Flags, symbols and emblems
A chara, – As a British citizen with distant family links to Ireland, I am puzzled as to why there should be any grounds for my country’s flag to be flown over Leinster House, be it in a united Ireland or otherwise, and why Pearse Doherty was asked if he could see the day when it would be in the first place (“Sinn Féin does not rule out Union flag flying in a united Ireland”, News, September 4th).
Given that Commonwealth countries where Queen Elizabeth is head of state do not see the need to fly the British flag over their parliaments, much less the majority of Commonwealth countries that are now republics, why should a united Ireland consider doing the same? Having grown up in Singapore, both a republic and a member of the Commonwealth, I was more likely to see the British flag on a pair of Reebok running shoes than flying from any building, even the British high commission.
There is already a building in Dublin from where the British flag is rightfully flown every day – it’s called the British embassy. Perhaps in a united Ireland, it will also fly from a British consulate general in Belfast, which may be a far greater source of reassurance for those with a British sense of identity than any sop by the Dublin government, especially if hardline republicans in the North come to see it as a den of spies or a Trojan Horse, along with one in Derry. – Is mise,