Talk:Northern Ireland/Archive 5

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General comments on quality

I didn't know where else to write this, but as someone who has no vested interest in this conflict, and who just wanted to learn about it, I have to say that this Wikipedia topic page was disappointing.

Basic issues aren't defined - for instance, "The Troubles" are simply not given a basic definition. There is a skeletal history of Northern Ireland but nothing comprehensive.

The writing in the whole article is of questionable quality.

I have no doubt that this is a result of political bickering, which I am not interested in being involved with. All I can say is: sort your shit out, and clean this thing up. If the Arab-Israeli conflict pages are decent (I am an expert and a partisan in THAT conflict and I think the wiki pages are reasonably balanced and of decent quality) then surely you guys can bring the quality up on this one.


Ulster Banner

The ulster banner should be from the infobox becauce it is no longer offical, this is an encyclopedic article and should use the only offical flag for Northern Ireland which is the Union Flag and has been since the the Parliament of Northern Ireland was abolished in 1973. While the old flag may be used largely in the unionist community it is not sanctioned by the government.--BarryFlag of Scotland.svgtalk 19:04, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

The flag is used as the defacto flag of Northern Ireland (eg it is used in international football matches by the NI team, or by the NI team at the Commonwealth Games). The Uk government does not "sanction" flags in any case- there is no legislation over the use of any flags on land in the UK, including the Union Jack. Astrotrain 19:15, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Barry, actually. The CAIN website lists the union jack as the official flag (here) of Northern Ireland, and the world flag datebase notes that the current unionist flag should never be used for official purposes (here). I would prefer the tricolour, of course, but it seems as if the UK flag is the most appropriate. hoopydinkConas tá tú? 19:18, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
It is used for offical purposes- it is used by the football team and in the Commonwealth Games. The Union Flag is only the offical flag for the United Kingdom, not its component parts. Astrotrain 19:29, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
The Union Flag is the national flag of the United Kingdom which N.Ireland is part of[1]. Just because the ulster banner is used a football matches does not give it any validity and it is only used by the unionist community, and I know the same could be said for the union flag is the defacto flag of N.Ireland and has been for the last 30 years --BarryFlag of Scotland.svgtalk 19:35, 21 October 2006 (UTC).
Astotrain unless you can give me evidence that the Ulster Banner has any validatity I am going to change it back and ask you to stop reverting it, the flags of the world website also lists the union flag as the official flag here, and the ulster banner is not used for official purposes that role belongs to the union flag and is the only flag that flies over Stormont on special occasions, being flow at football match is not an official purposes mearly the fans choice. --BarryFlag of Scotland.svgtalk 14:42, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
The Union Flag is not the Flag of Northern Ireland, it is the Flag of the United Kingdom (which Northern Ireland is part of). The Northern Irish use this flag for their national football team and at the Commonwealth Games (more authorative sources than some random website). The current position gives an adequate description, noting it is not used by government. Astrotrain 15:13, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
The Union Flag is the flag of Northern Ireland and has been for the last 34 years the ulster banner is not flown in Northern Ireland on the 13 flag days the Union flag is here this is an encyclopedic article about Northern Ireland and it should use the official flag the ulster banner has not been used by any government for the past three decades as you said yourself --BarryFlag of Scotland.svgtalk 15:52, 22 October 2006 (UTC).
A territory can have a flag even if the government doesn't use it (eg Cornwall). The point I am making is that the Union flag is the Flag of the UK, and not specifically NI. You wouldn't put the Union Flag on say the Leicester page and say is was the Flag of Leicester, or the Clackmannanshire page and say it is the Flag of Clackmannanshire. Astrotrain 21:17, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
On a similar note, I would like to get rid of the coat of arms, it's ugly, and it doesn't even have the de facto status that the Ulster Banner might have 86.12.249.63 19:02, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, lets take the coat of arms out. Why not take every thing out that does not have "de facto" or "de jure" status. What we need to realise is that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and not everything in the United Kingdom is written down in law. Soon we will have a blank page. Djegan 21:01, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

The flag issue can be resolved by using both flags and an onward link to fully explain the significance. Both flags appear to have reasons for and against keeping and also removing. The Union Flag is the flag of the union NOT specifically N.I. also the N/I flag may not be accpeted by the minority community. Its best to use both and compromise. The coat of arms should be removed MarkStreet Oct 24th 2006.
The current template won't accomidate the removal of the arms, The assembly logo is the symbol of the current(insert sarcastic comment here) administration, and is analogous to the coat of arms of the pre 1970s government currently being used. 86.12.249.63 15:29, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with Astrotrain here (although not with regards to the football team). The Union Jack is the flag of the UK and not the de facto flag of N. Ireland. Using it here seems to be a misplacement. Cheers, PaddyM 21:40, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
The Union Flag is the defacto flag due to the fact that the British Government banned the flying of the Ulster banner or any other flag for that matter on government buildings.--BarryFlag of Scotland.svgtalk 22:47, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

The most recent citation[2] does not show that the Union Flag is the official flag of Northern Ireland but simply that it must be flown on certain days on certain building and the use of the Royal Standard and European Union; and a prohibition on other flags. Djegan 21:35, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

The Flag of Northern Ireland is certainly an interesting and contested matter: however the legislation appears to have nothing to do with the "Ulster banner", but rather a decision not to allow government buildings to fly some tricolour as was being proposed – the flag I usually think of as the Celtic FC flag. CAIN calls the "banner" the Government of Northern Ireland Flag (or 'Ulster Flag' - six counties) and notes that it "is seen as staunchly Loyalist". It also describes the saltire Barry likes to display as "found on Loyalist Murals suggesting the affinity between Ulster Protestants and Scots". Which may just show that we shouldn't read too much into such symbols. The basic point is that the Union Flag is the symbol of the UK as a whole, and the articles on each of the constituent countries carries the flag particular to that part of the UK, which in NI is the flag in official use for non-partisan sports events. ... dave souza, talk 10:09, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
I am a Scottish Nationalist I hate displaying the Union Jack but it is a better choice than the banner is nothing more than a unionist symbol of a bigoted parliament and is not not unnofical as you put it implying that most of the country uses it, if have that on the page then we should have the irish tricolour aswell either the Union flag stays or their shouldn't be a flag on the page just a link going to the N.Ireland flags issue. --BarryFlag of Scotland.svgtalk 12:16, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

If we're going to have the "Ulster" Banner on, then we should also have the tricolour on and explain that they are the two flags used by either side of the community. Derry Boi 12:29, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

As well as being discussed above here, the article clearly links to Flag of Northern Ireland which gives a reasonable account of the issues. --Guinnog 13:22, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Having that flag in the infobox is POV as it is not the "unoffical" flag just one used by sections of the community the Irish tricolour has as much right to be in the box as the banner. --BarryFlag of Scotland.svgtalk 13:32, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
No, the tricolour is the flag of another country. Stating that the UB is the unofficial flag and linking to an article that describes the controversy and sensitivity of the issue is the least bad way to go here. Like it or not, the UB is recognised worldwide as the NI flag, mainly through its association with football and other sports. --Guinnog 13:36, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Since when does association with football equal validity, the Ulster Banner is nothing more than a symbol of unionism the least bad way to go is not to have a flag since placing one is giving preference. --BarryFlag of Scotland.svgtalk 13:52, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
As I said, I am well aware of the controversy surrounding the use of this flag. As I said, having it described as unofficial (surely you do not regard it as official?), with a link detailing the controversy, seems like a reasonable compromise to me. As I said, the tricolour is the flag of another country, the Republic of Ireland.
It might help you to compare it with the situation in our article on Israel; many inhabitants of that country (and yes, I know that NI is not a nation state, this is an analogy, ok?) strongly dislike their flag and even dispute that country's right to exist. Nonetheless an encyclopedia article that needs a flag, uses the Israeli flag on the entry on Israel. --Guinnog 13:45, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

The Israel comparison does not work Israel is a state with a government that recognises their own flag the banner was the flag of a body that was abolished 30 years ago having it in the infobox is pov the best solution would be to have no flag as the British Government does not recognizes any except the Union Flag there should just be a link to the flag of Northern Ireland. --BarryFlag of Scotland.svgtalk 14:03, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

I suppose that's why we refer to it as "unofficial". I'm sorry you don't agree with me or with the other editors who established the consensus that we have on this thorny issue. --Guinnog 14:13, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

The former government of Northern Ireland standard (unofficially known as the "Ulster Banner") was NEVER the flag of Northern Ireland, it was the standard of the former government of Northern Ireland.

This was the standard for the "government" in N. Ireland from Irish partition until stormont suspension in the early 70s. As a flag, it represents a government which openly treated Catholics as second class citizens (a "Protestant governement for the Protestant people" as a former N. Ireland First Minister once proclaimed on Storemont steps).

The usage of this flag is not unlike the usage of the Nazi Germany flag, in terms of offense caused to the people it is offending.

The Northern Ireland page does not require flag. It is a clarly touchy subject, which many opposing view. Some claim the Irish Tricolour should be used, some the Ulster Flag, some the former standard of the government of N. Ireland flag. These apposing views make up the disputed "Flags of Northern Ireland" page, which clearly explains to people what the debate is about and gives them any information they may need or want on flags.

This is not a street corner or a lamp post, an impartial internet encyclopedia should not be used to push opinions and point of views. In order to remain fair and factual, and to lessen any offense to people affected by the subject, flags should not be used. The standard of the currently suspended government of N. Ireland (which is now to be re-opened) should be used if anything, since the flag of an establishment 30 years in the past is currently being used.

I don't know how Br2387 ses how people can "use" a flag - all people need to be able to do is to recognise it. A majority in NI will surely recognise this as NI's de facto unique regional flag. NO other flag exists for this purpose. In world terms this is undoubtedly NI's de facto regional flag. A Google Search ovewhelmingly suports this.
'De facto' is entirely appropriate, as from the de facto page:
The term de facto may also be used when there is no relevant law or standard, but a common practice is well established, although perhaps not quite universal.
Any notion of 'official' or 'unofficial' cannot be used because in UK terms 'officialness' is an obscure concept. Quote from BBC news on the Union Jack:
And while today, there's no question that the union jack is the national flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, it's got there by default rather than political will.
No act of Parliament enshrines it as such - most countries have flag acts that set out, to the last detail, rules about their national flags.
The fact that the NI article (unlike Scotland, England or Wales) even has a qualifier stating that it is de facto and linking to a detailed article is more than enough. The NI article itself explains flags issues in the relevant section and the flag even links to 2 further articles which outline flag issues in even more detail.
Jonto 01:22, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
The difference is there was a law that made by the Northern Ireland Parliament that made banner the official flag which was was overturned when the Parliament was abolished,, former official is the best way to describe it.--Barrytalk 04:25, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
There was no such law to overturn a flag in 1972. Irrespective, it was the de facto civil flag before 1972, an has been the de facto civil flag after 1972 - nothing has changed before and after 1972 Jonto 22:01, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
There's always the emblem of the Northern Ireland Assembly. I understand that the NI standard has de facto status among many, but saying its acceptance in NI is "not quite universal" is something of an understatement! :) I would also submit that the flag of the Republic has de facto status in many parts of Northern Ireland too. Martin 22:22, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
The flag of the Republic should not be on this page - it does not have de facto status in NI just because it is used by Republicans and the GAA. Similarly, use by the IFA, Castlereagh Borough Council and Loyalists do not make the "Ulster Banner" official. I realise that there is a difference in that the Tricolour has never been official in NI and the Ulster Banner has. Having said that, I think we should keep the coat of arms and replace the Ulster Banner if a suitable replacement can be found. The assembly logo is a possibility.
Note as well that the Northern Ireland flags issue page which I created is a suitable place for any flags which are "used" in NI such as the TricolourNotMuchToSay 18:37, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, if a flag is not the official flag, but is used by people in lieu of one, then it is, by definition, a de facto flag. "Official" and "de facto" are two mutually exclusive terms; if something is de facto, then it is not official, and vice versa.
As for the wider issue, I do think the Ulster banner should be replaced with either the Union Flag, or if that's too imprecise for some, an alternative such as the NI Assembly emblem. We should maybe hold off on that though, until we know there's going to be an assembly! :) Martin 21:20, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the Ulster Banner should not be used, the flag it rejected by a very large minority and it not the official flag and therefore we need to find a neutral alternative.--Vintagekits 21:26, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
There is no "neutral" alternative, and I'm not going to repeat the "officialness" argument yet again. Personally, I think that the UB resembles the St George's Cross too much and that thiswould be a better future alternative for NI, however, Wikipedia can't just start making flags up and must reflect things as they are at present. It is understandable why some may not like the fact that the UB has been displayed prominently by militant loyalism (as outlined in flag articles linked from the NI page), but why should such loyalists be able to hijack the only signifcant flag that has ever represented NI as a region? Many people also don't like the Irish Tricolour either because of it's association with militant Irish Republicanism, but does that mean that militant Irish Republicans should be allowed to hijack the tricolour and we should demand that the tricolour is removed from the Republic of Ireland/Flag of Ireland pages? Jonto 22:01, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
But the Tricolour is the flag officially legislated for use in the Republic, so using another flag would be POV and factually inaccurate. The only flag officially legislated for use in NI is the Union Flag (the concept of "officialness" for flags does exist in NI), and I think displaying another is also POV and inaccurate.. Martin 00:11, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
The only reason the flag is on the page is because there is no other alternative its the former flag and should be described as such it can hardly be called a de facto flag when it is banned from flying on government buildings and its is not because the flag is used by militant loyalist that people find it offensive it is because it was the flag of a bigoted government --Barrytalk 01:18, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
The one thing that seems blindingly obvious to me is that if the England, Wales and Scotland pages do not show the Union Flag (which they don't) then the Northern Ireland page should not show it either. If Northern Ireland has a flag (or flags) with similar status and "officialness" to the flags of England, Wales and Scotland then it (or they) should be shown, just as the flags of the other parts of the union are shown on their respective pages. If Northern Ireland doesn't have such a flag, or if the presence of such a flag is too controversial, then no flag should be shown, but putting the Union Flag in the place where England has the St George Cross is completely inconsistent. Vinders 18:42, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
As has been mentioned many times on this page, the only flag in NI with any kind of "officialness" attached to it is the Union Flag. England, Scotland and Wales all have their own flags, but NI does not. Therefore it does not follow that NI should be treated the same as the rest of the UK. Why pretend it has a flag when it doesn't? NI is not England, Scotland, or Wales, so just because something applies to them, it doesn't follow that it applies to NI. Or should we also be pretending Ni is part of Great Britain in the name of consistency? :) Martin 23:14, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting we pretend NI has a flag when it doesn't. If the other three parts of the union have their own flags and NI does not, then the other three pages should show the relevant flags and the NI page shouldn't show one at all. My point is that the Union Flag is no more the official flag of NI than it is the official flag of Wales (or Cornwall or Glasgow or any other subset of the UK). Given that none of those pages shows the Union Flag, neither should the NI page. We shouldn't feel the need to show the Union Flag simply because we haven't got anything else. Vinders 15:30, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the consensus that whatever flag is used it should not be the Union Flag. (Sarah777 22:17, 21 February 2007 (UTC))

See the debate Below and post replys there


i disagree the aussie /new zealand flags both have the union flag no problem there/here also the red hand of northern ireland appears to be one of the oldest seals in the british irish isles? why disregard your history i personly like the northern flag i have been told the southern irish /republic flag is green catholic white unite orange protestant?having travlled a little most northern people i have met regardless of religion or politic refer to themself as ulster.or northern irish so they deserve there own flag.as regards some people i have met from the south tell me its not orange but gold on the flag i dont see anything wrong with the union flag as it seems to represent the majority.or the red hand as it predates british/ viking/or any other imports what about the harp i notice the royal irish regiment use perhaps with the red hand inserted in the center white background either way have a comp pick designs and let the people pick as for now to have a country with no flag is rediculous keep the red hand one on here till some one sorts it out david --unsigned comment posted by User:58.162.74.176 10.30am, 2 May 2007

Demographics and politics

The article states :

The population of Northern Ireland was estimated as being 1,710,300 on 30 June 2004. In the 2001 census, 53.1% of the Northern Irish population were Protestant, (Presbyterian, Church of Ireland, Methodist and other Protestant denominations), 43.8% of the population were Roman Catholic, 0.4% Other and 2.7% none.[3][4]

Using the CAIN data

                      Pres            20.7 %
                      CoI             15.3 %
                      Meth             3.5 %
                      Other Christian  6.1 %
                      Totalling       45.6 % 

The total response was (100-13.88) = 86.1 %

Giving a total non-RC christian pop of (45.6/86.1) = 53%

Am I doing something wrong, or are we counting all non-RC christians as protestant? 86.12.249.63 14:03, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, that's right. Every Christian who isn't Catholic is counted as Protestant, which over-inflates the Protestant figure by several per cent. The government do this with their statistics too. See comments at Talk:Northern_Ireland/Archive03#More_on_religious_breakdown for more information. -- zzuuzz (talk) 14:16, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, it probably isn't an entirely unreasonable assumption that they are protestant (at least for statistical purposes), and if they are the official figures, then I guess that is what should be used. Fasach Nua 14:53, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
That's a very philosophical view, but I would disagree. To call non-denominational Christians, or people who reply "Believe in God" or "Christian", or "Greek Orthodox", to call them Protestants is seriously flawed. I would like to see this statistic de-bunked in the article (it also relates to community background, and not current religion). The ONS have a note about it here btw. -- zzuuzz (talk) 15:02, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

I would make the assumption that and this is an assumption as to why non- RC Christians are counted as protestant is the reason that there is so few, after all the population of Northern Ireland is hardly gigantic. This also reminds me of a stipulation within the Patten report on the reform of the RUC that the new PSNI be made up of 50% catholic and 50% non RC, this is not a direct quote but it certainly does give a bit of weight to the idea of not counting individual Protestants as zzuuzz hinted at earlier.--Edengmcc 02:14, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Surely if someone is Christian, but not Catholic, they are by definition Protestant? Protestantism gives "any Christian denomination which is not Roman Catholic or Orthodox Christian" as a definition. In addition, the note zzuuzz references above states "Protestant includes 'Other Christian' and 'Christian related'". Given that Protestants are Christians who are not part of the Catholic Church (they "protest" against it), "Catholicism" stands in contrast to "Protestantism". Martin 15:22, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
This is an interesting point, and perhaps you are right. I understand this is one of the "commonly given definitions". There does however seem to be a body of churches which are defined as Protestant, and some where there is some debate whether they are Protestant or not (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons (#=1414)), or Religious Society of Friends (#=749), and some others like that if I recall). Also Orthodox, and "believe in God" are included in the Protestant figure, which is plainly an inaccurate assumption. There were 94 'Other Christian' groups with ten or more members in the census. If anyone wants a look for themselves the excel file is here. There don't appear to be any decent secondary sources which elaborate on this, so it's a bit moot. -- zzuuzz(talk) 00:26, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't want to open a can of worms here or prolong this debate, but I don't think the term "Protestant" is technically correct to describe all non-RC christian faiths. Indeed many non-RC christians consider themselves not Protestant per se, but as non-Roman Catholic, reformed Catholic, etc. The Anglican Church, for example, professes the Nicene Creed as it was originally agreed and believes in "One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church", which would suggest it considers that it is either a part of a broader Catholic Church, or is the one true Catholic Church. In any case, I don't personally think the precise definition matters too much and would suggest that, in particular for this article and for want of a better term (presumably one should avoid coining new terms in order to avoid confusion), non-RC Christian churches be referred to as Protestant as that seems to be the convention when discussing matters related to Northern Ireland. ELBBT82.45.213.202 17:00, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Religious breakdown of each county.

Is there any reliable way of working this out? Derry Boi 16:14, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Person from Northern Ireland Identity

Whoever has been sorting this out, they have been mislead in certain areas.

Firstly, the term "Northern Irish" should not be used in the article to describle all people of Northern Ireland. Although I don't have a personal problem with the definition, the term takes away the right of all people in Northern Ireland to identify themselves as Irish, as most people tend to do nowadays, in regional identity (Unionists, with Nationality of British) or Nationality (Nationalists). Ian Paisley himself has stated he would never deny the fact that he's an Irishman, and it's listed on his quotes on this very website, is there anything more concrete than that lol?

