Ask A Broadsheet Reader



Antoine D’Alton writes:

If Ireland at some future date reunites, will the tricolour be an acceptable flag for the nation? As most readers of Broadsheet will know, the Irish national flag is not original in terms of design, rather it is a pastiche of the French tricolore. The supreme irony of the tricolour is that it was originally presented as a flag which was supposed to be representative of the two dominant and opposing traditions on this island.

I would like to ask Broadsheet readers the following questions:

Should Ireland persist with the Tricolour?

Should it be changed?

What are your thoughts on the Flag of the Four Provinces (above)?

Would it be a suitable alternative?


Flags of our fathers, but what about our sons? (Antoine D’Alton, Funkshot)

99 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

  1. Daddy

    “If Ireland at some future date reunites, will the tricolour be an acceptable flag for the nation? ”

    Well like that’s the whole point of the flag.

      1. Pat Harding

        An alternative would be to change the orange to green….and hey presto you’d have the Nigerian Flag, a fitting emblem to a totally corrupt country, run by incompetents and overrun by the occasional band of terrorists.

        Well doesn’t that sound familiar?

    1. cluster

      Obv that is the point of the slab.

      However, it seems pretty clear that for a some proportion of the population of Ulster, that is not how it is seen. It is seen as the flag of a separate tradition.

    2. dylad

      Your suggestion would be a good flag for National Party supporters. Send your idea on to Justin Barrett.

          1. Formerly Known As


            I have news for you. The unionists have been cleansing the six counties for 90 years. How do you explain them staying a majority, when Catholics have so many kids? They made it difficult for Nationalists to sustain a living, so that lots would leave. The recent relatively fair society will mean that the demographics may change. I am just not sure how people’s feelings will evolve.

      1. Delacaravanio

        But you will never make the unionists happy. The tricolour is a visual metaphor for the desire for peace between the green and orange traditions, but the problem is they don’t want peace.

        1. Kieran NYC

          Unlike you who wants to force them to live under a flag they don’t want, in the name of peace and inclusivity…

          1. Delacaravanio

            Ha ha. They rioted for weeks when the union flag flying policy was merely amended to match the standard in the rest of the UK. People were seriously injured, millions of trade lost, thousands of pounds of property damage, businesses closed, and for what? Their fleg?

            And I? I don’t want anything to do with them. I’m happy in the South. This talk of a united Ireland is nonsense anyway.

          2. Peter Dempsey

            Well “business” and “property” are dirty words on Broadsheet and Rabble so damage to either is generally met with joy.

  2. Nigel

    Well the chances of colours of the four provinces flag turning up defiantly in random places are pretty slim, in fairness, so that’s a mark against it.

  3. Daddy

    Considering your childish and pointless reorganising of areas of Dublin (mostly with a Dublin 4 and city centre bias) you have no credibility in geographical and historical matters. Go play with your Lego.

      1. Pat Harding

        @Declan, Daddy would if he could but he can’t because he has nay flute to begin with, or if he had it was worn down by the left hand of his auld fella

  4. Spagnolia von Hoop

    The tri-colour already embraces the two traditions on the island. That it’s chosen as fire-kindle by one of them I will never understand.
    Q: Why you changing things Antoine?

  5. De Kloot

    The question of sovereignty will always remain the big question. We’re a Republic and they are not. Can they – the Loyalists (in the literal sense of the word) get over that? Can’t see it.

    They could become a fully independent state, loyal to the Crown and part of the Commonwealth but they’d never have the the means to survive alone.

    We’d never rejoin the Commonwealth so that’s that then.

    I honestly can’t see a way forward regarding a United Ireland that’s not fractious and in the long run violent.

    We’re a long way from picking a flag….

    1. ReproBertie

      Imagine there’s no countries
      It isn’t hard to do
      Nothing to kill or die for
      And no religion, too
      Imagine all the people
      Living life in peace.

  6. realPolithicks

    Should Ireland persist with the Tricolour? YES

    Should it be changed? NO

    What are your thoughts on the Flag of the Four Provinces (above)? FUGLY

    Would it be a suitable alternative? NO

  7. dylad

    Should Ireland persist with the Tricolour? No

    Should it be changed? Yes

    What are your thoughts on the Flag of the Four Provinces (above)? Lose the hand.

    Would it be a suitable alternative? Yes, plain black.

  8. Custo

    The four province flag is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. It looks like it was knocked out on Word 97.

  9. Louis Lefronde

    Speaking as a French-Canadian, I can give two perspectives, actually three because I was born in Montreal. The French tricolore been copied by every tin-pot dictator and lunatic since Robespierre claiming to be a democrat. The Italians did the best cover version, and everything else since, sucks. The flag of Quebec is beautiful, and the Canadian flag is well very Canadian.

    I’m not sure about the Province flag, the author has a point when he writes that it’s original, especially in a country not known for its originality or taste. Ryanair and Tayto crisp sandwiches?

    1. Spagnolia von Hoop

      Louis – I respect the French tri-colour as much as my own. But if you didn’t get the Davy Keogh gag and you’re not an Irish person, then I would politely ask you to FECK off.

