Thursday, August 18, 2005

Loyal to whom?

There was a time when the word "loyalist" meant an honest, true supporter, usually of a political regime. Today it conjures up images of tattooed rowdies - often well out of their youth - waving the St Patrick's flag and kicking 10 bells out of other Loyalists. Or worse.

Who are these guys being loyal to?

If it's the faith professed by their Church leaders, why don't they do like God says, shun violence and put their energies into getting to know Jesus? If they're loyal to politicians, why don't they heed their advice and lead quiet lives? If they're loyal to the UK Government, why do they break its laws with no shame? If they're loyal to the monarchy, why do they deface the "Queen's highway" with sectarian emblems and paint the woman's kerbstones red, white and blue when her appointed officials had them made in grey?

Maybe they're just being loyal to themselves, waging internecine power battles just to stay top dog in drugs, extortion and bullying. But underneath the evil bravado I think they're scared because they know their day is over. Radical loyalism has no future, and some day I'll explain why I think that is, and what some fresh alternatives might be.

For now though, Loyalists, do the Big Thing:
Go home, have a cup of tea and get on with being good fathers, husbands and sons.

4 Comments:

At 4:13 p.m., Anonymous beano said...

I've been wanting to do a post asking what is a loyalist for some time now, congrats on actually getting around to it!

One thing though...

"waving the St Patrick's flag" WTF? I imagine St Patrick to be 'too Irish' for any loyalist.

 
At 6:14 p.m., Anonymous beano said...

Can you clear up what you meant by the St Patrick's flag?

The Cross of St Patrick is a red saltire on a white background, but I've never seen loyalists using this.

A flag based on this is the Ulster Independence Movement flag of the red saltire on the navy background (from St Andrew's Cross) with the star and red hand in the middle - is that the one you were talking about or have loyalists decided to ruin the St Patrick's cross for us as well?

 
At 6:35 p.m., Anonymous John said...

My mistake, wrong name. I meant, of course, the vertial and horizontal red cross.

 
At 2:09 p.m., Anonymous beano said...

Ah - St George. I getcha. I'm a bit confused by that myself. I understand the original Ulster flag was yellow and red in the same pattern, but I'd prefer to see the Cross of St Patrick on the NI flag than the St George one.

I'm as proud as the next man of my British identity, but I'm not English.

 

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