The term "People of Northern Ireland, "Citizens of Northern Ireland" should always be used, as is the case in all official documentation.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by BBX (talkcontribs) 02:58, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

I thought we were 'subjects' not 'citizens' of a republic? Darrylxxx 23:47, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Tripe!! "Northern Irish" is perfectly adequate. I don't see how this takes away anyones "right" to anything. One can describe themselves "Northern Irish" and British. Likwise one can describe themselves as "Northern Irish" and "Irish". I could describe myself as "Northern Irish", "British" or "Irish" depending on context.Jonto 00:03, 21 January 2007 (UTC)


Northern Irish is a ridiculous term - iv never heard of 'republican irish' - if Ireland had been partition 16:16 counties which one would be Irish? Just because one area is smaller and unioned with another does not make it any less Irish. If your to use the argument 'not irish at all' because 400 hundred years ago my ancestors


came from Scotland means that no ethinic person in Britain or ireland is part of those nations. Your Irish. SIDDOWN

Exactly. I'm afraid that whoever's been filling your head with sweety mice has misled you BBX. Commiserations. --Mal 00:31, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, we are subjects in NI, ;-(( 86.42.160.47 01:37, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Incorrect. The people of Northern Ireland are not subjects. As far as I remember, the people of other Commonwealth countries were regarded as being subjects until this was changed in the early 1980s. The people of the United Kingdom however, are British citizens'. --Mal 17:06, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
The correct term is British citizen JAJ 04:45, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Which is explained well here Bastun 17:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I come from Northern Ireland and don't regard myself as northern Irish, in fact that whole notion is a figment of Unionist propaganda in trying to claim they are different, I'am Irish so are Unionists they may regard themselfs as British if they want, but they are still Irish.--padraig3uk 21:54, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
I come from Northern Ireland and the official status is British, but people have the right to define themselves as Irish. However, from my experience most of the population define themselves as Northern Irish, which can also be officialy used ans should be on wikipedia.

Passport/Nationality

Secondly ..

The Agreement - as listed - states that all people of Northern Ireland have the birth right of either Irish or British nationality of both. Irish nationality has always been extended to the people of Northern Ireland, in fact, the Republic government claimed the territory until the 1998 Agreement, which furthers the arguement.

By claiming all Northern Ireland people are British (which is how I percieve the current paragraph) it takes away the rights set out in the agreement of having Irish OR British OR both nationalities, it does not state that a person is born with either nationality, it states they are born "citizens of Northern Ireland", which is an area that both the Republic of Ireland and Britian extend Nationality to. This section needs re-worded to fairly reflect the rights of all people of Northern Ireland and the diverse national law we are proud to have. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by BBX (talkcontribs) 02:58, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Since there is no dispute, I will alter the section. I have no doubt, however, that is will be reverted back to the incorrect statement within a short amount of time though, as seems to be the case with quite a lot of sections of this page.

From British nationality law:
"Before 1983, birth in the UK was sufficient in itself to confer British nationality irrespective of the status of parents, with an exception only for children of diplomats and enemy aliens."
"Under the law in effect from 1 January 1983, a child born in the UK to a parent who is a British citizen or 'settled' in the UK is automatically a British citizen by birth"
By my reckoning that mean's everyone in Northern Ireland is automatically a UK Citizen. Now for the | Belfast Agreement (my emphasis):
"(vi) recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to
identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they
may so choose, and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both
British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would
not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland."
So you can identify yourself and be accepted as whatever you want and you can hold dual citizenship, but from what that says, there's nothing to contradict the automatic conferral of British citizenship on everyone born here.
beano 00:07, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
There is an Annex to the Agreement which makes it clear that children born in Northern Ireland to temporary residents are not British citizens:
The British and Irish Governments declare that it is their joint understanding that the term :"the people of Northern Ireland" in paragraph (vi) of Article 1 of this Agreement means,
for the purposes of giving effect to this provision, all persons born in Northern Ireland and
having, at the time of their birth, at least one parent who is a British citizen, an Irish
citizen or is otherwise entitled to reside in Northern Ireland without any restriction on their
period of residence.
So it is very clear that not "everyone" born in Northern Ireland is a British citizen. For example, a child born to American citizens in Northern Ireland on work or student visas, would not be a British citizen. JAJ 02:41, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

The Flag Debate

The former government of Northern Ireland standard (often referred here incorrectly as the "flag of Northern Ireland" should be replaced as it has no official merit. It has not been used for over 30 years and when it was, it was the standard of the Stormont government, not the flag of N. Ireland. Many Catholics find this flag offensive as it represents a government which openly discriminated against them for 50 years.

If the flag is to be listed as "de facto", then the Irish tricolour should be listed as "de facto" for Ireland, as it is indeed the de facto flag of the island.

I see no reason why a flag should be used. The people of Northern Ireland lean away from usage of flags, as they are a sore spot for us all. The flag of the UK is not used for England, Scotland, Wales or any other colony, so I see no reason for it's usage on the N. Ireland page, other than political agendas.

There should be no flag used, the current standard of the government of N. Ireland should be used if anything (the blue flax symbol, which I can get upon request), and all "flags" should be kept in the flags of Northern Ireland section/page, to keep political agendas of this page.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by [[User: BBX | BBX ]] ([[User talk: BBX |talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/ BBX |contribs]]) 03:07, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

see #Ulster Banner above

The flag officially under United Kingdom law for Northern Ireland is the Union Jack so the flag for Northern Ireland on here should be the Union Jack too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Somethingoranother (talkcontribs)

You might have a point - reading the Flags (Northern Ireland) Order 2000, it would be illegal to display the former NI flag on any government buildings. Has the above order been superseded? If not, perhaps the Union Flag should be used, and the former flag moved elsewhere in the article. Seems strange to give a totally unofficial flag such a prominent position, when the law clearly stipulates what flag should be used in NI for official purposes. Martin 17:51, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
The said Order only applies to government buildings under the control of the Northern Ireland Office. It does not apply to hospitals, schools, local government etc. The Union Flag is not the flag of Northern Ireland- it is the Flag of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland has its own flag- whether some people like it or not. Astrotrain 00:10, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree the flag should be removed as it is not the legal or official flag of Northern Ireland. Vintagekits 00:46, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
What is your source for this? Astrotrain 10:08, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
As pointed out to you already - The Ulster banner has no legal status in Northern Ireland, see the The Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 and The Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) 2002 under which
Prohibition on the flying of flags other than in accordance with the Regulations
9. Except as provided by these Regulations, no flag shall be flown at any government building at any time.
The only flag with legal status is the Union Flag under current legislation, the Ulster Banner has no more status then the Tricolour has under law. A compromise to this is to use the Flax banner used by the Northern Ireland Assembly or the Union Banner in all articles regarding Northern Ireland with exception given to the period 1922-72 of the Northern Ireland House of Commons for articles or templates relating to that.--Vintagekits 01:28, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Last call before the flag is removed!--Vintagekits 16:51, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
What's the "official" status of the flags for England, Scotland and Wales? Also isn't it going to be more complicated when the banner is used across Wikipedia as the flag for NI e.g. football players. Timrollpickering 18:12, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
I reverted your change. This has been discussed extensively here before and, while I understand why the status quo is imperfect, I think it is the least bad option. Describing it as de facto is accurate. --Guinnog 19:58, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
That is not the concensus--Vintagekits 22:39, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Guinnog- and will support his revert. Astrotrain 22:46, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
It doesn’t represent the people of Northern Ireland, it isn’t the legal flag of Northern Ireland and therefore shouldn’t be purported as such--Vintagekits 22:55, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
That's why it says "Former official" underneath it. --Guinnog 04:12, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

This is not an official flag, it is the former flag of the Northern Ireland House of Commons 1922-72, its use in this infobox is misleading as the flag has no more legal status then the Irish Tricolour. The flax banner of the Northern Ireland Assembly should be used, as this is not seen as offensive by either side of the community.--padraig3uk 09:25, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

It was the flag of the Government of Northern Ireland as a whole (not just one house of parliament). A new flag based on the logo of the Northern Ireland Assembly is a great idea and maybe such a flag could be introduced when our elected representatives pull their collective fingers out. The problem using the Assembly logo, is that it is just a logo, which unlike the former flag, has never entered into common usage amongst the general population (well the half that don't find it offensive). « Keith t/e» 13:39, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
What is the rationale behind displaying a flag which is the "former official" flag, when legislation clearly exists which (a) forbids it from being used for official purposes, and (b) sets out what flag should be used in Northern Ireland now instead of it? Seems a tad POV (in the nicest possible way) to ignore the only flag that is legislated to be used, and instead give such a prominent position a flag which ceased to have an official status 35 years ago. The Ulster Banner belongs in the history section, not at the top of the page. Martin 23:45, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Look, this is just getting really silly - this debate has been covered over and over again. The "Ulster Banner" is NI's de facto regional flag. In UK contexts "officialness" does not really exist. It is not "official", "unofficial", or "former official" as all these terms are rather meaningless, and hence displaying dates of its "officialness" is also meaningless. Since the old Stormont government the flag always was the de facto civil flag - just because the government was prorogued does not mean that its de facto civil status changes. It still is de facto, no other widely recognised flag is in existence, and something being described as "de facto" does not require universal support. Jonto 16:44, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

A good way to look at it is, although none of us like the UB being used as we know it is hated for historical reasons by one side of the community, if we accept we need a flag, what could we replace it with? The UB is as close as NI has to a flag. UEFA and FIFA use it to represent NI. I'm sure we all hope that in time the people and politicians will devise a better one and we can replace it. Until then, the UB is the best flag we have. --Guinnog 16:51, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Couldnt disagree more, yes FIFA and UEFA might use it but try and find it on anywhere on the IFA website--Vintagekits 17:04, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
So what flag do you think we should use on this article? --Guinnog 17:55, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
"Former official" is relevant in this case. The government of Northern Ireland was granted arms by royal warrant, and when that government ceased to be, so did its arms. Why can't it be a "former official and current de facto flag"? Bit of a mouthful, I'll grant you, but its accurate. However, as it has no official status anymore, I'm again forced to wonder why it's included at top of the page at all. What about the tricolour that quite a large percentage of the population regard as their de facto flag? Having the Ulster Banner there seems just as POV to me as it would do if we put the South's flag there. The only NPOV option at present is to use the only flag that is officially legislated to be flown by the government in NI, and that is the Union Flag. Martin 05:21, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Flag Debate Part II

I have protected this article, please reach consensus on this talk page about the appropriate wording for the infobox. It is clear there is not agreement on the edits being made, so you shouldn't keep reverting things on the article... Thanks/wangi 14:33, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Whilst I have no problem with administrators protecting a article to prevent edit wars, would it not be better to have reverted the edit that removed the fact that it is the 'Former Flag of Northern Ireland (1921-72)' first, the same with the coat of arms. And this debate is on wether the flag should be used at all as it has no legal standing.--padraig3uk 16:55, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
The said Order which you quote as the basis for legality only applies to a handful of offices owned by the Secetary of State for Northern Ireland- it does not apply to Wikipedia. Therefore it is perfectly legal for the flag to be used here and any other flag pole which is not a part of the said buildings in the Order. Astrotrain 18:42, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
OK, so we shouldn't base the choice of flag for this page on any sort of objective reality then? Gotcha. Let just change it to this and be done with it. The fact that the government have outlawed the use of the Ulster Banner for official purposes is of course relevant to the discussion. Wikipedia is supposed to be NPOV, remember? If the British government have decided to introduce legislation to prevent the Ulster Banner from being used, then that should, at the very least, give us pause for thought. The fact that NI's laws do not apply to Wikipedia is irrelevant. This is an article about NI, where those laws do apply. Martin 02:22, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
The UB has not specifically been 'outlawed' as you putJonto 18:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I have reverted the flag / arms descriptions to the previous stable version (form a sample of previous versions), hopefully this is suitable. /wangi 21:56, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I think we should keep the old flag and coat of arms of the government of Northern Ireland. No claims are made on the page that they are the current official items, actually it says "(former official)" which I think is enough. The symbols are easily recognisable and people who want the details should click on the link to the respective article.

The flag of the former government may not be currently official, but this article is about Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom, and many things in the United Kingdom are by convention and tradition. The former flag is perhaps one of the easiest recognisable flags of Northern Ireland, indeed if a different flag was used I wonder how long before this and other articles would refect the "new consensus", maybe never. Djegan 17:23, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Why use the former official flag, when there is a current official one? Martin 22:19, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
What about the compromise of using the flag of the NI assembly instead?--Vintagekits 22:41, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Because it's not a flag. « Keith t/e» 16:06, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I see that this issue is becoming a problem again. We need a solution similar to the Derry/Londonderry issue if we are to avoid all out attentions being focused on tit for tat instead of improving the article.--Vintagekits 17:06, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Well what do you suggest, use the flag of the former government or the incoming assembly?--Vintagekits 15:52, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Another strategy would be instituting a programme of eugenics and compulsory lobotomy for spides.--feline1 17:19, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Doesn't the subject require a brain? Martin 17:33, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Our options are:

a.)Use the Ulster Banner - used by many people and groups as a de facto flag, but it doesn't have any official status anymore, and also has unpleasant overtones for many people;
b.)Use The Union Flag - the closest thing Northern Ireland has to an official flag, its use here would at least be NPOV, but rather imprecise given that it is also the flag of the UK;
c.)Use the Assembly logo - a nice, politically neutral (ish) idea, though it doesn't really have any recognition outside NI and it's also unclear whether we're going to have an Assembly or not;
d.)Not use anything at all - possibly the ultimate NPOV decision given the facts, but it is rather strange having an article about a country without presenting any kind of nation symbol in the opening, and it might leave the start of the article looking rather bare.

Take your pick. :) Martin 17:30, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I say use option d. for now and when/if the assembly resumes then use c.) --Vintagekits 04:06, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I would go with d as the most neutral option, also N Ireland is not a country its a state or provience as the British government themselfs refer to it, therefore there is no requirement to display any flag on the article.--padraig3uk 13:52, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I am going to make this change on the 21st. Anyone else have a view?--Vintagekits 20:40, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
  • This has already been debated and the consensus is to keep the current flag. Wikipedia is not censored to suit people who may be offended by the flag. Astrotrain 10:30, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
  • No concensus was ever met - that is why this discussion is ongoing and why Martin has put forward the 4 options. If you would like to have your say feel free you are more than welcome.--Vintagekits 11:10, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Astrotrain, given that NI has no official flag other the the Union Flag, and the Ulster Banner is explicitly not the Northern Ireland flag, I think there is an argument for giving some consideration as to the political connotations for whatever flag we make prominent in the article. Any option other than using the Union Flag or no flag at all, is POV, and while this is not necessarily an impediment for going with another option, we must at least be aware as to what POV we're presenting. Martin 20:46, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Can a decision be made on this issue, and the use of this flag is totaly POV.--padraig3uk 00:04, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Its the 21st now, "take it down from the mast......."--Vintagekits 00:06, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Might be a wee bit premature; I'm sure there are others out there who still want their say. Martin 02:25, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
There definitely needs to be a flag on the page, for consistancy with other articles at least. Whether this is the de facto flag (Ulster Banner) or the arguably most official (Union Flag) is still to be decided. Stu ’Bout ye! 09:20, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Why does there have to be a flag in the infobox. ?, the UB can be mentioned and displayed within the article itself, without having it in the info box, same with the coat of arms. The Ulster banner is no more de facto then the Tricolour is.--padraig3uk 09:33, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Well the Ulster banner is more de facto than the Tricolour, the Ulster Banner used to be the offical flag of Northern Ireland, the Tricolour has never been associated with Northern Ireland in any capacity. If there is a vote on this I vote for the only flag that can officially be flown, the Union Flag, the Ulster banner is just too divisive. Ben W Bell talk 09:51, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
We can't just remove flags because they upset people (Wikipedia is not censored). The Flag is clearly being used to represent NI in international situations and thus has defacto status. Astrotrain 09:59, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Astrotrain, we don't just display flags for the sake of it either, the UB is POV, a large minority of the population associate that flag with Unionist Secterian rule. The flag today is associated with Loyalist parliamilitaries. There is nothing to prevent the UB being used within the article itself, but having it within the infobox is POV.--padraig3uk 10:10, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
The infobox for countries is clearly defined includes a flag and arms of that country/territory. It is not POV if we are using the flag that is currently being used in NI itself and around the world as the defacto flag, especially if we are denoting that it is not an offical government flag. Until a new flag comes into use, then the UB remains the defacto flag of Northern Ireland. Astrotrain 10:27, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Astrotrain, Northern Ireland is not a country, it is a state or province under British rule, and the flag is not used around the world, it is used by a small number of sporting bodies in northern Ireland. The UB cannot be flown from any government building in Northern Ireland, has had no legal status for the past 35yrs.--padraig3uk 10:52, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Sporting bodies which have international presence. The Flag is also recognised as the unoffical flag in many reputable flag databases- such as the World Flag Database (flags.net). It is not accurate to say the UB cannot be flown from any government buildings. The Secetary of State for NI has specified that only the Union Flag may be flown from certain buildings under the control of the Northern Ireland Office- but this applies to 6 or 7 specified buildings and does not apply to any other buildings in Northern Ireland or elsewhere. The regulations do not specifically mention the UB in any case- and are identical to orders published by the Department of Culture giving flag day directions to government buildings in Great Britain. Astrotrain 11:12, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Astrotrain, the regulations do not only cover about 6 or 7 specified buildings as you claim, the UB cannot be flown from any Courthouse or police station along with all government buildings. Sporting bodies in Northern Ireland also use the Tricolour and this article is not about sport, it is about the geopolitical area called N Ireland, and the UB has no status within that sphere.--padraig3uk 11:23, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
The tricolour in that sense would not be representing Northern Ireland, but Ireland as a whole.
See Schedule 1 of the order [3]- it specifies 7. There is nothing to stop local government or other non-central governemnt bodies flying whatever flag they chose. You are right about Police Stations- they can only fly their own flag and nothing else- (even the Union Flag). Astrotrain 11:36, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Astrotrain, the only local authorities that display the UB are a few Unionist Dominated councils, the vast majority of local councils don't fly any flags from their buildings, out of respect for both communities.--padraig3uk 12:11, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not censored- even if people find this flag offensive. If this flag is being used as the defacto flag, which it clearly is, and it can be referenced to a reliable source such as flags.net- then we can place the image there and state it is the unoffical flag. Astrotrain 12:50, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes we can place the image in the main article and state it is a unoffical flag, but it should not be placed in the infobox. --padraig3uk 13:06, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
All countries and territories have a flag listed in the infobox. Northern Ireland has to have the defacto flag being used listed. Astrotrain 13:33, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Under what rule do you work that out, there is no requirement to display any flag or coat of arms in the infobox, so according to you we should display a POV image rather then have none. --padraig3uk 13:51, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I am not sure how using the Flag that is used by international organisations and some parts of governemtn, together with reliable sources that it is the defacto flag can be considered POV? Surley it would be POV to not include it? It seems to me that your only argument is that some people may find it offensive- but I'm afraid Wikipedia is not censored. Astrotrain 14:01, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
No my arguement is that it has no legal status and has not had any legal status for 35yrs, it should be included in the article as a historical fact or interest, but should not be used in the infobox. It is not used by any part of government in Northern Ireland. It has been pointed out to you already its use by sports bodies as a symbol dosent confer any status on it, if these bodies used a teddy bear as a symbol would you argue that that be used as a flag. Nobody is trying to censor Wikipedia, the flag can be used in the article itself as already stated, to promote this as a de facto flag is POV.--padraig3uk 14:10, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
The UB has had more legal status that many other widely recognised British flags that are listed on wikipedia - legal status is not a criterion for a de facto flag.
Correct, wiki is not censored but its information must be correct. To proport that the UB is the Flag of Northern Ireland is both misleading and incorrect. Martin has outlined clearly four choices above, I say we should go with consensus for now until a flag is introduced.--Vintagekits 14:26, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
it is being proposed as the de facto flag - that is in no ways incorrect.Jonto 18:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)


What consensus? Also, that's why it states "Former flag of Northern Ireland 1953-72", so that it isn't misleading. Stu ’Bout ye! 14:47, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
there is no consenus as yet, I am saying that I am happy to go with the consensus when there is one and/or until a new flag is brought in or the use the NI assembly logo in flag form.--Vintagekits 14:52, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Right, with you now. Stu ’Bout ye! 15:55, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
If it is being used as the defacto flag (both within NI and internationally), and we can reference to reputable sources such as flags.net- then it is not POV to use it in the infobox. Legal status for flags in the United Kingdom is not a good argument- as it would be difficult to prove that any flag has legal status. Astrotrain 14:20, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Using that reasoning, I could say the Tricolour is also a de facto flag in Northern Ireland used by a large minority of the population also used by internationalaly recognised sports bodies, and as we are ignoring legal status then it is as valid as using the UB.--padraig3uk 14:28, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
It is not used by Northern Irish bodies, or any pan-Ireland groups. It is not used to represent Northern Ireland. Astrotrain 14:42, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

d) for now, and possibly c) when/if the Assembly resumes. If I'm reading this correctly, then currently, officially, NI does not have a flag. Wikipedia should reflect reality, not have one just because an infobox 'needs' one. By all means include the old flag, and/or de facto flag in the body, but with less prominence than the top of the page and with a proper explanation as to the status. Bastun 16:36, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

