Walking around our local shopping centre(mall) on Sunday, I spied a large man wearing a blue Tshirt. Its not unusual to see folks wearing football “tops”. Many shopping centres and restaurants impose a dress code and I have often seen signs at pubs, which say “No Football Gear”.
Football Shirts are I guess,”smart casual” but I suppose bar owners are entitled to impose a dress code if they believe that a large number of people wearing partisan clothing can be confrontational and in the Norn Iron setting, where football shirts are often a sign of national and political allegiance, then the partisanship can be toxic and perhaps violent.
Certainly at our local shopping centre, I have seen all the popular football tops.
But the Man With The Blue Shirt last Sunday seemed a bit different.
I noticed that in smallish writing at the front it said “Aye To Freedom”.
And at the back “End London Rule”. There was a small Scotland Flag.
So this was actually NOT a football shirt at all. It was a campaign shirt in support of Scottish Independence. In less than six months, Scotland has a Referendum on Independence.
Does this mean that we will see more of these shirts during the summer months?
Or indeed Scottish “unionist” shirts?
For these are extremely overt POLITICAL Tshirts.
It goes without saying that I am in favour of Scottish Independence. It is logical…I am a Nationalist after all. And of course anything that weakens the so-called United Kingdom is something I can support.
The Man With The Blue Shirt was a large man. I would not have wanted to be the Security guy who said “sorry sir, I cannot allow you to come into the shopping mall wearing an overt political slogan”.
What exactly is the protocol?
We do have a kinda fascination with war by proxy.
Irish nationalists see Palestinians as kindred spirits. Unionists identify with the Israelis.
So a certain logic maybe that Tne Man In The Blue Shirt is an “Irish” nationalists also.
If the Tshirt had been Green and an Irish Flag on it, then he might well have been denied entry?
Is there already a protocol in place in Scotland….in Tesco in Aberdeen, Sainsburys in Glasgow and Marks and Spencers in Inverness?
Is a political Tshirt only “political” if it is relevant?
Thus that Che Guevara shirt can be accepted as a fashion statement rather than a political statement?
We have been here before.
There were local headlines circa 2002, when American tourists were denied entry to places because of those “Remember 9-11”, “Kill Bin Laden”, “These Colours Dont Run” Tshirts.