      1. Louis Lefronde

        Ah but my mother is Irish? In which case may I make the following observation. I got the Davy Keogh Gag at the first attempt, if you call it that…..

  10. SomeChump

    A good flag is simple and graphically strong. It can be drawn by a child in primary school, reproduced easily and have a couple of strong colours that identify the country. The provinces flag fails all of these and sucks.

    1. Pat Harding

      @SomeChump. What you’re really saying is that you’re a múinteoir who likes playing with children

  11. pooter

    Can we unite soon please. I hear those Northerners have money to burn. We could use some of it down here

  12. Goosey Lucy

    In seriousness- we’d spend a fortune on reports and consultants only to conclude it’s best left alone, surely there’s better and more important issues to ponder with regards to reunification

  13. Sheik Yahbouti

    Return to “St Patrick’s blue, with a golden harp at the centre” as it once was. I don’t find our tricolour attractive.

    1. De Kloot

      This. It was hoped it would placate the Orange 90 odd years ago… It didn’t then and it won’t now…

  14. jimmy russell

    flags are a dangerously nationalistic relic of a bygone era, ideally we should live in a worldwide superstate without the need for borders or flags

  15. Formerly known as

    Should Ireland persist with the Tricolour? NO
    It is too easily confused with other countries. For that reason alone, it should be changed.
    I live in Australia and many people think it is the Italian flag. Maybe, we can ask them to change theirs.

    Should it be changed? YES
    I like the harp but it might be too close to commercial products like Guinness.
    Maybe, go the Cyprus route, and put a map in the middle of the flag.

    What are your thoughts on the Flag of the Four Provinces (above)?
    A bit too complicated.

    Would it be a suitable alternative? NO

  16. Joe835

    I think in the event of an arrangement coming about that united the island into one state, a lot of things would have to change to show true brotherhood to those in the North that don’t recognise this State as theirs. A new Ireland would have to be created, one that truly incorporated them and their values.

    Why not just insist they accept our flag and values as the wishes of the majority in such a State? Because that’s a recipe for nothing but conflict – a person from Northern Ireland is entitled to describe themselves as British and that wish wouldn’t simply disappear if their home became a part of an Irish state.

    There’s currently 6.4m people on this island; if we were one state, Northerners would constitute 28% of its population – as big a proportion of a united Irish state as Co. Dublin is of the Republic right now. Such a population couldn’t be ignored and would make a huge difference to the parliament (which, let’s face it, couldn’t be called the Dáil anymore) so they would need plámásing to some extent.


    Such a state would need to reflect the Britishness of a million of its citizens, so membership of the Commonwealth seems obvious and as for a flag, how on earth could we expect unionists to accept the flag waved as vindictively at them as the Union Jack was waved at nationalists? A symbol of their enemies? It doesn’t matter what it means to us, how wrong we think it is to have to change our flag. Any attempt at uniting this island as one state would need us, as the majority, to accept we would need to change too; assimilation won’t work and why should it even be attempted?

    An agreed flag is the only way such a state could ever reasonably expect the respect of all its inhabitants.

    1. DaithiG

      Roughly half of that 28% would be more inclined towards Republicanism though.

      You’re right though, there would need to be a lot of concessions, which I imagine the other 72% of the island (folks south of the border) would have a lot of issues with.

      I say, keep the Catlicks up north breeding away mad until there’s hardly any Protestants left as a percentage. Mixed marriages all the way too with the women being the catlicks in the relationship, those Nordy women are some ball busters and will no doubt get their way in how the kids will be baptised.

  17. Truth in the News

    Both groups in north will by 2020 be even and by 2030 the Nationalst’s
    will be the majority, what will the Unionist’s do them, indeed what will Dublin 4
    and the element in the 26 counties that tolerated and agreed to partition do
    The flag that has to be abanoned is the Union Jack, the Tricolour stays.
    The political establishment are in for a rude awakening in the next 10 years…with

  18. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

    I had a part-time job when I was a kid.
    In a shopping-centre.
    Sometimes I had to go out in the pissing rain and hoist the Irish flag in the morning.
    Sometimes I had to go out in the pissing rain and take it down in the evening.
    – Honestly, that’s everything I remember about it… The miserable cold wet rain, the jumped-up ‘trainee-manager’ shouting at me from his shelter that I wasn’t folding it properly…

    Seriously, apart from sea navigation, WTF are flags for?
    -We don’t need a new one… We need less than we have already.

  19. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

    And also, Monsieur D’Alton Towers,
    – As Ronan said…
    ‘Life Is A Rollercoaster’

    Admit it, that’s ‘Bono-esque’, just like everything you say.

    Do you know where I think you stick ALL your flags?
    – No, seriously…

  20. Louis Lefronde

    Dear Ireland,

    While you’re on the subject of flags, can I make a couple of observations. That anthem of yours, you know, the one that is a poor imitation of La Marseillaise. Can you not come up with something better? You’re a nation that prides itself on its musicians and its writers, yet the Soldier’s Song is piss poor attempt written by an uneducated decorator. Which is fairly obvious when you read the line “Shall shelter the despot or the slave” I’m pretty sure Kearney didn’t know what a despot was, and no doubt Bashar al-Assad will sleep happy, safe in the knowledge he can shelter in Ireland along with a cohort of other criminals living here. By the way that anthem of yours was originally written in English, and perhaps the only reason its sung in Gaelic is to hide the fact the words are so bad. That’s not to say that the words of La Marseillaise aren’t dreadful, they are but at least the tune is a belter.