The Assembly hasn't got a flag yet, and a logo cannot be used. The reality is that NI does have a flag- its just not used by the Northern Ireland Office or the Police. Astrotrain 16:44, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Astrotrain, NI dosen't have a flag, that is way its not used by the NIO or other government departments, because it dosen't exist.--padraig3uk 17:25, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Again, it is the de facto flag - this has nothing to do with government, which has not specifically banned any flag, just said that the flag of the nation state should be used, rather than a regional symbol.Jonto 18:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
If the Ulster Banner is the NI flag, then it is certainly curious that the British government should exclude its use for official purposes. The Flags (Northern Ireland) Order gives provisions for flying the Union Flag, the Royal Standard, the EU flag, and the flag of visiting heads of state. It then says, "except as provided by these Regulations, no flag shall be flown at any government building at any time." So, it specifically excludes the Ulster Banner. Under the Flags (Northern Ireland) Order, the Tricolour (a flag of a visiting head of state) has more recognition than the Ulster Banner. So does every other flag in the world.
No one has claimed it is presently used by government. And as to how several foreign state flags would have more status - complete drivel!!!Jonto 18:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
As for flags.net, even it states "this flag is a banner of the arms of the old Government of Northern Ireland. The flag ceased to be official in 1973, but continues to be used by Unionists. On no account should it be used for official purposes." [emphasis added] So, even the proposed source for the UB being NI's flag states that it is POV. If Wikipedia was used only by Unionists, there might not be a problem, but I fear that this is probably not the case. Presenting a Unionist POV as objective fact is misleading and erroneous. Martin 17:31, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
The Secetary of State for Northern Ireland issued Orders that state when the Union Flag should be flown over 7 buildings. The Orders don't actually mention the UB. Flags.net list the flag as that of Northern Ireland and add detail that it is not offical- as Wikipedia does. Astrotrain 20:04, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
The order states that flags other than the ones mentioned in the order cannot be used for official purposes. The UB is not mentioned in the order, which means that its use is prohibited. Flags.net also states that the flag is mainly used by Unionists. Are we going to state that as well? If so, how would the use of the UB in the info box be NPOV? Should the caption say "Former flag of Northern Ireland, now used by Unionists"? Why is the Unionist POV the correct one? We cannot present a Unionist POV as though it was fact. By all means, the UB should be in the article, as a former flag and one of the symbols used to represent NI. But, the only flag NI has with some measure of officialness attached to it is the Union Flag. This is a fact. The only NPOV options open to us are use the Union Flag or use nothing. Martin 20:46, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I think it is more correct to say that it is not recognised by many nationalists than to mention unionists - remember that surveys on this page indicate approximately a third of people describing themselves as neither unionist or nationalist. Many nationalists would not recognise ANY NI flag because they would like to pretend that NI does not exist at all. We cannot have 22% (according to surveys on this page) overruling the views of the rest of the population of NI and the recognition of the wider world.Jonto 18:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the consensus that whatever flag is used it should not be the Union Flag. So I vote; d, c, a, b in that order. (Sarah777 23:01, 21 February 2007 (UTC))
Sarah, we're discussing removing the Ulster Banner (the flag currently used in the info box) and using something else. I'm not sure what consensus you're referring to. Martin 23:42, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Martin, isn't 'd' the "Not use anything at all" option? Your own suggestion from above - which I agree with. (Sarah777 00:37, 22 February 2007 (UTC))
(d) Northen Ireland does not have an official flag and the article should reflect that. --Barry talk 00:45, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi Sarah, thanks for the clarification. :) Martin 02:03, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

It would appear that the consensus is to remove the Ulster Banner and coat of arms from the infobox, I propose they now be removed, and they be included in the main article itself as historical items.--padraig3uk 01:37, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I have moved the images of the flag and coat of arms into the main article, I also created a new infobox - Infobox UK N-Ireland without the fields for flag etc - so that I could remove the images from the infobox. Is everyone ok with this.--padraig3uk 11:31, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

noJonto 18:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
A little too quick off the mark Padraig, consensus hasn't been reached. Will you revert your own changes? Stu ’Bout ye! 11:36, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I fail to see how you can say I'am being quick of the mark, this discussion has been on going since Oct 06 starting here, Ulster banner The main concenus amongst users is that the UB should not be used in the infobox.--padraig3uk 11:43, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
It has also been going on for years before that and I'm afraid results of such debate were not agreeing with you.Jonto 18:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Stu- there is no consensus. It is POV to say the flag is historic when it is still being used. Astrotrain 11:54, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Its had no legal status for 35yrs that makes it historical. POV is you insisting on keeping it in the infobox, dispite most users agreeing it should be removed.--padraig3uk 12:13, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
NO ONE IS CLAIMING CURRENT LEGAL status. It is still used for international representation therefore it is NOT historical. Jonto 18:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
"Legal status" is original research. Astrotrain 12:24, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
What? How? Bastun 13:55, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
"It introduces an analysis or synthesis of established facts, ideas, opinions, or arguments in a way that builds a particular case favored by the editor, without attributing that analysis or synthesis to a reputable source; " Astrotrain 14:12, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, Astrotrain, I fail to see how stating that the UB has had no official status for 35 years (and with the infobox already stating its the former flag) qualifies as OR. Bastun 15:04, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
He is saying that a lack of "legal status" makes it "historical". It has been pointed out that few if any flags in the UK have "legal status"- and it is OR/POV to suggest a lack of "legal status" makes a flag historical. Astrotrain 15:29, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Acutally, technically that does make it historic. There are a lot of flags that are still used and flown today (UB and UF included) but they are still historic flags.--Vintagekits 16:09, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
That is not what I'am saying, What I said was as the UB has had no legal standing since 1972 in shouldn't be in the infobox, but because the UB is part of the history of N Ireland it is of historical value and should be included within the main article same applies to the coat of arms.--padraig3uk 16:04, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
  • My take on it is, is that:
  1. There is no official flag for Northern Ireland, historically the UB flag held official status in that it represented the NI government, that is no longer the case, therefore in official terms it is historic, fact is fact not POV.
  2. The UB is used for the Commonwealth Games and by FIFA (not necessarily IFA it doesn't appear on the IFA website once, is this a coincidence as its all over of FA's websites?) so the UB it does hold some de facto status, however that does not make it the "Flag of Northern Ireland" and its de facto status is not very strong and strongly tainted or POV, additionally as stated in flags.net it is now used by Unionists and supporting the IFA football team (Northern Ireland soccer team) and to a lesser extent supporting the Commonwealth Games would be largely seen as things done by the Unionist community.
  3. Then we have the issue of the UJ. The UJ holds official status in NI and throughout the UK, however, it is not the flag of NI as NI merely holds constituent status within that representation, so it not unlike saying the EU flag should be used on this page as NI is a constituent of that also.
  4. The NI assembly logo would be a good compromise at the moment, however, as far as I know it is not used in flag form so that would rule out using that as the Flag of NI, however, is there a rule that no "logo" can by used in the info box and it must be a flag or is there room for manoeuvring?
  5. If the NI assembly logo cant be used then I suggest no flag is used and an explanation in the article is given for this with a link to the NI flag issue. --Vintagekits 12:30, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
My view is that the Ulster Banner is the flag that is most recognisable as the flag of NI. Yes, it hasn't been offical since 72, but that fact is clearly stated in the infobox. And the reasons VK stated above give de facto status. The Union Flag does have offical status in NI. If the UB is removed from the articleinfobox, the only option is to use the UF instead. Stu ’Bout ye! 13:14, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Stu, nobody is suggesting removing the UB from the article, in fact it should be in the article, just not in the infobox.--padraig3uk 13:22, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Typo, fixed now. Stu ’Bout ye! 13:28, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't agree that it would be necessary to replace the UB with the UF, the UF is the flag of the UK as a whole not Northern Ireland. I see no reason why there has to be any flag in the infobox.--padraig3uk 13:35, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but is still has official status in NI. Stu ’Bout ye! 14:05, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
As does the EU flag.--Vintagekits 14:12, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Not exactly the same though, see Flag of Northern Ireland#Displaying flags. Stu ’Bout ye! 14:30, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
As part of the argument for removing the UB is that it has no official status any more, it seems reasonable to do as Stu suggests and replace it with something that does currently have some official status (the Union Flag). As far as I'm aware there is no reason (other than precedent) that there has to be a flag in the info box, but if there is going to be one, it should be the flag explicitly authorised by the government. This, to me, seems entirely objective and NPOV. Martin 16:22, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Why does there have to be a flag in the infobox, Northern Ireland unlike Scotland or Wales dosen't have its own flag, therefore there is no need to have a flag displayed, also the UF is not used in the infobox for other parts of the UK, so why should it be used here.--padraig3uk 16:36, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, there doesn't have to be a flag in the info box, but as most articles about countries (or administrative regions, or political units, or whatever) seem to have one, it is only reasonable to look for an alternative if we're advocating the removal of the Ulster Banner. While Northern Ireland does not have its own flag, there is a flag (shared by the rest of the UK) that has been legislated to be used for official purposes. Its use here would avoid any POV issues, IMHO. Martin 23:31, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

But it does have its own flag- what flag is raised when a Northern Ireland athlete wins a medal at the Commonwealth Games? What flag is used when the Northern Ireland football team play? What is considered the flag by reputable sources such as flags.net? Just because the Union Flag is flown from 7 buildings when it happends to be Princess Anne's birthday amongst other things, does not make it the "offical" flag. Astrotrain 09:14, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
It dosen't have it own flag, flags used by sporting bodies don't count, the UB has no status. Your reputable source flags.net states this:
Northern Ireland (unofficial) [3:5]
This flag is a banner of the arms of the old Government of Northern Ireland. The flag ceased to be official in 1973, but continues to be used by Unionists. On no account should it be used for official purposes.[4]
So your source even discounts the UB.--padraig3uk 09:54, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
The key point is that it states it is the unoffical flag- which is reflected here. Why does use by sporting bodies not count? Astrotrain 10:20, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
That is why it shouldn't be in the infobox as its not an offical flag, but belongs in the main article. Because this is not a article about sport, but about the geopolitical area known as N Ireland.--padraig3uk 10:45, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't need to be an "offical flag" to be in the infobox- examples such as Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Wales uses the historic arms in the absence of offical arms. And sporting bodies are important as they represent NI abroad using the flag- for example the Northern Ireland atheletes produly marched behind their flag at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne 2006. Astrotrain 11:17, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Astrotrain, the concencus of opinion so far is that the UB and coat of arms is removed from the infobox, what is left to decide now is wether it is replaced by the Union Flag or we use no flag at all in the infobox. --padraig3uk 12:31, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
No it is not. Jonto 18:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
No consensus has been reached from what I can see. Astrotrain 12:35, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Again, what is stopping us from having a logo in the infobox and having the details of the flags issue outlined within the article?--Vintagekits 12:39, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
To answer the point raised by Vintagekits, the use of the Assembly logo would be impractical. To replace a flag (or whatever outcome of this discussion) with the logo would not constitute fair use. We would not be using it to "to illustrate the organization, item, or event in question". « Keith t/e» 13:06, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
We could use this NIShape.gif in the infobox, it illustrates Northern Ireland and is NPOV.--padraig3uk 13:20, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
That is not a flag. Astrotrain 13:45, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
It doesnt have to be a flag.--Vintagekits 13:47, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I still maintain the UB should be used with the "former" note below, but failing that the UF is the only option as it has official status. Stu ’Bout ye! 13:56, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Agree, use the UB with former or unoffical. Astrotrain 14:37, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Astrotrain, only yourself and Stu seem to want to retain the UB and coat of arms in the infobox, everyone else agrees it should be removed from the infobox. So instead of going round in circles here, can we decide on wether to replace them with something else or remove all flags and symbols from the infobox completely.--padraig3uk 15:32, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Stop using phrases such as 'everyone'. The reason people are not replying is because they are sick to the teeth of hearing the same points being reiterated on an issue discussed in depth long ago Jonto 18:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Padraig, you shouldn't assume that because everyone else is bored with the circular arguments that they agree with you. beano 00:54, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Frankly, in a similar dispute over the naming of the article "RoI" the majority decided to impose a ridiculous solution. Being a democrat I reluctantly agree to cease pushing the issue. I just wish the minority here would move on. If "people are sick" of THIS argument then let's just get rid of the banner and end it. As for "agreeing with Padraig"; the clear majority do. (Sarah777 01:37, 20 March 2007 (UTC))
I agree this is going round in circles, so as the UB is historic and POV and the UJ is misleading as it is the flag of the whole UK and not just NI (similar to that of the EU flag) then I say that we should have the NI logo or the NI elections map of NI and if we cant use them removed all flags from the user box and have a paragraph outlining the issue within the article.--Vintagekits 15:52, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Disagree. One thing needs to be decided at a time. First on the agenda is whether the UB is used. After that is cleared up it will either be retained in the infobox, or we can then ascertain what it will be replaced with. Out of the people currently discussing this, it is clear the general (but by no means clear) consensus is to remove it. However as this debate has been going on for months, I think a lot of people are bored of it. So I suggest a straight vote on whether the UB should be used, after the vote being advertised on the relevant Notice Boards. During the vote I would suggest no further discussion, as there's been plenty of time for it. People should read all the points made here, and then decide. Basically both sides have valid points, and both could be said to be correct, so on this point it comes down to consensus. Otherwise, we appoint a mediator to try and come to a decision - someone unconnected with the debate so far. Stu ’Bout ye! 16:12, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Stu I disagree, your suggestion that we now advertise a vote on relevent notice boards, seems to be nothing more then a delay tactic. The concencus throughout this debate has been that the UB and coat of arms should not be included in the infobox. I think they should now be removed, then we can continue to debate the issue of wether we replace them or not.--padraig3uk 16:23, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
No such consensus exists. You and vintage kits just happen to be posting a lot of messages together at present. Jonto 18:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
It has been going on for months, a few days more won't hurt. Stu ’Bout ye! 16:32, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Let's think about this: everyone recognises the Northern Irish flag as representing Northern Ireland. Those that don't are likely those whose POV would be that Northern Ireland doesn't, or shouldn't, exist at all. Following this logic then, we can see that those people would presumably not have any interest in editing an article about Northern Ireland.

The world, as exemplified by worldwide organisations such as FIFA, recognises and uses the Northern Ireland flag to represent Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is, by the way, a country... though it is a rather unique country, being a country within a country.

My assertion is that it is fact that the flag that represents Northern Ireland is the one that has been used in the article's infobox for months, and that it is petty, agenda-driven POV to mount a campaign to remove it. The next logical step is to campaign to have the article itself removed, claiming that Northern Ireland itself is "POV". If you have no interest in Northern Ireland, then don't edit the article.. edit something else instead.

If and when the Northern Ireland Assembly starts again, and those elected officials decide on a new flag for Northern Ireland then, of course, that change should be reflected in this article. --Mal 17:31, 23 February 2007 (UTC)


I have to completely agree with the above my Mal. It is not in some Irish Republicans' agenda to have anything related uniquely to NI. As has happened in the past certain members (one in particular) are showing obvious signs of an Irish Republican agenda to subtly remove or undermine all aspects of NI culture/identity. The entire debate has dissolved into those with a republican agenda agreeing with each other and posting excessively, with most other not posting or caring because the same issue has been repeated over and over (check history) with exactly the same outcome of keeping the flag.Jonto 17:47, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

There's no use saying that because Wales uses a historical symbol in the infobox, that means we should too. NI is not Wales. The UB is only considered to be the unofficial flag by part of the population. As it has no official status, that must be taken into account. It is important to note that this is not censorship; I'm sure the same people who do not recognise the UB would also not recognise the Union Flag as being *their* flag. But, as its use is legislated by the British government, at least using it would be an attempt at neutrality. WP:NPOV states:
"The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting views. The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly. None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth, and all significant published points of view are to be presented, not just the most popular one. It should also not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions."
That the Ulster Banner is Northern Ireland's unofficial flag is a point of view, nothing more. The fact we're even having this discussion should be enough to illustrate that. We cannot present it in the infobox as though it was an uncontested truth. Put the Ulster Banner in the article proper, note that it is used by some organisations to represent NI giving the examples used in this discussion, and let the reader decide. I have no POV with regards to this issue other than trying to present a neutral one to the reader. If I was some arch-republican, I'd hardly want to replace it with the Union Flag, would I? And I have to say, it is inherently POV to assert Unionist culture as being "all aspects of NI culture/identity". Martin 17:49, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Please google image "flag of northern ireland". noone is asserting a flag as "unionist culture" (you are incorrectly interpreting it as that) and noone is asserting it to be "all aspects of NI culture/identity". Please also look up de facto again.
It is important to also remember that infobox in question is also that titled 'UK nations' - the same infobox will only be on 4 pages - in that context we should be looking to keep the NI infobox in line with that of Scotland or Wales. There was also talk on the Talk:United Kingdom page of including a small Union flag on the bottom this infobox to bring it into correct context. Jonto 18:39, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Apologies if I misinterpreted your statement, but as many aspects of NI culture are also what one would broadly regard as "Irish Republican", I was confused as to why you state that Irish Republicans would remove or undermine them. Anyhow, apologies again if I was mistaken. Martin 18:48, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Mal, and Jonto, are you suggesting that only wikipedians that recognise that Northern Ireland is British are allowed to have a opinion on the content of the Northern ireland article.--padraig3uk 18:17, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I was not suggesting that but yes I would agree with that suggestion, because NI is British as a fact, and anyone who thinks otherwise is clearly delusional and would not be fit for editing any article. Jonto 18:31, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
This is a very unproductive avenue of discussion. We were discussing the Ulster Banner, remember? Martin 18:43, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree - but would also add that the entire 'debate' is unproductive in the first place, which would be why many (including myself) had chosen to ignore most of it.Jonto 18:46, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Well I was born in Northern Ireland, nor would I ever regard myself as British, but I think the promotion of the UB in the infobox of this article is POV, the UB ceased to be used in 1972 it is a relic of the past. Whilst Northern Ireland may currently be under British rule, its people are not automaticly British subjects, they are able to claim British, Irish or even citizenship of both. --padraig3uk 18:45, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Northern Irish people are automatically British subjects. They can claim Irish citizenship if they wish, and they can regard themselves as Irish, British or both. Martin 18:50, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

It would appear that certain users are determined to promote a certain POV on this article, and are determined to resist any attempt to rectify that problem, this is totaly contary to the rules of Wikipedia.--padraig3uk 13:48, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

The status quo is fine, until another flag is adopted by NI. The status quo represents consensus and fairly "flags" up the controversy of the issue. --82.41.42.96 14:02, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
The status quo is POV, NI Has no flag therefore no flag should be used in the infobox.--padraig3uk 15:07, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Consensus was achieved at the time that [User:Padraig3uk|padraig3uk]] removed the banner. Since then we have had a refusal to respect the consensus; yet when the 'consensus' manufactured is against a perceived 'Nationalist' pov it appears to achieve the status of a Religious Orthodoxy. With High Priests interpreting all manner of subsidiary matters based on the imagined 'consensus'. The consensus is the banner be removed. (Sarah777 20:11, 25 February 2007 (UTC))

Can we get away from questioning people's POV? I believe there have been some legitimate points raised on both sides, and these have not been addressed. Saying that people want to remove the Ulster Banner because they are Nationalists, or they want to keep it because they are Unionists is all very interesting I'm sure, but it has absolutely no bearing on the issue in question. Indeed, appeal to motive is a logical fallacy. Let's deal with the issues raised, instead of bickering about how POV everyone else is. Every single editor has a POV, but if we assume good faith and try to reach a consensus (and a consensus is more than the tyranny of the majority), it doesn't have to be to the determinant of the article. Martin 23:21, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Concencus was reached that the UB should be removed from the infobox, that concencus is being ignored by certain users pushing their POV, and have made that very clear here. The fact remains the UB has no legal status, and should not be promoted within the infobox.--padraig3uk 00:44, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Once again, someone's POV is irrelevant. What you have to deal with are the reasons given for wishing to retain the Ulster Banner in the infobox. Martin 01:11, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I and others have dealt with their reasons for wanting to retain the UB, none of these reasons are justified, but they insist on retaining the UB in the infobox.--padraig3uk 01:22, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
But in other people's opinions, the reasons are justified. Therefore, no consensus has yet been reached. Martin 01:28, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Mal, and Jonto, are you suggesting that only wikipedians that recognise that Northern Ireland is British are allowed to have a opinion on the content of the Northern ireland article.--padraig3uk 18:17, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Padraig, I think you need to seriously read what I had written again if you're asking that question. Otherwise be very careful about what words you're trying to fit into other peoples' mouths. --Mal 05:05, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

