I am not a big fan of flying flags from private houses. Discounting World Cups, I last flew the National Flag at Easter 1971 in West Belfast.
The 1971 Flag was bought in Ardoyne and I brought it home on my Honda C50 motorcycle via Ballygomartin Road. That period between August 1969 and August 1971 was a strange phoney war. People started to make decisions about how they would deal with the Troubles.
As readers of this Blog will know, I lived thru an emotional roller-coaster 1971-72. In the space of a year, we had the Ballymurphy Massacre (a British Army attrocity), McGurks Bar (Loyalist), Bloody Sunday (British Army) Bloody Friday (IRA) and Claudy Bomb (IRA). By May 1973, I had settled as a SDLP member.
So at Easter 1971, I flew the Flag from our three-bedroom Housing Executive house in West Belfast. But it flew from my parents bedroom. I basked in the glory of being a bit of a rebel and my parents froze every night of Easter Week….as the window was open.
I did not have the guts to fly the flag at Easter 1972. Most people thought twice about it. It would have been like asking for the “Brits” to raid the house.
So…2016. It seems appropriate. A new Flag bought in Dublin.
And at noon today, I hung it from the spare room. And there it will stay until Saturday afternoon.