I'm sure any Ukrainians (and others) might see it as a symbol of their plight under Stalin (and others).

I wonder why the SWP isn't worried about the USSR flag possibly offending those who lived under crushing Soviet rule? {Okay, I don't wonder, but it's always nice to bring their hypocrisy to light}

On the positive side, if not for this ridiculous story I'd never have known that there were so many "Official Flags of the Confederacy". I only know the one flag, which is apparently the Confederate Navy Jack.