My question was in responce to your statement:
My assertion is that it is fact that the flag that represents Northern Ireland is the one that has been used in the article's infobox for months, and that it is petty, agenda-driven POV to mount a campaign to remove it. The next logical step is to campaign to have the article itself removed, claiming that Northern Ireland itself is "POV". If you have no interest in Northern Ireland, then don't edit the article.. edit something else instead
So anyone that wants to remove obvious bias and POV from this article is in your opinion agenda-driven. Nobody is trying to remove the UB from the article, it just shouldn't be displayed in the infobox.--padraig3uk 08:38, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I know what your question was in response to Padraig. I'm telling you not to put words in others' mouths. Thank you. --Mal 15:22, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I would consider option D as the only sensible solution, or watch this go round in circles. --Domer48 20:21, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

The Flag Consensus Ignored

I politely ask Astrotrain to remove the banner from the infobox to reflect the consensus. There is little point having a vote on 4 options when the result (d: no flag) can be totally ignored. The status quo is now NO FLAG. Anyone wishing to change this should call for a change and discuss the matter before tampering with the infobox. (Sarah777 20:20, 25 February 2007 (UTC))

Sarah, you can hardly expect anyone to take that seriously if you go and make like this one: [5]. Bastun 22:49, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Apologies, that was a simple error; I was trying to fix the 'flag of the RoI' link just above this and got the wrong one - the minute I spotted it I set to fix it but got an 'edit conflict' message as Bobbyob was already onto it. A simple typing mistake Bastun; very sorry. (Sarah777 23:06, 25 February 2007 (UTC))
Please take some time to read about what a consensus is. Although I would like the Ulster Banner to be removed, I don't believe anything approaching a consensus has been reached. Making changes to the infobox without a genuine consensus will just result in a revert war, and none of us should want that. Martin 01:09, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
It would seem that certain users are determined to continue to push a POV in this matter, therefore I propose the UB and coat of arms is now removed from the infobox.--padraig3uk 14:30, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
As previously stated, D isn't an option. If the UB is removed the only option is to insert the Union Flag as it has official status in NI. Consensus wouldn't apply in this circumstance. The Unon Flag is an official flag of Northern Ireland, so if the UB is eventually removed the UF has to be inserted. A vote doesn't change this. A few people in this discussion are keen on citing WP:IDONTLIKEIT, this works two ways. Stu ’Bout ye! 08:30, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Not necessarily, there is no rule that says any flag or symbol has to be displayed, so concencus does apply.--padraig3uk 11:12, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
There's no valid reason for the flag not to be used.Stu ’Bout ye! 14:20, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Found this (scroll down to "Flags"); seems pretty clear as to what the status of the Ulster Banner is when compared with the Scottish, Welsh and English Flags (i.e it has no official status, they do have some official status). The legal status of the Ulster Banner and the flags from Great Britain are in no way comparable. Martin 20:11, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Astrotrain 13:45, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Even in Unionist areas around the 12th you rarely see the old flag (UB) as such. --Cavrdg 15:04, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't know how long you've been living in Northern Ireland Cavrdg, but I've been living in not merely a unionist area, but a loyalist area of Belfast for the past several years, and I can tell you that the Northern Ireland flag is, contrary to your suggestion, very much visible during the summer months. --Mal 11:06, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
  • that flag (UB) is outdated. It is not officially used anymore except by the IFA, who, as evidence from the debacle surrounding Neil Lennon's international career, are a Unionist thinking organisation.).--Play Brian Moore 18:03, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
"Unionist thinking"..? FIFA is another organisation that uses the Northern Ireland flag to represent and distinguish Northern Ireland. The Union Jack represents the United Kingdom as a whole. Only the Northern Ireland flag represents and distinguishes Northern Ireland from the rest of the country. --Mal 11:06, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
If you are going to question that the IFA is not sympathetic towards Protestants then you have got serious problems my friend. If what happened to Neil Lennon happened to David Healy you know aswel as I do that there would be out cry within the IFA. Anyway that is completely off the point here, but I had to rebuttle to your previous question.--Play Brian Moore 20:45, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
My question remains unbuttled(!) and even unaddressed. -- Mal 07:20, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I've noticed that flags.net now states that the Union Flag is Northern Ireland's official flag.[6] I wonder if someone over there is following our discussion? :) Martin 20:57, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Quite funy, maybe one of the editors contacted them. It just discredits the source imo. It's basically just a gloried shop anyway.--Vintagekits 22:07, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Is there a current consensus? I am not sure if there is - 16 editors have contributed to this discussion of that 10 say remove and 6 say keep. However that doesn't tell the full story - from my assessment of the 10 removes, 6 say remove and leave blank, 3 say remove and replace with UJ and one says remove and replace with Assembly Flax Logo (AFL), of the keeps 3 say straight keep, 2 say keep or replace with UJ only, 1 says remove only if AFL becomes a flag. However, that is my interpretation of it be we need to be clear, can everyone who has contributed simply leave their vote from the four options with no further discussion and sign it, this will tell us exactly where we are up to. Can someone post a message to all 16 so they can leave their mark, inc. Padraig3uk (33 posts), Astrotrain (27), Martin (18), Jonto (15), Stu (11), Gunniog (4), Sarah (3), Something (1), BBX (1), Ben W (1), Bastun (3), Barry (1), Keith (1), Djegan (1), Mal (2). I'll start off -
A - Use the Ulster Banner
B - Use The Union Flag
C - Use the Assembly logo
D - Not use anything at all

:*Remember we are simply seeing if there is a consensus - please no discussion in this section, feel free to discuss above or below, cheers

  • D, --Vintagekits 17:30, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • D, --padraig3uk 19:13, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A, Stu ’Bout ye! 21:25, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • D, -- Pauric (talk-contributions) 21:39, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A, -- Fraslet 21:53, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A --Guinnog 22:05, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • D, --Barry entretien 22:15, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • D, (Sarah777 22:22, 1 March 2007 (UTC))
  • D, Bastun 22:56, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • D, or failing that, B. Martin 23:41, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • B, failing that D. Ben W Bell talk 08:14, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A - the flag of Northern Ireland, unless C becomes a reality. Note that if D gets a majority, then the flag mentioned at B will have to be put in place. Note also that the same debate should take place with the England, Scotland and Wales articles as their flags are as official as the flag of Northern Ireland. --Mal 15:18, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • D failing that C - Francis Tyers · 16:57, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • D--Damac 17:41, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A - Kittybrewster 22:41, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A failing that B as per Stu's contention -- Frelke 08:39, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A -- *Only the Ulster Banner is the defacto flag of Northern Ireland as proven by multiple reliable sources. Astrotrain 13:45, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
  • D --Cavrdg 15:04, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
  • D --Play Brian Moore 18:03, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  • A--Counter-revolutionary 11:55, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
  • D -- Derry Boi 16:18, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
  • D --AFBorchert 18:03, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
  • D --zoney talk 16:38, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A --Jhamez84 17:43, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A -- beano 20:07, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A -- Jonto 23:21, 11 March 2007 (UTC) The Union Flag is not suitable here as this is a UK infobox outlining the 4 main UK regions and showing a regional flag - it is not an international infobox.
  • D -- TamB 19:36, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A -- David Lauder 19:57, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A --Gibnews 21:23, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A--ZincBelief 14:50, 21 March 2007 (UTC) I would like to emphaise I like the textual notes underneath the banner and the flag. For me Flag has historical interest and some current usage to addd validity (Commonwealth)
  • D--Cloveoil 01:14, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • D--Contorebel 07:25, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • A--Andrwsc 16:34, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  • D--Domer48 20:25, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  • D--Billtheking 01:13, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
  • D -- Sr13 (T|C) 06:27, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

The Flag Consensus Ignored (2)

Note: In light of the strawpoll carried out here, isn't it time to put this issue to rest, and remove the flags froms the infobox. Then editors can spend their time helping to improve this and other N Ireland articles instead of edit warring over this issue.--padraig3uk 07:54, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

So has no one, got any comments on this.--padraig3uk 15:34, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
My comment is I don't agree that this exercise shows any kind of consensus to remove the flag from the NI article.--Guinnog 16:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Nobody is suggesting removing it from the article completely, just from the infobox.--padraig3uk 16:40, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
That strawpoll carried out on the Infobox UK Place isn't to do with countries, it's to do with towns and villages and other places in the UK and wasn't intended to be about the constituent countries. No one has suggested removing the flags from Scotland, England or Wales articles. Ben W Bell talk 17:25, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Exactly, the two have no relation to one another. While I am strongly against the inclusion of flags in general to Wikipedia articles willy-nilly, and just removed the UB from the Stiff Little Fingers article, I still strongly agree that in spite of all the sensitivities around the Ulster Banner, in the absence of a better and less controversial emblem to display in the infobox on this article, a country article needs a national flag. In a way the controversy itself (and this is made clear in the article itself) mirrors the division and resulting lack of community cohesion in Northern Ireland itself. I will be as happy as anyone when (not if) the situation on the ground permits the use of a better emblem. Until then, the UB (with the proper note about its lack of official status) has to stay in the infobox. --Guinnog 17:32, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
But Northern Ireland hasn't got a offical national flag.--padraig3uk 17:42, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Indeed so, hence the text "Former flag of Northern Ireland 1953-72" underneath it. Our readers can read, you know. --Guinnog 20:02, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

It only has that wording because I put it there as a temporary measure, prior to that it was being protrayed as the offical flag, which it is not, the flag and coat of arms don't belong in the infobox, they belong in the article itselfs as part of the history of Northern Ireland. Insisting on having them in the infobox is just promoting a certain political POV.--padraig3uk 21:02, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
If you added that wording then well done. Remember WP:AGF here, and assume for a moment that I understand the nuances involved but yet still think this is the best flag for our encyclopedia article on NI. --Guinnog 21:07, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Using a flag that has not been offical for 35yrs is not encyclopedic, it is misleading, an encyclopedia is supposed to factual.--padraig3uk 21:18, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
According to UK law, the Union Flag is Northern Ireland's official flag. I still have not seen a compelling reason why this should not be reflected in the article. If the UK government does not decide what NI's flag is, who does? Martin 23:44, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
The arguement against the UJ is that it is not the specific flag of NI, NI is a constituant within the representation like the EU flag.--Vintagekits 21:20, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
At least using it would (a) follow British law, and therefore (b) be more NPOV. Martin 00:46, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
The fact that the UJ is not used in the England, Scotland or Welsh infoboxs along side their National Flags means there is no necessity for using it in this case either just because no National flag exists.--padraig3uk 01:48, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Hi Padraig, see here: "The union flag is the only official flag that represents Northern Ireland". Martin 23:20, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Martin, I am aware of that, in fact I was one of the first editors in this debate to point that out, that is not the issue here, the issue is that the UJ is not used in any of the other UK infoboxs along side their National flags, therefore there is no need or reason for it to be used in this case because no National flag Exists, as the UJ is not the Flag of Northern Ireland it is the flag of the UK as a whole, and is only offically flown in NI on certain days.--padraig3uk 23:31, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Not so sure that can be correct Martin. The EU flag represents all member-states; thus the UK; thus is must ALSO be an official flag on NI. Maybe we could use that as a compromise? (Sarah777 23:34, 2 April 2007 (UTC))

Ok, I've been watching this discussion for a while, but haven't contributed to anything until now - and don't really want to get involved either (has nothing really to do with me). But why not just wait a couple of weeks to see what the assembly does. If the assembly meets and its the Union Flag they fly (not just on day one, but over time) then its pretty obvious that the Union Flag is the flag of NI. If they make noises about changing it then leave the Ulster Banner in place until they figure what it should be. --sony-youthtalk 10:30, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Eh...no! why dont we remove the UB and crest in line with the concensus - THEN if and when a new flag or symbol appears then we can discuss its insertion.--Vintagekits 10:34, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Sony-youth, the Union flag is only flown on certain days as set out in law, that has nothing to do with the use of the Ulster Banner in this infobox, this flag dosen't represent Northern Ireland and hasn't done so for 35yrs, as Vintagekits says it should be removed now, as it is POV, then if the Assembly in the future decides on a new flag that can be inserted into the infobox.--padraig3uk 10:45, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Just for reference the current voting is:
A - 13 voyes
B - 0 votes
C - 0 votes
D - 17 votes
A, or failing that B - 1 vote
B, or failing that D - 1 vote
D, or failing that C - 1 vote
D, or failing that B - 1 vote
Stu ’Bout ye! 11:05, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
So that makes 20 votes for D and 14 votes for A, right?, which equates to a concensus to remove which is what I am going to do.--Vintagekits 11:15, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Umm, I'm not sure it does! At most it is 18 for D which is 53%. Stu ’Bout ye! 11:19, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I think we can discount B and C now and let the alternate votes count for A or D respectively now. Whats the total then.--Vintagekits 11:23, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think we can change people's votes. Also, consensus is only one issue. We still haven't sorted out the other issue of the UF having official status and there being no valid reason not to use it if the UB is removed. Stu ’Bout ye! 11:33, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I am not suggesting we change editors votes I am stating that they should be interpretted as they were meant ot be.--Vintagekits 11:36, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Sure, I understand and so there's no consensus about the flag, but there is consensus to keep arguing about it and getting nowhere when there is a good chance that in a month or two the matter will be decided by people who do not contribute to this encyclopedia anyway. Okay, go for it, and good luck to you all in your endeavors. --sony-youthtalk 11:13, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
A - 14
D - 18

--padraig3uk 11:28, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Stu, no valid reason has been given for the use of the Union Flag in the infobox as an alternative, as it is not used in any of the other UK infoboxs why should a exception be made for it here. It is not unique to N Ireland but represents the UK as a whole.--padraig3uk 13:16, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes it represents the UK as a whole, but it is also has official individual usage in NI. Stu ’Bout ye! 13:51, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Thats not exactly true, it is used in NI but not to represent NI, much like the EU flag is used in NI but not to represent NI - granted that the UJ has much wider usage.--Vintagekits 13:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
It does. As this states, "The union flag is the only official flag that represents Northern Ireland." Stu ’Bout ye! 14:09, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Stu, The Flags (NI) Order 2000 also provides for when the flag can be flown for offical purposes, the flag is not used all the time. And you still haven't given a reason why it should be used here when it it not used in the England, Scotland or Welsh infoboxs. Also I think this is just stalling the removal of the Ulster Banner and coat of arms from the infobox, I suggest these be removed now, and then we can continue to debate the issue on wether or not any symbol or flag should be used in place of a lack of offical National flag.--padraig3uk 14:31, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Why does it have to be flown all the time? That makes no difference? The reason it should be used here (if the UB is removed) is that it is "the only official flag that represents Northern Ireland". They can't be removed now, the status quo has to remain until the debate is over. sony youth's idea to wait and see what the Assembly does is a good idea, but if the debate has gone on here for this long I can only imagine how long the Assembly will take. I'm sure we're all pretty much sick of this debate, I know I am. Mediation or arbitration anyone? While mediation has worked in other recent disputes, I think it will make the debate last another six months. Arbcom may reject it for not having been to mediation, but I think we've shown sufficient effort to resolve the problem. Thoughts? My feeling is that it should be referred to Arbcom, by someone independent to the discussion. Stu ’Bout ye! 15:01, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

This has been going on for six months. There is a concensus and I am going to change the infobox in line with that. The flag and crest are historic and are refered to in the article and will now be removed from the info box.--Vintagekits 15:15, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
No, you can't do that. There is no clear consensus and the various issues haven't been resolved. Stu ’Bout ye! 15:18, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I have no problem if we remove the Ulster Banner now and then refer the issue to Arbcom to see if the Union Jack should be used in place of the lack of offical National flag, I regard the Ulster Banner and it use in this context as POV pushing my main concern is the removal of that POV bias, the other issue of the Union Jack is a totaly seperate debate as far as I am concerned, I understand your reasoning for wanting its use, I am just not convinced that it is necessary, seeing as its not used in the other infoboxs.--padraig3uk 15:13, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
It is Wikipedia policy that the status quo remains until the issue is resolved. Stu ’Bout ye! 15:18, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Please don't remove it. It seems clear from the straw poll that there is no consensus to do so. --Guinnog 15:18, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
You do the math - its being removed.--Vintagekits 15:19, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
That would be silly I think. Please see Wikipedia:Consensus. There is nothing approaching a consensus to remove the flag from the infobox. Thank you. --Guinnog 15:25, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Guinnog, the use of this flag in the infobox is POV, WP policy is to remove that, the flag and coat of arms are still within the main article itself, where it belongs as part of the history of Northern Ireland.--padraig3uk 15:24, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Just to be clear, what POV is the use of the flag in the infobox representing? I can't see a POV in all honesty. Certainly not with the wording "this was the former flag of northern ireland" written underneath it.--ZincBelief 15:36, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Removing it from the infobox would be POV. There are valid reasons to have either flag (UB or UF) in the infobox. The fact that some editors want these removed is because they don't like them or find them offensive. This is POV. Stu ’Bout ye! 15:43, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
The POV is simple and straight forward - the UB is not the flag of Northern Ireland and when it is in the info box then it is being shown as being the flag of NI. Thats POV, the consensus is the remove it, it have been put in the main body of the article and thats where it used stay until such time that it becomes the "flag of NI" again or another flag is introduced.--Vintagekits 15:51, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
There is nothing POV about correctly stating that the flag was once the official flag.--ZincBelief 15:57, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I dont think you have grasped what this conversation is all about - of course therre is nothing "POV about correctly stating that the flag was once the official flag" - and this is stated in the article - however this is about portraying the CURRENT official flag which represents NI - the UB is not this and therefore should not be in the infobox - please try and understand the two separate issues.--Vintagekits 16:02, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
No I think you're trying to have your own conversation. What I am asking Padraig is what the POV displayed by the flag in the infobox is with the current wording. He is saying it marks the infobox as representing Loyalist Terrorist groups. I believe this to be wrong, because the infobox appears to be presenting facts about northern ireland, and doesn't even mention terrorism.--ZincBelief 16:08, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
What group it represents is not the issue, the issue is whether or not it is the current flag or Northern Ireland - it's not - its is an important flag in NI, however, it is no longer the official flag and therefore should not be in the infobox and should be explained in the article.--Vintagekits 16:13, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
In Northern Ireland that flag is used today to represent Loyalist extremists, it is extremely offensive to the Nationalist community in Northern Ireland. I have no problem with it being in the main article as it is part of the history of Northern Ireland, but its use in the Infobox is insulting, it dosen't represent Northern Ireland today it represents division and extremeists, something that should have no part in the future of Northern Ireland.--padraig3uk 15:51, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't really see the current infobox as glorifying Loyalist Extremism. Perhaps a strawpoll could be carried out on that?--ZincBelief 15:57, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

(deindent) As has been discussed here ad nauseam, while the Ulster Banner is not perfect and offends a section of the Northern Ireland population, it is still the closest we have got to a flag for the info box. Taken with the text explaining its unofficial status, I think it is as good as we will get, at least until the situation on the ground develops to allow a new flag to be adopted. There was certainly no consensus to remove it; please do not do so again. Thanks. --Guinnog 16:00, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

There is a consensus to remove it - just because you dont like it is not good enough reason to accept the status quo.--Vintagekits 16:04, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
The Main principle of Wikipedia is NPOV, that is the issue here, the use of this flag in the infobox is protraying it as a de facto symbol of Northern Ireland which it isn't, it is the symbol of a particular political extreme in Northern Ireland, it dosent represent Northern Ireland. Guinnog as a adminstrator you should know that NPOV dosent need consensus to be implemented.--padraig3uk 16:21, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
But the Union Flag is the official flag of Northern Ireland. That it's also the flag of the UK is irrelevant. I'm not aware of any Wikipedia guidelines that state the same flag cannot be used for two different places. The article should reflect reality. Martin 19:09, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
The display of the Ulster Banner with explanatory text to indicate its ex-status does not constitute a political statement. It is quite contrived to continue to argue that it does. The banner is used to represent Northern Ireland as a sporting entity, as you admit, so your statement is demonstrably false. --ZincBelief 21:55, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

The Flag Consensus Ignored (3)

Just sectionising this, easier to follow. This is some marathon. I don't agree with you Martin, but I will say this - you are one stubborn wicket keeper! regards (Sarah777 20:19, 3 April 2007 (UTC))