    So just a thought for you readers of Broadsheet over the Christmas holidays while you’re sitting in the overpriced kip you paid for, or in the pyrite ridden dump you rent from a toe rag or sadly squatting in a hostel because you’ve no where to go except a cold rain soaked doorway – I would like you to consider the following, you can do so much better and you know it. You don’t have to be on the receiving end of an organised swindle which is the Irish state in its present formation.

    And when the New Year arrives and you’ve decided you’re finally tired of those pigs swilling around the Shelbourne bar, crafting crooked deals with their pals in government, do yourself a favour. Throw out De Valera’s cookbook (constitution) and that despicable 8th amendment from 1983, get rid of those venal politicians and parties your grandparents bestowed on you and which are nothing but paid place men of a greedy criminal cabal who fund them at every election. Ditch the imitation tricolour and that lousy ditty of an anthem. Finish the job that was started hundred years, only this time create a state that actually benefits all of its people (or at least tries) instead of allowing it to be a carcass feasted on by an inter-related gang of rapacious rats.

    Remember it is your country, not theirs.

    And on that revolutionary note, Je vous souhaite an joyeux noël et bonne année

    Louis. (otherwise known as that annoying Frog)

    PS-I will now ‘Feck-Off’ as many a Broadsheet poster has asked me to do on more than a few occasions in the past!

  21. Ivor

    How about we keep the Tricolour but make a stipulation that all future manufactured versions must turn into a Union Jack if soaked overnight in blood?

  22. Truth in the News

    Our National Anthem should be the Minstral Boy and take it back, never mind the
    yanks monoplising it, the Star Spangled Banner will do them fine.

  23. Frilly Keane

    ‘Might as well get into this before the tia maria in the coffee kicks in.

    The flag is grand. Lay’ve it be.

    The anthem yeah
    I’d go along wi’
    Reluctantly, but yeah,

    In the GAA we have our own County calls anyway, so we’re just talking about sum’ting before puck off in Provincial grounds and HQ

    In fact, during the week that Songs We Learnt in School CD was on here

    There’s a couple of belter-outers there already

    Then there’s Dearg Doom
    Ole Ole Ole
    Anything from Joe
    Willie McBride int’ too bad
    Nor is West Awake
    And there’s a whole fleadh of rebel songs out there … Sur everyone knows Kevin Barry

    There is also a belter of a piece that I recall as Carolan’s March. I could have that wrong. ( no surprise) But I’m sure a harpist would know it. It gets played at the end of concerts when there’s a load of professional harpists / harpers on stage together.
    All it needs is a bit’ve a lyric spun into it

    Sur’ I could do that meself

  24. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

    I used to talk to myself at nighttime.
    Nowadays I don’t give a Bodger. I just do what I feel like.
    I know what day it is today, but most days...Mneeeehhh….keep it.

    In all seriousness…and I’m NOT joking…mad serious… for real…
    If the day ever arrives, the day that I think to myself,..

    Hang on, I have another call…

    1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

      I love my new avatar. (above)
      It looks like someone using two hands to do a job that most people could do with two fingers, but none of them can grow a beard so, eh…
      Up your’s, etc….

      or if you have a friend. I’m not fussy. (Up her’s…Whatever…)
      C’mon, it’s fishing Christmas. Everyone should get a ride, even me.
      I have millions of drugs, thousands of drink and a Super-Ser with a spare bottle of gas. My mate Barry is gone off to get something from the shop. I can’t remember what he’s getting but he said he’s coming back.
      His sister is extremely attractive, but she’s in Australia and my magnets are not that strong.

      SCIENCE. Read about it if you like.

      He probably went to the petrol station. Barry.
      He probably went the long way. He’ll be back soon.

      Lissen 2 me rap,
      You know it’s not crap
      i come from the street
      (That’s the road where we meet.)
      I don’t check fer ya name
      ‘Cos I think yu f-ing lame. (sorry, nothing personal.)
      Your tricks and your trollix…

      Sorry, my nurse needs me to help me.
      He has the key ‘cos he isn’t a cog. That’s what he said.
      He talks too fast.

      The X in ‘Xmas’ is a subver
      …is a suprbfl…
      … is a superphori…

      I said it B4, R maybe did I 4get
      d frend yu don no is da mon yu neva met
      Yu get wot U give n wot U give is wot U get
      Dat’s how it set up, so neva get it upset
      There’s only one thing I’ll ever regret
      And that’s my inability to start stopping.

      Fly like a jet, like a Jet BlueJet,like a Jet BlueJet, like a Jet BlueJet etceteret etc.

      (I’m just taking the pee. I’m not crazy. I’m not stupid. I’m not mad. Watch this…
      Four plus seven is eleven. You’re the one who shouldn’t be allowed ride a bike.(

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