April 01, 2015

Is the Irish tricolour a "symbol of compromise"?

Robert Lynd, republican writer born in Belfast. by David Low
Robert Lynd, a former pupil of RBAI, wrote in June 1936 in the New Statesman, ‘In Defence of Pink’:
"Possibly, my love of a blending, a moderation, of colours is due to the fact that I grew up in a country in which the political colours were, in Mr. Chesterton’s phrase, “rich and glowing.” In the Ireland of my youth, orange was not permitted to be blended with green, and green was not perceptively diluted with orange."
Lynd continued:
"At the same time, there were visionaries who looked forward to the day on which these colours would be miraculously interfused. I am not a painter and do not know what the result is when green is mixed with orange, but I should not be surprised to learn that it was pink. The Irish Free State has not gone so far as to fly a pink flag, but it has at least abandoned the pure green flag, and made room for a strip orange united to the green by a white band of peace. This is surely an example of pinkness in politics – which is disquieting, perhaps, to Mr. Chesterton, but it is inspiriting to me.
For Lynd, the Irish flag "is a symbol of compromise":
"It is a symbol of compromise, and compromise seems to me the third most beautiful thing that ever came out of the mind of man. If I love pink, it is probably because it is the colour of compromise and the colour of hope."
Martin McGuinness said in March 2015:
"The orange part of the flag is as important as the green and I think we are very proud to be part of that generation of Irish republicans that is prepared to appreciate that, is prepared to accept that as we face into difficult challenges."
Gerry Adams said at his party’s 2015 Ard Fheis in Derry in February of that year:
"The people of this island, whether urban or rural, from whatever background or tradition, share a common history and our futures are bound together. We need reminded again and again that our flag is Orange. Orange as well as green. Orange is part of what we are. That is our potential. And our challenge. To unite Orange and Green in equality and mutual respect."
Mick Fealty asked in 2014 on Slugger O'Toole: 'What does the Irish flag mean to you?' More thoughts on whether the flag is green, white and orange or gold here.
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