I am really torn here, between protesting at the wrongness of "There is a consensus to remove it - just because you dont like it is not good enough reason to accept the status quo" (showing misunderstanding of what WP:Consensus and status quo mean, as the status quo was to have the banner, and there was no consensus to change it), and the arguably quite good result of not having a flag at all. I dislike the overproliferation of flags on Wikipedia. Should the flags now be removed from Scotland, England and Wales? Or should we display a notice that "Northern Ireland has no official flag at present"? If that is to be the new consensus, it could be different from what the straw poll indicated I suppose. I personally won't exercise my admin privileges on this one as I have a POV. --Guinnog 23:59, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I reinserted the flag and the crest this morning. The debate is is not over yet. There is no consensus to remove them, so as Guinnog states the status quo remains until the issue is resolved. Again, my feeling is that some sort of mediation is required. I don't think Wikipedia:Requests for mediation will solve it, so Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration is the best bet. Stu ’Bout ye! 07:59, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I reverted your edit, Stu. There dosent need to be concensus to remove POV. As for going to arbitration on the issue, we were discussing that above to see if there was any need to have the Union Banner instead of a national banner as none of the England, Scotland or Welsh infoboxes use it.--padraig3uk 09:22, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
You haven't established that there is any POV being displayed Padraig.--ZincBelief 09:26, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, and removing the flag/crest is itself POV. I'm not sure what you're saying about arbcom? Stu ’Bout ye! 09:34, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
POV, lets see you have a symbol used by Loyalist extremists, and display it in a prominent position in the infobox of the main article on Northern Ireland, giving the impression that it was the Offical or de-facto flag of the state when in fact it hasn't been officaly used for 35yrs, has no status at all under British Law.--padraig3uk 09:41, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
There have been a number of votes on this and the majority voted to remove the symbols from the infobox, not that concencus is needed to remove POV from articles.--padraig3uk 09:46, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Padraig, you've made all these points before. But it doesn't change the fact that the dispute has not been resolved. Again, there is no consensus and your POV and feelings about the flags in question is irrelevant. I'm not going to break 3RR so I'm asking you to revert yourself so that this can be sorted out without a revert war. You seem to consider the matter over with, but it is not. We haven't even got to the second stage of the dispute resolution process. What you are doing is against policy. Stu ’Bout ye! 09:54, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Lets note that all flags are used by extremist groups in Ireland as a whole. However, all flags are also used for other non violent purposes. The Red Hand of Ulster is used by Ulster Rugby with no attempt to glorify terrorism. There are no protests associated with it during matches. I think the use we want to see here, (of the banner) with appropriate text notes, is not glorifying terrorism either. It appears to me to be a responsible, non political usage. I don't see why there is a continued argument that it is marking the article as some sort of Loyalist propoganda. Point me to another flag that Northern Ireland uses, I don't know of one. Northern Ireland is not just a political entity, it is also a sporting entity. As a sporting entity it is represented by the banner. I am really baffled by your assertion that using the banner is giving the article (or the infobox) a POV, and you have still not adequately explained what point of view that is. I think this is a issue for arbitration now, as it is clearly not going to be sorted out by the wikipedians editing this article. --ZincBelief 10:14, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
The Ulster rugby team use a modified flag not the UB. Once again I would stated that you are missing the point of this discussion - this is about what is the current official flag of NI. The UB is not the current official flag of NI therefore should not be in the infobox, please see the Flag of Northern Ireland article for further detail - the UB should be in the article and should be fully explained but it should be in the infobox - as Gunniog suggests, there should be a white space with a link leading to the Flag of Northern Ireland article and a note stating that there is no current official flag.--Vintagekits 10:23, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I didn't say the Ulster Rugby team did use the UB. I am having a discussion with Padraig about POV, why can't I do that? He is arguing that it shouldn't be there because it is POV. Now you, VintageKits, appear to have written that the UB should be and shouldn't be in the infobox, could you clarify what you actually meant please.--ZincBelief 10:30, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
read what I wrote! I never said you did say that the Ulster Rugby team use the UB. I said they didnt - they use a flag of St. Patrick defaced by a red hand. The reason it is POV to put the flag tin the infobox is because the info box is for the flag of that country and the UB is no longer that.--Vintagekits 10:47, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
VintageKits I did read what you wrote, that's why I asked you a question about it. You state something about the Ulster Rugby comment that was completely irrelevent, and I couldn't understand why. I was talking about emblem usage that was non political, in the context of a POV discussion with Padraig. You diverted that randomnly to talk about something else for no apparant reason. --ZincBelief 10:55, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
ZincBelief, the Ulster Banner is the former flag of the Northern Ireland Government that was disbanded by the British government in 1972, for that reason the flag is part of the history of Northern Ireland and why it is included within the main article along with the former coat of arms from that time. In todays Northern Ireland the Ulster Banner is used by Loyalist extremist groups like the UVF/LVF and their supporters, it has no offical use. As for the point on sporting bodies using the flag, this is not an article on sport in N Ireland, it is the main article on that state/county, and the infoboxs are intended to convey basic info about that place, government, capital etc, it is not the place to display historical flags.--padraig3uk 10:42, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Padraig, please give the full list of people using the UB. You are presenting a biased argument. You accept surely that it is officially used in sport. This article contains information not just about politics, for example, rainfall is not political. I cannot see your argument as anything but contrived. What POV do you believe the Flag, with explanatory text, gives to the infobox and how. Do you really believe the infobox, as it stood promoted terrorism? --ZincBelief 10:55, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

As I've just broken 3RR, feel free to report me. However this was to ensure the correct procedure is followed. This dispute is not yet over and the stages of the dispute resolution process are still to be completed. Therefore changing the article from the status quo is breaking process. Stu ’Bout ye! 11:05, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

A list of who?. The symbol may be used by some sporting bodies but that dosen't convey any status on the flag, this is not a article on sport in N Ireland. The use of the flag in the infobox is promoting the belief that it has some status in Northern Ireland, I think you fail to understand the purpose of infoboxs in articles.--padraig3uk 11:11, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

You are avoiding answering the question Padraig. You argue that the UB glorifies Terrorism because it is used by its supporters. Now, by the same token, you must also argue that it glorifies football, glorifies historians, glorifies the athletics team at the commonwealth games and glorifies anyone else who uses it. You argument is afterall, POV by association, which is very contrived. If you are going to use the POV argument you need to justify it. If you want to argue on other matters, go ahead, but don't try to muddy the issue. Can we please settle POV first?--ZincBelief 11:15, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

The two largest sporting organisations in NI do not use the UB - the GAA and the IFA do not use the UB - its is also banned from government buildings. Its POV.--Vintagekits 11:58, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
That's a blatant lie blatantly wrong. The IFA do use the Ulster Banner as referenced by both the FIFA and UEFA web sites. beano 23:17, 6 April 2007 (UTC) Comment edited: beano 15:22, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
If you do not retract that comment then I will report you for breach of WP:CIVIL and WP:NPA - I am not a liar! FIFA and UEFA may use the UB but the IFA nor the GAA use it. Get your facts straight and les of the abuse. If I do not get a retraction and an apology then I will be reporting you for that comment.--Vintagekits 23:47, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Well VintageKits. What is the point of view you think having the flag with explanatory text represents? Can you state it in a sentence? Perhaps there is more than one point of view it represents? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ZincBelief (talkcontribs) 12:35, 4 April 2007 (UTC).
Once again I think you have failed to grasp the issue that is being discussed. The infobox is for the current official page, therefore to put the UB in the info box is a POV and not fact. If it is not the current official flag then it should not be in the infobox. Its pretty simple really!--Vintagekits 12:50, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Placing the flag in the infobox does not mark it as the official flag, especially when explanatory text is included to say that this was the former official flag. What on earth are you talking about Vintagekits?--ZincBelief 12:56, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Mind your tone and remember WP:CIVIL - putting the UB in the info box is tant amount to showing it as having official status as the flag in the info box of other countries would have official status. The UB does not have any official status since the 1970's and therefore should not be in the infobox.--Vintagekits 13:00, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I see the UB flying from many Gov. buildings, including near my own house the Castlereagh borough council offices, it flys every day from that building, surely they are breaking the law? I also see it as I pass the Island Centre in Lisburn, flying from the flag pole of the council offices. As Northern Ireland is part of the UK, if this flag and coat of arms is to kept away from the info box, then surely it should be taken off all the other home nations of the UKs info boxes, to keep consistency within Wikipedia and the countries of the UK. --Cka4004 12:38, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Cka4004, yes Northern Ireland is part of the UK and under the laws of the UK the Ulster banner has no legal status for the past 35yrs, it is not flown from Government buildings - local council offices are not classed as government buildings - As for the other home nations they have national flags recognised in law, Northern Ireland dosent. --padraig3uk 12:57, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
See here: "The union flag is the only official flag that represents Northern Ireland". So I see the debate as whether the Ulster Banner remains with the proviso underneath, or is replaced with the official Union Flag. Stu ’Bout ye! 13:08, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
No one is ignoring that quote - however my learned Lords interpretation of the legislation is not quote correct and his appraisal does not supersed the law. What is correct is the UF is the only flag that is legalled used in the situation being discussed but it does not solely represent NI and only represents NI as a consituant part of the UK much like the EU flag does for its member countries.--Vintagekits 13:14, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Stu, the usage of the Union Jack would surely be quite strange, as it doesn't exclusively represent Northern Ireland. One could argue for the European Union flag or the United Nations flag on the same basis as the Union Jack, couldn't one? The Ulster Banner is the only official flag to have exclusively represented the area, doing so for nearly 25% of its existance. Strangely enough, the main article still describes it as still the de-facto flag for Northern Ireland, seemingly adding weight to its readmittance. --ZincBelief 13:20, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
It represents the UK as a whole, but also NI individually. Zinc, as you'll see from the last vote my view is that The Ulster Banner should remain with the explanatory text underneath. However if it is decided that it should be removed then it should be replaced with the Union Flag. Stu ’Bout ye! 13:32, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Your right the UB does have some de facto status - most notably because it is used by FIFA and the Commonwealth Games (however they are hardly the last bastions of Irish nationalism) - saying that I do believe that this status as a de facto flag by these organisations is negated by the fact that the flag is rejected be much of the populus.--Vintagekits 13:25, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

By much, but not the majority of the population Vintage, however as the flag is not officially used, and as it has been taken down, the Union Flag should be used, however rare that may seam, but it is the flag used to represent NI at present across the world outside of sport.If some people refuse to accept the flag and coat of arms then I find their logic hard to understand, however in keeping with the other country infoboxes in the rest of the UK or infact that of the ROI then the Union Flag should be used if others cannot agree to accept the UB. --Cka4004 17:36, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Vintagekits, the Lord's interpretation of the law is entirely accurate; the Ulster Banner has no official status. That's a given. Why should we ignore the de jure flag of Northern Ireland in favour of the historical one some people use as a de facto flag? The only way to be NPOV is to use the flag that the UK government have legislated to be used. This seems entirely fair, and if someone doesn't like it, they can take it up with their MP. It's not for us to decide what NI's flag is. Martin 17:50, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Martin, --Cka4004 17:53, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Me too. There is no valid reason why the Union Flag cannot be used. Stu ’Bout ye! 09:13, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Not me three! the reason has been clearly outlined.--Vintagekits 09:15, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Where? Stu ’Bout ye! 11:35, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

What????

"If D gets a majority, then B will have to be put in place." Mal.

User:Stubacca seems to be shouting (Good God!) a similar view. As previously stated, D isn't an option - Stu.

So can I merely assert calling the article about my COUNTRY by the title "RoI" is not an option? (Think of all the argument and hassle that would save!)

Excuse me while I chuckle, but this does not sound like like either democracy or consensus to me! (Sarah777 21:48, 2 March 2007 (UTC))


Wikipedia isn't here to cater to your sensibilities. The Republic of Ireland issue that you have is one of ambiguity. This issue is different.
By the way, I am stating a similar view to Stu - he mentioned that particular issue first.
The reason why I mention it is because the structure of the vote is dubious: we should first have a vote, if we have a vote at all, on whether or not a flag should be contained in the infobox: two choices. THEN, assuming it is agreed that we should have a flag in the infobox, we should vote on which flag it should be. --Mal 23:00, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Nor is Wiki here as a vehicle for your political pov. The consensus is obvious. We HAVE had a vote on whether we should have a flag in the infobox! Result: NO.

"if we have a vote at all" - I think you will find we have just had one.

"assuming it is agreed that we should have a flag..." Bizarre. We have just agreed NOT to have a flag. (Sarah777 23:58, 2 March 2007 (UTC))

I'm not expressing a political POV. The result on whether we should have a flag in the infobox or not doesn't have a result because we haven't voted on that issue yet. And we haven't "just agreed not to have a flag". --Mal 02:31, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Nope. I definitely see a vote! What browser are you using? (Sarah777 12:20, 3 March 2007 (UTC))

There is the rather obvious point that there is no reason not to use the Union Flag in the info box, so we should at least consider using it. One of the reasons given for not using the Ulster Banner was that because it was not official, its use here is POV. The Union Flag is the official flag of Northern Ireland, so there's nothing POV or inaccurate about using it; it's merely a statement of fact. Martin 16:40, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

And another thing: please can we leave the flags as they are until we achieve some sort of consensus, or at least until it is clear that there are a majority in favour of removing/replacing them? If someone disputes that a consensus has been reached, it means that there is no consensus. Martin 17:58, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Seconded. - Kittybrewster 18:37, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Disagree. - Status quo is no flag; until there is consensus that should remain the case. (Sarah777 01:27, 4 March 2007 (UTC))

Can I just point out the WP is NOT a democracy. The purpose of a straw poll is not to define the consensus. It is to help editors see where a voluntary consensus might be drawn from. Frelke 19:00, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Good point. I suggest that Wikipedia:Consensus is essential reading for anyone involved in this discussion. Martin 19:41, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Sorry Martin, I cannot agree with your suggestion re 'leaving the flag' (Option A; outvoted consistently) OR with the alternative of the Union Jack (Option B - virtually no support). While this discussion continues the "status quo" is no flag in the infobox. Please don't engage in a revert war.

And if Wiki isn't a democracy, fine. But then policy must be whatever I say it is. So back to changing the RoI name; it being manifestly incorrect and an insult to my COUNTRY. (Sarah777 01:10, 4 March 2007 (UTC))

Really Sarah, we're not going to get very far if we can't agree what words mean in the English language. The "status quo" is the version of the article that existed before the discussion to have the flag removed. That was the one with the Ulster Banner in it. Therefore, the version of the page that is under question remains until it is decided that something should be done about it. We discuss first, and then edit. You know this already. We do not keep a running total of the votes and then edit the article constantly every time someone casts a new vote. We wait until voting is finished.
As for your RoI comments, you have been informed of the rationale behind calling the article that, and you have also been told that just because the article is called that, it doesn't mean we're saying the state is. By not engaging with the actual issues, and continuing to present it as some strange unspecified POV exercise, you are doing yourself and your cause a grave disservice.
The vote has not finished yet, so leave the page as it is. By trying to edit the page simply because a majority of the voters agree with you, it makes it seem as though you are more interested in getting your way than having a page that reflects the broader consensus of your fellow editors. How you can say you don't want a revert war, when you must know that removing the Ulster Banner before the vote is settled will result in one, is beyond me. I'm going to be charitable, assume good faith, and believe that you simply have not thought your actions through.
And bear in mind, I want the Ulster Banner removed from the info box. This ain't someone who fundamentally disagrees with you writing. But you are antagonising others and you are going about things in the wrong way. The vote will end when (a) people stop voting and/or (b) it is obvious that one option has a massive majority. Until then, leave the page as it was with the info box intact. If others think this is some Nationalist crusade, you are doing everything within your power to give them that impression. Sit back, play by the rules, chill out, and let's see what happens. This page isn't going anywhere, and neither are we. Martin 03:24, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Martin, I am aghast that you imply I am not 'playing by the rules'. You should support that with evidence or retract.

I am also aghast at your remark re the "RoI" issue that I am "not engaging with the actual issues"! I have written hundreds of words on the issue, debated all angles - frankly all I see in response is a)abuse and personal attacks b)accusations of Bad Faith and C) 'arguments that merely keep repeating that black is really white.

On the vote; are we to leave it open till people stop voting - or until the result changes? And what of the declared position of several pro-Banner editors who have announced IN ADVANCE that the vote can be ignored? I don't recall you chastising them.

There was a consensus and then it was rejected. It is this rejection we are currently voting on. (As for the English language - no chiding of "Mal" for saying that there is no vote?!) Also, the two most recent reversions by User:Panelcourt and User:Usualcoast - both clear Sockpuppets who reverted the edits by User:Padraig3uk and then mine. So were I to leave the current set-up I would be leaving some vandalism in place. As for what "others think", well, I may have views on what they think too you know.

My only aim here is to remove the pov that has become so ingrained in Ireland-related articles the minority of established editors can't even recognise it anymore. So obviously "my cause" will not find favour with the pov pushers. (Sarah777 04:24, 4 March 2007 (UTC))

Sorry, but who are they "clear" socks of? Frelke 06:47, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Dunno. Do you? Clearly they are socks though. Or something similar. They made up names solely to revert the Banner, did they not? (Sarah777 14:05, 4 March 2007 (UTC))

Sarah, I don't see what you are "aghast" about, though I certainly didn't wish to cause offence with my comment. Please read Wikipedia:Consensus and Wikipedia:Straw polls in order to understand my comment in its proper context. As you will discover upon reading them, there was no consensus. We are having a straw poll because no consensus could be reached. If you'll allow me to quote:
"Any Wikipedian may start a survey on any topic, but attempts to reach consensus are much, much, MUCH preferred, and should perhaps be followed even when it pains us most."
"A straw poll is not a binding vote, or a way to beat dissenters over the head with the will of the majority. Even if a large number of people vote for one option but some don't, this doesn't mean that that's the "outcome". It means some people are disagreeing, and that has to be addressed."
"In general, surveys are to help gauge the degree of consensus on an issue, such as whether a particular article version appears to be POV or NPOV."
"If the majority of opinion is in one direction, but a significant minority of people oppose it, work to find a solution that can be accepted by as many people as possible."
With regard to using the Union Flag instead of the Ulster Banner, it would appear that at least some of the people voting in support of keeping the Ulster Banner are prepared to accept its replacement with the Union Flag as a compromise of sorts. This is something to be considered; it should not be dismissed out of hand, or portrayed as being negative. If we can compromise on a solution, even if it might not be the solution you'd like in a perfect world, it will be far better for the article. Martin 23:51, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Martin, whereas I understand with what you say, the fact remains that the Ulster banner and coat of arms are now in the main body of the article, and nobody has argued for there removal completely. The second point is that if concencus is to remove the UB and Arms from the Infobox is reached, the suggestion that they can only to be replaced by the UF, is purely the promotion of POV, there is no rule that any flag or symbol has to be in the infobox.--padraig3uk 00:04, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, there's nothing wrong with having the Ulster Banner in the main article; it is part of Northern Ireland's history, no matter how much you or I might dislike it. As to your second point, you are right that there is no rule that an article about a country (or "administrative region" or "political entity" or whatever you want to call it) has to have a flag, but there isn't really a compelling reason for excluding the Union Flag in lieu of one. It is set out in UK law that the Union Flag is to be used for official purposes in Northern Ireland, and regardless of one's political opinions, Northern Ireland's status as part of the UK is recognised by the UK, the RoI, and the wider international community. The only POV that is being presented is that Northern Ireland is part of the UK, and UK law applies there. If some are willing to compromise, that is a good thing; if the two sides of an issue can't meet in the middle, it will drag on and on and on. Martin 00:57, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


Sarah777: "no chiding of "Mal" for saying that there is no vote?!" Perhaps you didn't noticed the tense that I used: "because we haven't voted on that issue yet".

You say: "My only aim here is to remove the pov that has become so ingrained in Ireland-related articles". But let's make two things clear. Firstly, this is specifically a Northern Ireland-related article, in case you hadn't noticed. Secondly, the encyclopedia is about fact... the fact is that there currently exist no flag which specifically represents Northern Ireland, other than the Northern Ireland flag.

Padraig, to address your point about replacing the Northern Irish flag with the Union Jack in the infobox... the creator of the straw poll made four options. I believe the four options should be reduced to three (A, B and C) because having an infobox with a blank space is not acceptable at all to me. Therefore, before we have a vote on A, B or C, I think we should have had a vote as to whether there should be a flag in the infobox or nothing. If the result is that there should be a flag, then a vote should commence on which particular flag (or symbol, in the case of the Assembly logo) it should be. -- Mal 07:35, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Mal, in the vote we had above, a majority of user voted against having any flag or symbol in the infobox, you now want to ignore that, because you disagree, therefore you want another vote, well I don't agree with that proposal.--padraig3uk 08:29, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Padraig, you need to read my comments more carefully: this is why I had to include my proviso in the vote - I clearly suggest elsewhere on this page (and feel free to examine the dates of my comments) that the vote above is poorly structured as there should have been firstly a vote on whether there should or should not be any flag or symbol in the infobox. I'm not going to take part in having a vote about a vote - I'm stating clearly that the vote structure above is improperly biased. It renders it invalid. Clearly, as I have also stated, the infobox was created with the functionality included for the (sub-)national flag (and coat of arms) and therefore any vote for "no flag" will result in one of two flags being inserted: the Union Jack or the Northern Ireland flag. I stated my objections to the vote.
Point of note: the people who are suggesting the removal of the Northern Ireland flag will have to also suggest (presumably at a later date) the removal of the Coat of Arms also, as it contains the flag of Northern Ireland. The next stage is to have another go at the national anthem(s). After this, you may wish to propose the article Northern Ireland for deletion on the grounds that it also does not exist. -- Mal 00:48, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
"I'm stating clearly that the vote structure above is improperly biased. It renders it invalid." Mal, you have got to realise that the fact that you "state" or "assert" something does not make it so. The vote is perfectly valid.

The pure conjecture about a chain of edits that will lead to the "elimination" of the NI article is nonsense; - using such arguments one could assign any motive to any edit and hypothesise any string of FUTURE edits leading to any result.

Allowing arguments such as yours above would lead to complete chaos; and thus must be ruled out of order.

The fact that the box has a facility for inserting a flag is utterly irrelevant. I think you must seriously address your obvious inability to seperate you pov from your function as an editor. Regards (Sarah777 01:04, 11 March 2007 (UTC))

There's no valid reason not to have a flag in the infobox. Stu ’Bout ye! 09:05, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Just as there is no valid reasons to have one either, and the concencus is not to have one.--padraig3uk 09:53, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
The onus is on giving a reason not to have one. Some editors not liking it or finding it offensive isn't a reason. Every other country/state etc article has one. So it is either the de-facto flag (UB) or the official one (UF). Stu ’Bout ye! 10:17, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
The UB is not the de facto flag, and its use in the infobox is POV, as for the UB, it is not the flag of Northern Ireland, but the standard of the UK as a whole, So what if every other country/state article has a flag, Northern Ireland dosen't have a flag.--padraig3uk 18:20, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

having an infobox with a blank space is not acceptable at all to me - Mal. Oh dear, that's unfortunate, because having a flag is unacceptable to me.

There's no valid reason not to have a flag in the infobox. - AND no valid reason to have a flag either.

Eh..Mal. We HAVE HAD a vote. Result: no flag. It is becoming very difficult to assume 'good faith' when you deny what is clearly written on this page.

Every other country/state etc article has one. - Stu. So what? To quote Mal let's make two things clear. Firstly, this is specifically a Northern Ireland-related article, in case you hadn't noticed. Secondly, the encyclopedia is about fact... the fact is that there currently exists no flag which specifically represents Northern Ireland

So, I guess the only way to sort this is with a vote. Hold on...we HAD a vote. But some minority editors continue to try and push their pov on the regardless of the views of the community in general. (Sarah777 21:33, 9 March 2007 (UTC))

I stated my objections to the structure of the vote at the time. I respectfully suggest that if you do not like Northern Ireland, then don't edit articles concerning Northern Ireland.
To correct your quotation of me, the full quote you refer to above was this: "the fact is that there currently exist no flag which specifically represents Northern Ireland, other than the Northern Ireland flag." -- Mal 00:53, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, Mal. I didn't see this when I replied above. My observation remains. The fact you "stated objections" to a vote does not make the poll invalid.
It does, however, remain that I have objected to the vote on the grounds that I consider it invalid.. which was my point (see the proviso I added when I placed a vote). -- Mal 04:05, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Re your "respectful" suggestion that "if you do not like Northern Ireland, then don't edit articles concerning Northern Ireland." This is a clear personal attack Mal. I never said I don't like NI. More importantly, I don't let my pov become entangled with my editing. Could I respectfully suggest that in the light of your conjectures on the motives of (what seems to be the majority) of editors, and hypothesising about a whole string of future edits they might make leading to the elimination of NI, than perhaps you are too emotionally caught up in the topic to edit it from a neutral pov?
Perhaps it is you who should avoid editing articles about NI? Regards (Sarah777 01:27, 11 March 2007 (UTC))
No - I'm fine with Northern Ireland, and I respect the fact that it exists. As a matter of fact, I'm a native of Northern Ireland.
My suggestion to you was not a personal attack by the way, it was merely an observation based on my experience of your attempts to edit Wikipedia in such a way that of Northern Ireland appears (at least) less visible - eradicating references to it, or attempting to ensure ambiguity, and clear attempts to minimise its legitimacy. Clearly you dislike Northern Ireland, or you wouldn't have been causing quite so much commotion and disruption on Wikipedia.
My editing of the Northern Ireland article is quite minimal these days. However, I did set up the Northern Ireland WikiProject and the Belfast WikiProject. -- Mal 04:05, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Mal, regarding "the fact is that there currently exist no flag which specifically represents Northern Ireland, other than the Northern Ireland flag." whilst you may believe that as true, the facts of the issue don't support it, the UB dosen't represent Northern Ireland with the exception of a few sports bodies that use it as a symbol, it has no offical use politicaly.--padraig3uk 11:37, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

[de-indent]Contrary to what you believe to be true, the facts support what I have said - there is no flag that represents Northern Ireland specifically, other than the Northern Ireland flag. The flag was designed for that purpose. Until either another flag it made in place of it, or Northern Ireland ceases to exist, the current Northern Ireland flag represents Northern Ireland. -- Mal 04:05, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

As I have pointed out before, the British government recognises the English, Welsh, and Scottish flags, and in some cases provides instructions as to their use. The British government explicitly does not recognise the Ulster Banner as being the flag of Northern Ireland: "The union flag is the only official flag that represents Northern Ireland". That seems pretty clear to me. That the Ulster Banner is not the flag of Northern Ireland is not an opinion, it is a verifiable fact. That it is used as a de facto flag in lieu of one is also a verifiable fact, but "de facto" isn't really good enough when it only expresses the views of a portion of the population; we're supposed to be NPOV.
Regardless, the voting has been going on for almost two weeks now, and "D" seems to have maintained a majority throughout, though "A" has been close at its heels. What now? Would those who voted "A" accept using the Union Flag as a compromise? Martin 23:14, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

De facto is good enough in many, many other areas of Wikipedia.. and is actually essential at times with regard to UK-related subjects, considering its system of law. That the Northern Ireland flag is the flag that represents, specifically, Northern Ireland is and has been verified. It is not an opinion. -- Mal 04:05, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

The flag only represents Northern Ireland for part of the population. I believe the link I gave above expresses the status of the Ulster Banner in a succinct way.[7]. We can hardly present the Ulster Banner as *the* de facto flag of Northern Ireland, go on to note that its use is specifically prohibited by the British government, and that it is only used by a portion of population, while still being NPOV. That the Ulster Banner is not considered Northern Ireland's flag by many, including the British government, is also not opinion but a fact. Where there is contention over a subject, "de facto" is not good enough, as it leads to a POV minefield. Martin 02:04, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
The flag represents the whole of Northern Ireland and all of its population Martin - whether they like it or not. There is no other flag that currently represents Northern Ireland. Until there is another flag of Northern Ireland, then the flag of Northern Ireland will have to serve as the flag of Northern Ireland. Whether or not the flag has "status" according to some definition of 'legality', this doesn't alter the fact that Northern Ireland is represented by the flag of Northern Ireland in international events and circumstances which require Northern Ireland to be treated separately from the rest of the United Kingdom. That is not opinion, but rather fact. -- Mal 11:30, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Dislike, commotion, disruption. Gotta hand it to you Mal you obviously think the rules governing 'no personal attacks' don't apply to you! Actually I think all three words describe your attitude and activity - plus paranoia - please show me where I have been trying to 'hide' NI (other than on this flag issue).

You won't find any example Mal. So I guess an apology and retraction are in order.

In case I haven't made myself clear, NO FLAG is the decision; the status quo. The current article having been protected by two sockpuppets. It is a measure of my immense patience and desire for compromise that I haven't engaged in an edit war. I call on you to cease your vexatious editing. (Sarah777 08:49, 12 March 2007 (UTC))

Sarah the facts speak for themselves: in many Northern Ireland-related articles you have caused nothing but commotion over symbols and names and appear to be making a campaign out of it (not to mention making a mountain out of a molehill). As for your assertions about me, I think you'll find you are dead wrong - I haven't caused even half the commotion and disruption that you have in the short time I've noticed you editing Wikipedia articles.
In case I haven't made myself clear, no flag is unacceptable usage of this infobox in this article.
Other accusations include the article being protected by "two sockpuppets" and for me to cease my "vexatious editing". Firstly, as far as I'm aware it only takes one admin to edit protect an article. Secondly, I have not been engaged in vexatious editing. The vast majority of my edits are useful to the community and to Wikipedia in general. In roughly two years and over ten thousand edits, I have been involved in disputes a mere handful of times. Your ratio, I'm sure, is a lot higher. -- Mal 11:30, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Mal, who give you the right to decide that no flag is unacceptable usage of this infobox, do you have some power on WP that is above everyone else. WP is supposed to present facts, this article clearly dosent do that, in that it is presenting a un-offical flag in a prominent position in the article which gives the impression that this flag has some status which it hasn't, it dosent represent the population of Northern Ireland and hasn't done for 35yrs.--padraig3uk 11:58, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I gave me the right to decide that no flag is unacceptable Padraig. The power that I have over myself is all the power I need! I agree with you on how the (current version of the) article doesn't present facts with regard to this particular issue.
The Flag of Northern Ireland has represented Northern Ireland for not only the past 35 years, but for quite a bit longer than that also! --Mal 21:30, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Where do you see that consensus? Where do you get the info about the sockpuppets? --Guinnog 17:02, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Mal, if the British government state that the Union Flag is the only flag which represents Northern Ireland, it would seem rather churlish to disagree with them. Unless of course, you're disagreeing with British sovereignty in Northern Ireland? What I fail to understand is why the opinions of sporting bodies seem to trump the law (and on that note, I'm not sure what other definition of "law" there is, other than what the government says is law). And who says the Ulster Banner "represents the whole of Northern Ireland and all of its population"? Give me an authoritative source, capable of making and realising such pronouncements. I didn't see FIFA on my ballot sheet last week, and I'm mystified as to why they can pronounce what the Northern Ireland flag is with more authority than the government. I hardly need to point out that a sporting body is in no way capable of designating what a country's flag is, and to insist that they are is to commit the logical fallacy of false authority.
According to de facto: "A de facto standard is a technical or other standard that is so dominant that everybody seems to follow it like an authorized standard". Hardly applicable to the Ulster Banner. The Union Flag is the de jure flag of Northern Ireland, whether you or I like it or not. That some use the Ulster Banner instead doesn't alter this fact. That is why the use of the Union Flag would be NPOV. Martin 19:08, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreement or disagreement with British sovereignty in Northern Ireland is irrelevant.
De facto:
  • in fact; in reality
  • actually existing, esp. when without lawful authority
  • serving a function without being legally or officially established
The "official status" of the Flag of Northern Ireland is irrelevant. The Union Jack does not serve the function of separately distinguishing Northern Ireland from other states. The Flag of Northern Ireland does.
You stated above Martin, "there's nothing wrong with having the Ulster Banner in the main article; it is part of Northern Ireland's history, no matter how much you or I might dislike it". There is equally nothing wrong with having the flag of Northern Ireland in the infobox for the article about Northern Ireland. Infobox or article body - there's no difference. The infobox, had at one point, correctly stated the flag as having been previously used by the government of Northern Ireland. So a short explaination was even offered which is, I believe, expanded upon in the article body.
Presumably you, and others, will be campaigning to remove the Welsh flag from the Wales infobox soon. Its OK if they have the Flag of Wales in the body of the article of course - as long as it isn't put anywhere "prominent". Wikipedia, after all, wouldn't like too many people to associate the flag of Wales with the country of Wales! That wouldn't be PC!
Besides which, the crux of this argument really comes down to whether or not you agree that some people find offence at the flag of Northern Ireland - not whether it is actually used to represent Northern Ireland independently of other states. Therefore the use of the Union Jack would be at least equally offensive to some as the use of the flag of Northern Ireland. While I agree that some people find offence at either or both of these flags, when applied to Northern Ireland or not, I also appreciate that there are a few things (some of them in Wikipedia) that I find offensive. I'm not about to go and change them all just because I don't like them. I do try to separate what I find offensive from what I know to be correct and/or real. I try to edit Wikipedia accordingly.
Fact or PC? That's what it amounts to with this issue. And here is the fact: the flag of Northern Ireland is used to represent Northern Ireland as distinguishable from the other countries of the United Kingdom. That is indisputable. --Mal 22:05, 11 April 2007 (UTC)


Astrotrain, please refain from removing images from the main article body, if you feel the need to remove any images then remove the ones from the infobox, seeing as the majority of users feel this should happen.--padraig3uk 12:23, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
You inserted the flags in the history section during the debate in an attempt to delete them from the infobox without consensus. As there is no consensus to remove the flags from the infobox, they should not be in the history section. Astrotrain 12:59, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Technically it is a historic flag, so should be in the historic section. There is no concensus to keep the flags either, however, the majority state that they should be removed and that is including if we count those who have been involved in vote stacking. I say we follow padraig3uk's formatting and put them in the main body of the report and remove them from the info box. That is a fair compromise.--Vintagekits 13:22, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
So now you want to discuss the issue, thats good. The images are in the appropiate part of the history of Northern Ireland where they belong, and I added them there after the concencus here was to remove them from the infobox, we have since had another debate and vote and the majority still says the Ulster Banner and coat of arms should be removed from the infobox.--padraig3uk 13:21, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
The current voting is A - 11 votes, B - 1 vote, C no votes and D - 15 votes. Is this consensus? It is not a supermajority and doesn't meet the 60 - 80% mentioned on Wikipedia:Consensus. Stu ’Bout ye! 09:26, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
The "B" for states that they would go with D if not B so that make 16 v 11 (even if we include the votestackers) - thats almost 70%. It's time to move it into the main article.--Vintagekits 09:46, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

What????...continued...

Martin, I may have overstated my degree of aghastness; but I seriously believe (and I have read all the Wiki policies) that your take on the current state of consensus is mistaken. "No flag" is the status quo. Nor do I believe that the default is the UF; "no flag" is the default. You and some others may assertthat it is; the clear majority appear to feel differently. And if majority views are not consensus, and votes are only straw-polls then how come I am constantly referred to "consensus" and "the majority" in relation to the RoI article? There is a contradiction at the heart of your reasoning.

Nor have you addressed the question of the Sockpuppets who restored your (mistaken) version of the status quo or the vote pre-emption by several pro-Banner folk. (Not implying you had anything to do with the puppets; but their edits prevented me changing back under the 3RR). (Sarah777 01:13, 5 March 2007 (UTC))

"No flag" is not the status quo. The status quo is not the current result of the poll. The status quo is the version of the page that existed before this discussion began. If, for example, everyone decided to leave the Ulster Banner in, the page would stay as it is, it would not revert to some previous version. There certainly seems to be a majority of editors in favour of removing it at present, but there is also a large minority opposed to it. That has to be addressed. The RoI article had many times more than 20 odd voters, and there was a clear preference (2/3 if I remember correctly) for keeping the status quo (i.e. leaving the article as it was). That is why you are referred to a consensus with regards to it. And the results of the straw poll were hardly the end of the matter in that case; I'm sure you are aware of the continued discussions about the intro to the RoI article, how it should be worded, whether Ireland or the Republic of Ireland should come first, etc, etc. So despite some people not achieving their desired outcome, there was, and is, still scope for compromise.
With regards to sock puppets, you'd be better asking an admin about that. I believe they can check IP addresses and so they would be able to confirm if your suspicions are correct. I have not addressed the issue because there is nothing I can do about it, and you are the one with the suspicions. Martin 01:38, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

And you have no such suspicions? You see nothing odd about two new Users signing up within minutes of one another simply to revert the banner? No? And "no flag" is the status quo as I have explained before. After the initial discussion some weks back Padraig3uk declared the change to "no flag" agreed and the change was made. After this some small number of editors decided they wanted to change the status quo and add the banner to the infobox. You are not suggesting that Padraig3uk has no authority to declare consensus when it appeared clear at least 2/1 (never mind 3/2) had expressed in favour? And if Padraig3uk can't do that...who can? You? Ben? Sony? (Sarah777 02:33, 5 March 2007 (UTC))

Yes, it is odd that two users signed up apparently just to put the banner back in the article. And no, one user cannot declare that a consensus has been reached. Even if he or she could, given that the discussion about it is still going on, with no agreement or consensus in sight, it would seem that they were a trifle premature in doing so. Martin 02:45, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

British Isles template

The British Isles template has had some new functionality added arising from a discussion on the Ireland talk page. The template can now be either inserted on a page as usual (i.e. {{British Isles}}) or, depending on what the community of each article agree to, another title can be given to the template on a page-by-page basis (e.g. {{British Isles|Title Will Go Here}}).

The consensus reached on the Ireland page was "Great Britain, Ireland & the Isle of Man", this is also being used on the Republic of Ireland page. On 'joint' pages, such as British Isles or British Isles (terminology), "The British Isles - or Great Britain, Ireland & the Isle of Man" is the being used at present.

I'm not involving myself in this business any further than just to let people know about it. If the community here want to change the title then the possibility exists.

(By way of a short explanation, the term "Great Britain, Ireland & the Isle of Man" was chosen on the Ireland page because it was the most politically neutral while still encompassing everyone that the term "British Isles" does.)

--sony-youth 20:30, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

"Great Britain, Ireland & the Isle of Man" That's quite a mouthful alright. What a bunch of ridiculously enduglant PC rubbish. beano 23:56, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Agree with beano - we should simply say any reference to Ireland being part of the BRITISH Isles is forbidden on Wiki. In every article and in all contexts. As compromise does not seem to be the order of the day here anymore. (Sarah777 23:13, 25 February 2007 (UTC))

Official language(s)

We have a situation whereby their are three spoken languages and two sign languages listed as "Official language(s)". Is this just plainly correct or a pipe dream? Djegan 01:02, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

On the point of sign language the Irish Sign Language page says "It is also used in Northern Ireland, though Northern Ireland Sign Language (NISL) and British Sign Language are used more often". What about putting "English (de facto), Irish, Ulster Scots, other languages" in the infobox - or better "English (de facto), other languages"? « Keith » 14:01, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I like your last idea Keith. Having said that, other recognised languages might be more appropriate. If we just go with other languages (implied: spoken) that should really include Polish and Mandarin too and god knows what else. beano 23:54, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
English is the official language of Northern Ireland. Other widely spoken languages are Polish and Mandarin. Irish is very rare. user:JW112
If you say so! Lughlamhfhada 15:59, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Category:Territories under military occupation

Surely the six counties are a terrotory under military occupatoin. It is a territory and it is under military occupation. You don't see the army out on the streets in Britain. Derry Boi 13:18, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

It's not a foreign army. Military occupation means the occupation of a territory by a foreign force. The Army in Northern Ireland only provides assistance to the police etc- they do not administer the territory. Astrotrain 13:33, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
I am not convinced. If the Republic of Ireland was to take "ownership" of Northern Ireland then that would have to be military occupation because their is no way that sensable and realistic nationalists or unionists in that part of Ireland is going to part with education, healthcare, social provisions, etc that are heavily subvented by the 50+ million taxpayers in Britain. Only hardline republicans (extremes believing in a forced united Ireland now) and loyalists (extremes believing in a made up Northern Ireland independent of either the Republic of Ireland or United Kingdom as they are now structured) would believe that the status-quo could be dispensed with. Djegan 13:43, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

As far as I am aware Northern Ireland is illegaly held. One may say that 'Oh, but, um, those Presbyterians and Anglicans are the majority and thus UK troops should be there to protect them!'. Bullshit. Give me one time in modern irish history when Protestants were hideously attacked to the point they needed the UK to come help? Yet, one can roll off the times Catholic lifes have been harmed. Why can the Gardai or Irish Army or even the UN not take the defence of the province? 3thought 22:25, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

You are entitled to your opinion however Northern Ireland is recognised by all the international community (including the Republic of Ireland) as part of the United Kingdom. It is not the role of WP to promote opinions to the contrary. JAJ 03:30, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
What's more, the British government have legislated that the status of NI is solely a matter for the people of Ireland to decide; NI is only part of the UK because the majority of its people want it that way. Just because there was a heightened security situation, it does not mean that it was or is under military occupation. Its a funny kind of "occupation" considering they'll leave whenever they're asked to. Martin 03:43, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

So you're saying just because Scots came over and formed the majority it is rightly theirs? Surely, one would wthink, it is the land of the people who had it there at one time. Those people, oddly enough, are the Irish. As Paul McCartney said Give Ireland back to the Irish. I am a staunch supporter of the Belfast Agreement but would consider myself a Republican. For me it is just a matter of time until re-unification comes. In the mean time may peace reach Northern Ireland and bring democracy. My above comments were rash and taken in a sweep of a tad of wee anger. Apologies for the politik. Oh, and 'leave whenever thery're asked to'? I'm sorry, but thats a poor point. The SS could have stop killing if asked by authority as could pratically any other army (or part of). Of course they'll leave when asked...thats just, um, pure sense.3thought 19:25, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

You appear to have misunderstood what I wrote. The UK, and all its trappings, will leave Northern Ireland whenever the people of Ireland ask it to. The SS would not have stopped killing people if the Polish asked them to (and I think most reasonable people would agree that the UK is not comparable to Nazi Germany). Germany occupied Poland by force, not by the expressed political will of the Polish people.
As you're a staunch supporter of the Belfast Agreement, you'll know that it recognises "the legitimacy of whatever choice is freely exercised by a majority of the people of Northern Ireland with regard to its status, whether they prefer to continue to support the Union with Great Britain or a sovereign united Ireland" and "it is for the people of the island of Ireland alone, by agreement between the two parts respectively and without external impediment, to exercise their right of self-determination on the basis of consent, freely and concurrently given, North and South, to bring about a united Ireland, if that is their wish". Martin 19:56, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
People have been coming and going from Ireland since before recorded time. This is just the latest wave. It's ugly (mainly because of the stupidity and intransigence of a few on both sides of the divide), but it's getting better. In 100 years nobody will worry about it. --Guinnog 19:35, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
'whenever the people of Ireland ask it to'. Um, my friend, I'm certain the island would vote for re-unification. The six counties, however, would not. I do support the Belfast Agrreement and I recougnise that NI should have a say. I do, however, believe that, if one takes in all factors, my country should never have entered Ireland. It should never have been there and its only support is due to a huge flow of Scottish protestants who have supported them. Sure NI should choose...but its not a fair fight when the majority are just protestant immigrants.3thought 20:28, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, in a perfect world, England would never have invaded Ireland, and they would never have transplanted Scots and English people in order to quell the rebellious people of Ulster. But, this isn't a perfect world; they have and they did. You can hardly discount the political opinions of the majority of the populace, just because their ancestors came from Scotland several hundred years ago.
I'm certain the British people would vote for a United Ireland if given the choice. NI is nothing more than a £4,000,000,000 a year drain on the economy and a huge political pain in the backside.
All this doesn't solve anything though; it's not a territory under military occupation, is not regarded as such by the RoI, GB, EU, UN and the international community, and describing it so is highly POV. Martin 22:42, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

This is silly. Don't feed the troll. --sony-youthtalk 23:11, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the majority of posters here. It is definitely not, by any sane and rational measure, under military occupation. In relation to this point, a debate on the history of settlement, invasion, etc., in Ireland is both pointless and fruitless. If you decide to go back in history to justify one opinion or the other, then where do you stop? Go back to before about 10,000B.C. and there was no human settlement. It doesn't help the debate and isn't relevant to the point. I think the only period that should be discussed is the present and it is clear that NI is not occupied by a foreign military force. And I don't think that anyone would disagree that it currently forms part of the UK, whatever their personal wishes and feelings on the rights, wrongs, etc. ELBBT82.45.213.202 17:15, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

There are many countries in the new world where the indigenous peoples were dispossessed of their lands centuries ago.

Ireland is my home country!!!!!! I'm obsessed!

Image:Europe location N-IRL.png

If anybody feels like replacing the map in the infobox with Image:Europe location N-IRL.png, feel free to do it. — Alex (T|C|E) 06:59, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I must say that is a really nice map, very nicely done. Unfortunately I don't think it would go well in the infobox resized down to a suitable size, Northern Ireland and the rest would be quite small and awkward to see. I don't know what others think of this. Ben W Bell talk 08:14, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I guess we could stick it elsewhere in the article, perhaps below the infobox? -- Pauric (talk-contributions) 20:56, 17 February 2007 (UTC)#
Also, it would look much nicer coloured green!! (Sarah777 23:16, 25 February 2007 (UTC))

King of Ireland

Between the passing of the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 and the Ireland Act 1949, it seems that the title of the crown, with respect to Ireland (island), changed from 'King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland' to 'King of Great Britain' and separately 'King of Ireland'. Clearly, the King of Ireland title applied to the Irish Free State, commonwealth realm that it was, and the King was advised on matters for the King of Ireland by his free state ministers. However, are we also to understand that the King of Ireland was also king in Northern Ireland, but that in respect of his northern irish duties, he took advice from his Westminister ministers ? Or his Stormont ministers, through the Governor of Northern Ireland ? The alternative would be that the King of Great Britain was King within Northern Ireland during this period. That would, perhaps, make more sense as it is the current arrangement, but slightly odd, given that the title of the monarch at that time (as King of Great Britain, and not yet - until the 1949 act - King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

Does anyone know what the true position is here ?

Many thanks.--203.218.93.53 05:26, 3 February 2007 (UTC)


Anything to do with NI is a little confused! You need to refer to the title of the UK parliament for clarity on the political/constitutional status of NI. With regards to the royal style, you need to remember that in 1927 there was only one "realm", encompassing all of the dominions and colonies across the world. The development of separate commonwealth realms first began a few years later, and even then there was no overnight switch from a single imperial crown to various separate commonwealth realms, the change was gradual and piecemeal over several decades. In other words, there is an imporant distinction to be made between the titles of the monarchs at different times and the political status of the territories over which they reigned. There's more information to be found under the articles you listed, and also under the articles on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and Commonwealth Realms.
Situation is roughly as follows. Following creation of the Irish Free State in 1922, the King's title did not immediately change, it remained as "King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, etc". Westminster did exert a degree of control over the IFS by advising the King on Irish matters. It is important to remember though that they could also do the same at this point in history for any of the dominions - Australia, Canada, S. Africa etc. This was the time before the Statute of Westminster (1931) when the concept of Commonwealth Realms had not developed - there was one imperial crown and political independence of the Dominions at the time was perhaps similar to that enjoyed by Scotland today, although the constitutional framework was very different.
The R&PTA act in 1927 was triggered more by events in Canada (see "King-Byng Affair") but also provided the opportunity for a bit of legislative 'catch up' in these islands, aligning the de jure title of the UK parliament (and ergo the UK itself) with the de facto political situation. From that point on, the title of the UK parliament, and thus of the UK, was "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
There being as yet but one crown, one royal style, the King's title did not represent a geographically precise list of politically separate realms. He reigned everywhere, as it said on the coins, in his capacity as "BR. OMN. REX" (King of all the Britons). The subtle change in style in 1927 did however enable the Irish ministers to advise "the King in right of Ireland" separately on exclusively Irish matters.
The Statute of Westminster laid the groundwork which enabled the various commonwealth realms to become more independent, but the rate at which they did so varied greatly. Canada for example did not complete the transition until 1982, Australia until 1986. Ireland, understandably, caught the ball and ran with it. She became what we now refer to as a Commonwealth Realm almost immediately, at which point the Irish crown diverged from the single imperial crown - the King thereby became "King of Ireland" rather than "the King, in right of Ireland". Clearly, this realm existed only on the southern side of the Irish border. North of the border was still the status quo ante.
Subsequently of course, Ireland's External Relations Act in 1936 curtailed the crown's power, and in 1949 the country became a republic, ending the country's dominion status and dissolving the Irish crown.
Petecollier 23:35, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Issues Surrounding Discrimination

As always discussions re discrimination are a tricky subject and people tend to deal in black and white assertations that are not backed up by the evidence. I think user Sony-youth read my old edit...

"Some Unionists argue that any discrimination was not just because of religious or political bigotry, but also the result of more complex socio-economic, socio-political and geographical factors."

... as denying that discrimination occurred or indicating that some unionists hold that viewpoint. It was not, the key phrase being "was not just because of" and it does not deny discrimination occurred but is trying to indicate that it is a complex issue instead of the usual black and white analysis. I am sure some unionists are discrimination deniers, but that is not what I said. My point was that some unionists, CAIN says many and others, debate the nature and extent of discrimination. This is not the same as denying discrimination occured and is not discussed as a controversial viewpoint on CAIN etc. I would say not indicating that there is a debate over the nature and extent of discrimination is more controversial and only selectively representing the issues.

I quote from Whyte 1983 "The consensus among those who have looked at the evidence dispassionately is that the picture is neither black nor white, but a shade of grey."

The following quote from Majority-Minority Differentials: Unemployment, Housing and Health by Martin Melaugh Chapter 9 is also apt.

"Perhaps the most important consequence of this was the creation of a perception among the total Catholic population of a more widespread and systematic form of direct discrimination than the currently available evidence would support. Nevertheless, the Catholic allegations of discrimination by a number of local government districts, predominantly in the south and west of the region, were substantiated in many respects by later investigations (Cameron Report, 1969). There is also evidence that Catholics, in a few areas where they were in control of a local authority, discriminated against Protestants. As Catholics were less likely to be in a position to exercise such discrimination there was less of it; this is not in any way to excuse that discrimination which was carried out."[3]

The line.."Others believe that discrimination was a reality; David Trimble, the former First Minister of Northern Ireland, openly described Northern Ireland as having been a "cold house for Catholics" during the period.".. further indicates that my preceding sentence has been misunderstood and anyway Trimble's comments do not refute the fact that discrimination is a complex issue.

I have previously gone through this and would like to think those changing the paragraph will read it properly before getting hot under the collar.

--Strangelyb 09:48, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I understood that, and was aiming for the same thing. The "Others believe that discrimination was a reality ..." part wasn't mine and changed the tone that I was aiming for drastically. As I wrote it, the two sentences read:
I added the second sentence to give a voice to the "debate" (mentioned in the CAIN document) within Unionism since the preceeding sentences only mention nationalists - and thus could be interpreted as "a-pick-a-side" (black and white) kind of thing.
I agree that the "rather controversially" that was there previous to your edit was totally unnecessary and extreme. --sony-youthtalk 10:21, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification Sony-youth. I do however think that though Trimble described NI as a cold house for Catholics this is not the same as him saying that discrimnation is not a complex issue. From my perspective it still appears to be trying to counteract a misunderstood viewpoint in the previous sentence. Anyway from my knowledge of Trimble's opinions he is one of the "Some Unionists" arguing for example that the Nationalist policy of abstaining from the workings of the nascent N.I state was a contributing factor. I had previously refrained from detailing the counter arguments (not neccessarily my own) to discrimination being only the result of bigotry, wholesale and solely by unionists because it would only attract hotheads and is probably better dealt with in a separate article. I think it is clearer as it stood. --Strangelyb 11:27, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Sure. I see your point. Leave it as it is. --sony-youthtalk 12:07, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I changed it from Sony-youth's version because as I read it it seemed to imply that some Unionists, including David Trimble, had called NI a "cold house for Catholics". As far as I know, that is David Trimble's quote, taken from his Nobel speech, so it wouldn't be accurate to attribute it to the broader Unionist population. He said it, not Unionists. I was not trying to change the tone of the sentence. Martin 16:16, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Towns and villages, Places of interest and History sections.

I think these should be reworked.

The Towns and villages section is just a list. The Towns in Northern Ireland, Villages in Northern Ireland and List of places in Northern Ireland links should be moved to the See also section at the end, and the section removed.

The Places of interest section is again just a list. If the article is going to progress to a FA, lists are frowned upon. Some entries on the list are already covered elsewhere in the article, eg Mountains of Mourne and Lough Neagh. So there's no problem removing them. The sentences on them could be expanded though. Entries on the list that aren't covered elsewhere can be covered elsewhere.

And lastly the History section should be first as far as I know, ie after the lead. Thoughts? Stu ’Bout ye! 13:26, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Agree Astrotrain 13:27, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I've made most of the changes. Someone might want to have a quick scan to see if I've mucked anything up. I've left the Towns and villages sections for now, as it kinda ties in with the previous two sections. It should be replaced with text, rather than a list, but I'm not sure of the best format. Stu ’Bout ye! 15:56, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Maybe instead of having a "Places of Interest" section, we could consider a tourism section? That would cover many of the items mentioned in the list and would enable us to work them into the article as prose. Martin 16:27, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I've deleted the Places of interest section. The contents have either been moved to another section, Geography for example, or deleted as they were already mentioned elsewhere. Stu ’Bout ye! 16:37, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

POV and Ireland-related Articles

"Can we get away from questioning people's POV? I believe there have been some legitimate points raised on both sides, and these have not been addressed. Saying that people want to remove the Ulster Banner because they are Nationalists, or they want to keep it because they are Unionists is all very interesting I'm sure, but it has absolutely no bearing on the issue in question. Indeed, appeal to motive is a logical fallacy. Let's deal with the issues raised, instead of bickering about how POV everyone else is. Every single editor has a POV, but if we assume good faith and try to reach a consensus (and a consensus is more than the tyranny of the majority), it doesn't have to be to the determinant of the article. Martin 23:21, 25 February 2007 (UTC)"

I quote this above because the charge of "pov" is being thrown around like spaghetti at a wake. I ADMIT to having a pov; and also to accusing those who favour the 'status quo' of having a pov too. Which they manifestly have! For example; the majority 'vote' to accept option 'D' (no flag) is rejected because according one editor it is just a first step in an agenda to abolish the article on Northern Ireland. Clearly if we can't deal with the issues as presented but see perfectly reasonable claims/edits as part of some bigger agenda than ANYTHING can be questioned.

As my GOOD FAITH has been rubbished by several veteran contributors I will now take a ONE MONTH break from all issues relating to Irish naming disputes, including editing controversial articles, (bar Roads-related ones) in order to concentrate on what I feel I should be doing here. I will remain active and TRY to keep out of this - until 25th March 2007. Have a good time fighting folks! (If there is a VOTE on any of these issues I'll be back in a flash). Regards to all, and even to those who question my good faith - I don't question yours. (Sarah777 00:23, 26 February 2007 (UTC))

Ehh..what about religion?

Why do some articles on countries include a religion section and others not? Is this a matter of political correctness? More importantly, where is the section about Northern Ireland's religion? One of the main causes behind so much terrorism and "freedom - fighting" as the IRA would call it has occured is due to historical discrimination of Catholics in favor of Anglicans and to this day, Protestants and Catholics do not get along very well today. And no, I don't need to cite that fact, unless you've put a cardboard box on your heads every time BBC news came on from 1990's - 2000's .Tourskin 02:18, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually, you would need to give reference for that statement. But I'll help you by informing you that its patently incorrect. Obviously you have never lived in Northern Ireland. Also, you have a very simplistic view of history. -- Mal 01:00, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Point of detail - "Anglicans" should read Protestant. Only a minority of protestants are "Anglican", and these days "Anglicans" [Church of Ireland] are usually associated with the liberal wing of Unionism .

Northern Ireland law

Why is there no mention whatsoever in this article that Northern Ireland has its own legal system - Northern Ireland law - which is separate from English law (also applicable in Wales) or Scots law? I would have thought that that was rather fundamental information. -- Mais oui! 11:06, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Why not add it, if its sourced? Also, I removed an unsourced claim. Does anybody else have sourced material about how outsiders view the people of Northern Ireland? Thanks --Tom 12:58, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

City names in image descriptions

Why would the mural be listed as in 'Derry' when the city itself (where the mural is located) is 'officially' and 'really' Londonderry? Bo 18:07, 12 March 2007 (UTC)


Wikipedia policy is to refer to the city as Derry and the county as Londonderry.--padraig3uk 22:29, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
why is that ? Bo 01:03, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
See Derry-Londonderry name dispute it will explain it there.--padraig3uk 01:20, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the pointer! Bo 11:20, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
On 25 January 2007 Londonderry was said to be the official name. No further arguements should be made on this issue and wikipedia need to change their policy as it is now inaccurate!!

Straw poll of Republic of Ireland title change

I've opened a straw poll on support for a change to the title of the Republic of Ireland article and related articles. --sony-youthtalk 21:28, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


Leading text

  • Northern Ireland has been for many years the site of a violent and bitter ethno-political conflict between those claiming to represent Nationalists, who are predominantly Catholic, and those claiming to represent Unionists, who are predominantly Protestant.[4]

I think it would be better to write

  • Northern Ireland has been for many years the site of a violent and bitter ethno-political conflict, which is alternatively portrayed as being between those claiming to represent either Nationalists and Unionists, or Catholics and Protestants.

If we must use words like "claiming" (or portrayed) then I'd be happy with either version. What is important is that not just one side are represented as "claiming" anything unless the other is - the word may well be accurate but is definitely pejorative. (Sarah777 01:29, 24 March 2007 (UTC))

I read the original wording as both sides had people claiming to represent them, but I take your point. For many the conflict is blurred along the lines of religion or politics - is there a difference? --ZincBelief 11:12, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
The religious sect pf the conflicting parties is incidental, especially when the extremists on both sides have committed acts that are contrary to the tenets of the Christian faith and which have been condemned by the respective religious leaders. Nationalist happen to be of one sect and Unionists of the other, but the conflict is primarily an ethnic one. (Though the sectarian aspect is responsible for an apartheid education system that serves to preserve difference rather than reconciliation). It seems to me that the present text is the correct one and the proposed change is not accurate. --Red King 17:56, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Primarily political I would say; the issue of Unionist monopoly of power, discrimination in allocating jobs and houses etcetera. And the issue of British backing of the Unionist regime in Stormont which Nationalists wanted abolished. "Nationalists happen to be of one sect and Unionists of the other, but the conflict is primarily an ethnic one." Nationalism is a political position, not a ethnicity. Ditto Unionism. This was a political dispute, between Nationalists who were mainly Catholic and Unionists plus the British Government (who are mainly Protestant) on the other side. (Sarah777 18:12, 24 March 2007 (UTC))

Separation?

I heard on the news right now, that tonight, Great Britain will offically not rule Northen Ireleand any more. Any have any sources on that? AzaToth 06:45, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

The NI Assembly has been reactivated if that's what you mean. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6493691.stm Watch this space, as they say. --Guinnog 07:06, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Given history, I'd say give it a week, two at the outside. Maybe we'll all be surprised and maybe the Danish Air Force will turn up. Ben W Bell talk 07:19, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
i always wondered what the D in DUP stood for </joke> --ZincBelief 09:23, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Well I stand corrected, it does indeed appear that the Danish Air Force has been invited to a display in Northern Ireland. I am shocked. Maybe there is a potential for a future after all. Ben W Bell talk 12:03, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Great Britain never ruled Northern Ireland to begin with AzaToth. --Mal 20:20, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Infobox flag straw poll

Hello fellow editors. A straw poll has opened today (27th March 2007) regarding the use of flags on the United Kingdom place infoboxes. There are several potential options to use, and would like as many contrubutors to vote on which we should decide upon. The straw poll is found here. If joining the debate, please keep a cool head and remain civil. We look forward to seeing you there. Jhamez84 11:39, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Huh! Looks like Westminster will overrule Stormont after all :) --sony-youthtalk 07:32, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, that's what the Unionist community wants, isn't it?! (Sarah777 08:10, 28 March 2007 (UTC))

Well the decision was that no flags be used in the infoboxs.--padraig3uk 22:11, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Not enough for consensus though. I still think the current usage, with the note that these are ex-symbols, is very non political. In so much as Northern Ireland has a flag, it is this. Northern Ireland only exists as a sporting country, and this is the flag it uses for sporting events. --ZincBelief 22:27, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
I think 23-5 qualifies as consensus. (Sarah777 23:01, 28 March 2007 (UTC))
Where did those numbers come from, A stands at 14 at the moment, a little behind D, 17. B has 1. It looks like a revert war to me still. Perhaps we can a situation where the Ulster banner only displays at weekends.--ZincBelief 23:32, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Look at the link in the first post of this topic section.--padraig3uk 23:34, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, seems I missed this poll. I was looking at the poll on this discussion page. Well I will miss the flag, I would love to have it on display at weekends in true comedy fashion though.--ZincBelief 11:04, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Such a poll has indeed been carried out, it was pointed to here and a consensus does indeed seem to have been reached in an overwhelming fashion. It's not my choice but time for them to go. Ben W Bell talk 07:18, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually looking at it again it would seem that the poll was for places only, and not for the actual country articles. Scotland, England and Wales still retain their flags. Ben W Bell talk 16:04, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Poops/Pop Ups

Someone replaced the entire NI article with the single word "poops"; that was reverted and then user User:Psyche825 reverted the whole article back to "poops" - 'using popups':

(Revert to revision 118424627 dated 2007-03-28 02:25:14 by 75.67.23.163 using popups)

How does this happen? (Sarah777 02:57, 28 March 2007 (UTC))

Protection Racket

The main article is now locked. Should we seek mediation or arbitration to resolve the dispute? Or is this an indication that one has already been chosen?--ZincBelief 14:30, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I asked that the article be protected at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. The admin has protected the current version, which is incorrect. The last status quo version (with the flag/crest in place) should have been protected. Stu ’Bout ye! 14:38, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Given that protection is not an endorsement of a current version I don't see why, but I shall have a read around to see what makes you think so.--ZincBelief 14:43, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
see The Wrong Version. Protection is an indication that there has been an Edit war, nothing more. -- zzuuzz(talk) 14:49, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm not saying he's endorsing it, but the status quo version has existed for over a year. Stu ’Bout ye! 14:51, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
No it hasn't this dispute has been going on for months, twice the vote was to remove the Ulster Banner but you just refuse to accept any decision you don't agree with.--padraig3uk 14:56, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

If you check the article history you'll see the flag/crest in the infobox for over a year. Maybe earlier, I haven't checked that far back. I'm not refusing to accept anything, no consensus, agreement or decision has been reached padraig. Stu ’Bout ye! 15:00, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

The question is how to resolve the dispute. --ZincBelief 15:16, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
We're going round in circles. Mediation or Arbcom I think. Stu ’Bout ye! 15:24, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
My vote would be Arbcom. It's not really terribly mediatable.--ZincBelief 15:27, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Mine too. I have a feeling Arbcom may reject it for not having been to mediation though. Stu ’Bout ye! 15:29, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Either, but you will find that NPOV and fact will win and the Ulster Banner will not be in the infobox, now stu if you want to propose that all the UK infoboxs are altered to include the Union Banner along with each national flag if one exists, then you are free to start that debate about the template, that seems to be your prefered option.--padraig3uk 15:35, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure you can predict an Arbcom decision. They'll probably want to make their own minds up. Again, the Union Flag represents the UK as a whole yes, but has specific official status in NI and represention of NI. The Union Flag isn't my preferred option by the way. Stu ’Bout ye! 15:47, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought it was, didn't you say in the debate on the vote that if the Ulster was removed then the Union Banner would have to replace it.--padraig3uk 15:54, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Bit confused about your wording? If the Ulster Banner is removed then the Union Flag will have to replace it. Stu ’Bout ye! 07:58, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I mixed that up abit, but you knew what I meant.--padraig3uk 08:47, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I think the block is fine. Current Status Quo (for 2 months) is no flag. The notion of a protection block being used to re-insert a PREVIOUS version is silly, and would imply the block favours one pov in the dispute. padraig3uk I confess I have no idea what you are trying to say either. (Sarah777 16:47, 6 April 2007 (UTC))

Arbcom's not going to resolve a content dispute for you. While it might hand out some suspensions and probations for general jackassery perpetrated during the dispute, they won't hand down a decision on which flag should go there. That's left up to the editors who actually work on the page. Mediation's a better bet. ShaleZero 16:50, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Request for Comment:Infobox

There is a dispute about whether or not the infobox should contain a flag.16:00, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Comment If there is no current flag, then no.-- Zleitzen(talk) 16:56, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I agree, if a country doesn't have a flag, we shouldn't create one. Definitely we should not put the union flag, that would be just divisive and inflammatory, considering the thousands of Irish people died in the Irish Potato Famine and all the brave heroes died in Easter Rebellion. WooyiTalk, Editor review 18:49, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

"brave heroes "? - surely you mean terrorists or are you just spouting a POV ?

If there is no flag for NI then there is no flag for NI. If there was one 35 years ago then that's when it was - 35 years ago. Normally this would mean that NI "simply has no flag" and so leaving it out of the infobox would be most appropriate. However, given the circumstances of the last 35 years, its hardly the case that NI "simply has no flag" - "simply" is a problem just for a start. It had a flag, the reasons why that flag is no longer official are legion, but like all other constituents in the UK, NI (in theory) can, and should, bear a flag, and it will probably again in time. Until then, the Ulster banner should be used in the infobox as a "former" flag, with specific dates, and the coat of arm displayed similarly. This is simply neutral and factual. However, to claim that the Ulster banner is currently the flag of NI would not be so.

Much more clear is that the Union Flag is not a flag of NI, it is the flag of the UK - to display it in the infobox as the flag of NI is unfactual and misleading. The union flag simply and plainly does not represent NI, it represents the state that NI is a constituent member of. --sony-youthtalk 22:18, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Sony, this space is for editors to comment in who have no previous interest in the article. --ZincBelief 13:14, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Comment Placing the flag in the infobox would be misleading in that other similar articles have current flags in the infobox. If, however, the flag has historical interest I would suggest it could be included elsewhere in the article as a former flag in the interest of compromise. Inseeisyou 12:58, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

It is already included in the main article.--padraig3uk 13:14, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Comment: If the flag stopped being official in 1972, then it should not appear in the infobox, but it should appear in a section. Current treatment of flags seems OK as it is now. Randroide 12:50, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Good point well made.--Vintagekits 12:57, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Comment: If the Union Banner is not an official flag any longer, don't use it in the infobox; if no official flag exists, don't use one at all. We note that the Union Jack is in fact the official overarching flag of the sovereign entity, yet like the Union Banner itself is a political PoV statement to many, so don't use it either, per WP:NPOV. Ergo use no flag, unless/until such time as N.I. has its own official flag again. The U.B. has historical significance, so use it in the article, clearly captioned as to its applicability, and link to Flag of Northern Ireland for further explanation with {{main}} (or otherwise). Pretty simple really. U.B. should not be used in icon form, e.g. in general lists/tables relating to countries, nor in individuals' infoboxes, for PoV reasons. But because it does have official saction for sporting purposes among sport governing bodies, ranging from football to snooker, and there is no cited evidence that this usage is perceived as a political statement (unlike general civic usage which Flag of Northern Ireland and reliable external sources say is a uniformly Unionist partisan message), it is appropriate to use the U.B. icon in tables and lists of sport stats/results (but not in players' infoboxes, since its use is only appropriate for their professional role as sportspeople representing N.I., not as a symbol for them as people in general, where it implies Unionism for many readers, an implication that in many cases will be factually incorrect.) The "Nationality" line of their infobox should simply read "[[Northern Ireland|Northern Irish]]", with no flag icon. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:15, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Obvious solution to flag issue

Wouldn't it be obvious to have the Union Flag in the flag space and above it saying Northern Ireland no longer has a flag of its own but is covered by the Union Flag as part of the UK, which is actually closest to the truth and has no bias.

Nope. Not consistent with the consensus or with the other UK countries. Someone said the new Assembly (incoming, hopefully) has a flag. If so, why not use that? (Sarah777 20:02, 6 April 2007 (UTC))

The Assembly is a divisive sectarian institution. It's logo would be offensive to the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland. Well ok, maybe just to me. A logo is not a flag though, we should wait until a flag appears if we are going to reject the ulster banner. --ZincBelief 20:13, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Wiki isnt a crystal ball - the assembly has a logo but who is to say that that doesnt become a flag or that it will be offensive. Actually I may have come up with a solution - each of the "home nations" could all have two flags the 1. UJ and 2. the country specific flag. eg. Scotland 1. UJ 2. Saltire, England 1. UJ 2. Sof St.G, Wales 1. UJ 2. S of St. D, NI 1. UJ 2. blank. comments--Vintagekits 20:23, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
There is no need to have two flags on each of the constituent countries each of them has a flag recognised by the government bar one Northern Ireland if there is going to be a flag in the infobox it should be the Union Flag. --Barryob entretien 20:31, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Its obvious that the Union Flag should be used, its the only flag at this stage that can be acceptable. --Cka4004 20:43, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
There is no obvious solution.--Vintagekits 20:45, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
With the lack of a National Flag then the Union Jack on its own is not correct as it is the flag of the UK as a whole, and it is not used in the other infoboxs, I see no reason why any flag is necessary, until such time if ever a new flag is decided on by the Assembly then leave things as they are.--padraig3uk 20:46, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

All the other countries in the UK have a flag, it is inconsistant for Wiki and the UK for not have a flag in the Info box. The Union Flag should be used. --Cka4004 21:30, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Correct, it is inconsistant, but using UJ as the flag would also be inconsistant as the other countries dont use the UJ.--Vintagekits 21:42, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Nope, use of the UJ is what would be inconsistent, the other countries in the UK have a 'local' flag. NI has none. Thus either leave the box blank, or if the Assembly has one use that. "The Assembly is a divisive sectarian institution." Well, its better than what went before the Banner was de-legalised - which was a divisive sectarian statelet with only one tribe in power. The "Ulster Banner" is also sectarian and (as we can see here) divisive. So let's use something without a history of association with sectarianism. BTW, I was under the impression that the Assembly was democratically elected by the people of NI under the format endorsed by ALL the people of Ireland in referenda AND by the UK Government, which Unionists hold so dear! (Sarah777 21:49, 6 April 2007 (UTC))
I think the problem is that the situation in NI simply IS inconsistent with the rest of the UK. Trying to use the UJ or an ancient flag as a substitute for a legal local flag is simply trying to invent consistency where there is none. The best solution (reflecting the current consensus) would be "no flag", obviously. Failing that maybe we could agree on the EU flag? Let's face it, it is much more attractive than either the UB or UJ and would adorn the article. Any takers? (Sarah777 21:56, 6 April 2007 (UTC))

The Union Flag is actually the flag which should be used because it's the only flag Northern Ireland has used since the 70s and is the only flag Northern Ireland uses to this day. Wikipedia can't use a predicted flag as it's part of Wiki policy that Wikipedia only displays what is fact at present, and the fact is at present that Northern Ireland no longer has a Home Country flag but still uses the Union Flag as being part of the UK. The Assembly logo is only a proposed logo and isn't even a flag. It seems very odd not having a flag as is more inconsistant not having a flag and would be more consistant using the Union Flag. As for consensus it's used as a tool to try to stop people changing the article away from how someone else wanted it so when someone changes something which seems wrong the person who liked it how it was before will tell them no you can't because you don't have consensus. If there are enough like minded editors trying to reach a consensus on a page they could agree on something which is completely wrong like that Northern Ireland is really governed by Dolphins, putting consensus between editors over what is actually fact is one of the major well known faults of Wikipedia. It seems to me and to many others that some people such as Sarah777 who hold pro-Nationalist views won't abide by the WP:NPOV because they won't accept anything less than making Northern Ireland seem like a shared sovereignty province between the UK and Republic of Ireland and so can't really be reasoned with nor will they ever completely abide by Wiki policies nor ever take a truely neutral POV and when they don't get their way they'll just find a sympathetic Administrator to protect the page with their edits in effect. In all it's almost impossible to keep this article just displaying the facts because there are too many Nationalists trying to make it look like Northern Ireland is in some way a part of the Republic of Ireland and it's high time we who just want the facts being told took this article back. 88.109.10.175 22:21, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Also on the stupid idea of using the EU flag instead I mean what is that? That's a ridiculous idea dreamt up as another way of desperately keeping the Union Flag off this article. I think you'll find Northern Ireland is more a part of the UK than the EU. This article is in serious risk of been seen as plain stupid in that it gets to a point where the article is just not in touch with reality anymore. 88.109.10.175 22:25, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Dear 8810910175, being anonymous you do have the advantage over me in relation to know form. However, it has been my contention (and still is) that there are certain anti-National editors who have problems with "facts" and who can't separate their politics from their pov, unlike myself. The relative consistency of "no flag" and "UJ" has been judged by the community and "no flag" is found to be more consistent. Also where is the 'No Personal Attacks' rule? Fortunately I'm exceptionally thick-skinned. I did not call on any Administrator, sympathetic or otherwise. And, I can assure you I am not as "stupid" as you appear to believe. I have proposed TWO compromise solutions today and both have been rejected by the minority who would frustrate the consensus position. (Sarah777 23:01, 6 April 2007 (UTC))

Sarah, in a choice between using the Ulster Banner and not using the Ulster Banner, not using the Ulster Banner is not a compromise - at least no moreso than keeping the flag with the addition of a notice below stating it is no longer official, which I believe was there until the recent edit war. Also, our anonymous friend above did not tell you you were stupid, he said you had a stupid idea re the EU flag. While he's not far off the money, although disingenuous might been a better term than stupid. You may have been being sincere with the Assembly "flag" but the Assembly does not have a flag, just a corporate logo. There's a world of difference. beano 23:30, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Disingenuous? (That is certainly a personal attack). But as we are at a complete impasse (not on the question of the UB, which is decided) but on "no flag" v. UJ (as to which is more 'consistent' with Scotland, England and Wales) then we need to think more broadly. It is stupid to try and apply the same solution to different problems just because one wishes the problems were the same! All I see here is endless repetition of the same statements from supporters of the UB and an inability to accept the will of the community - indeed an inability to accept that NI is different because the UB ceased to be a legal flag whereas the other countries have one. The reason being that in the other countries the flag is not a symbol of one half of the population - which is why the UK Government will not allow the UB as the legal flag in NI.
The fact that an error persisted for a year is no reason to keep it there. And the current situation represents the current consensus, fortunately. (Sarah777 02:31, 7 April 2007 (UTC))
I'd be interested in having some input from both "sides" of the debate. At the very least, if we can agree that we won't use the Ulster Banner, we might be able to get the protection lifted, and then we can carry on the discussion as to what to use. At the minute there are several different discussions going on at once, often at crossed purposes.
So, are there any strong objections to not using the Ulster Banner in the info box, and if there are, can you think of a way to compromise over the situation? We all might have to compromise for the good of the article, even if we're not 100% happy about it. The current state of affairs is highly detrimental, so let's sort it out. Martin 02:59, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Pages like Guadeloupe, Martinique or Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon have unofficial flags as well as flags that can best be described as corresponding to a legislative or executive body, since they are described as "region flags", and "region" is simply a very prosaic administrative term. Using the Assembly logo seems like a good idea, as it's as close as you can come to something official. But I think the Ulster Banner, since it is still used to represent Northern Ireland in sports, at least, should also be included. (This is important since foreigners unfamiliar with the flag are likely to encounter it in this context.) I suppose a good caption for that flag would be Official flag (1953-1972) with a footnote still sometimes used unofficially especially in sport and in Unionist communities. I don't think the Union Flag is a good idea, since that would be inflammatory for a part of the Northern Ireland population, to a much greater extent, I would presume, than the Ulster Banner. I would like to point out that the fact that the Union Flag is flown on some official occasions is not a conclusive argument that it should be included, since it appears to be used officially solely as a sort of symbol of royal authority or central government authority. In Canada, the Union Flag is officially the "Royal Flag" and has some limited uses in connection with the monarchy and also on occasions honouring past military action by Canada, since Canada fought under that flag as late as the Second World War, with it technically being considered a symbol of Canada rather than the UK. Of course, these uncommon official uses of the Royal Flag do not mean that it is ordinarily seen as a symbol of Canada. Like Northern Ireland, Canada was divided on the use of a symbol connected with Britain, and the Union Flag has seldom been seen since the mid-60s. In any case, I think appropriate capions can make it clear, if necessary, what the status of the various flags is. Joeldl 08:33, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Very good and constructive input Joeldl, you seems to have grasped many of the issue at hand pretty well, I have always said that a good compromise would be to use the Assembly logo and said that "why do we have you use a flag and not a logo" - the example you provide show that a logo can be used. You also seem to recognise the issue with the UB and the UJ.--Vintagekits 11:05, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
I have a "strong objection" to not using the UB in the absence of a better alternative. I 'recognise' the issue with the UB, however it doesn't change the fact that it is the only symbol/flag that is used to represent Northern Ireland in pretty much any sense. It may not be officially proscribed by law, but it is undoubtedly the most widely used/widely recognised symbol. I'm sure FIFA/UEFA has already been referenced above and likewise the Commonwealth games (2 of the few events in which Northern Ireland competes as a distinct entity from both Ireland and the UK/GB. See also Britannica entry. Flags of the World talks of "the well known red-hand flag". While the World Atlas clearly says it's the "former government flag" and is "no longer official" they obviously felt it important enough to include under "Flag and symbols". By way of a compromise, I've no problem at all with a notice directly beneath the flag describing it as unofficial or former. beano 13:22, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
The issue of the Ulster Banner and coat of arms is addressed by their inclusion within the main article, they are of historical importance, the infobox is for the current offical national flag of which there is none. The discussion is now on wether the Union Banner is used or maybe the logo of the Assembly, I would prefer not to use either of these, the Union Banner is not exclusive to Northern Ireland and should only be used with a National flag which in this case none exists, the Assembly logo whilst a good compromise, would make the article seem as political, rather then as a general geopolitical area article.--padraig3uk 13:36, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
When you say that the Ulster Banner is "of historical importance", are you saying that it is no longer used or that it is no longer used officially? I gave some examples above in which unofficial flags have been included in infoboxes. Also, it seems the Ulster Banner is still used, albeit unofficially, by some Unionists and in the context of sports. This last point is particularly important for foreigners. The restrictions on its use can be addressed by an approriate caption and/or footnote. It's more useful to give people quick information about a symbol of Northern Ireland they're likely to see or have seen, than to remain silent on it. (For example, the current version of the infobox doesn't tell me that the Ulster Banner has been unofficial since 1972, but it does give me similarly detailed information about recognized languages.) As for the assembly logo, it is something of a problem that it's not a flag, but see Guadeloupe for example, where the "region logo" is more a symbol of the regional government than of Guadeloupe itself. Joeldl 14:17, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
The Current infobox states 'Northern Ireland has no current National Flag See: Northern Ireland flags issue', which sets out the whole issue, including the fact that the Ulster banner is not the offical flag and that no current National flag exists. When I say the Ulster Banner is of historical importance, I mean that it is part of the history of Northern Ireland, and for that reason should be mentioned within the main article as part of the political history of the state.--padraig3uk 14:48, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the infobox could also tell you to see an article Languages of Northern Ireland instead of giving you the essential information immediately and succinctly. As for "historical importance", presumably you mean "solely of historical importance", because otherwise the Union Flag could also be said to be of historical importance for the UK, as it is part of the history of the UK. That being the case, are you saying that it is not of non-historical importance because it is not now used, because it is not now used officially, or for some other reason? Joeldl 15:03, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
What he means is the use of the flag as the official flag of NI is historic, which it is, and therefore it shouldnt be in the info box which is understandable.--Vintagekits 15:10, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
If that is the argument, then it amounts to saying that an unofficial flag which nonetheless has significant use should not be in the infobox. But I gave a number of examples in which unofficial flags appear in infoboxes. (The caption Official flag (1953-1972) would be intended to explain in part its continuing unofficial use.) I also said that foreigners are likely to encounter the Ulster Banner as an unofficial symbol of Northern Ireland with some frequency. Perhaps somebody against the inclusion of the Ulster Banner could respond to these arguments. Joeldl 15:22, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Joeldl, it is very simple infoboxs are intended for displaying current info about the country, Language, population, capital etc, what it is not intended for is the displaying of a banner that has had no legal status for 35yrs, a flag that a large minority of the population regard as a symbol of sectarianism, the reason some foreigners have the impression that the UB still has some status is because certain sporting organisations and political groups still use it as a symbol, it is not surprising that in the divided nature of Northern Ireland that these same sporting organisations and political groups support comes mainly from within the Unionist Community.--padraig3uk 17:42, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

I think everyone can agree that there is no official flag. If everyone agrees to this, then the info box should reflect it, i.e. No Official Flag. Dose Wikipedia policies dictate that a flag has to be inserted, were no official flag exists? I would not think so. The article itself will explain the reason for this. Regards --Domer48 18:54, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think there is a policy one way or the other about including unofficial flags. But one thing that can be done is to examine practices, and in that respect there is some evidence that where no official flag exists, an unofficial one can be included in th infobox. That practice may not be universal, as I have not examined all the relevant pages. Certainly, the fact that the Ulster Banner is viewed by Nationalists as not being an inclusive symbol (a point conceded by all participants here, unless I'm mistaken) means that this case is peculiar. But then the question becomes whether to deal with that by removing the flag altogether or by providing an explanatory footnote. It may be that my vision is clouded by the fact that I know the flag primarily through sports, but the claim that the flag had solely historical significance seemed strange to me, since it is rare for such a flag to be used in international sports events. Joeldl 08:58, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
The problem with that point is that we should not dictate what flag is used for NI by some international sporting organisation when 1. the flag is not recognised in law and 2. the flag is not used by the two largest sporting organisation in NI - the GAA and IFA.--Vintagekits 10:42, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Just spotted your reply up above so I'll answer it here since you're repeating the inaccurate statement made above. The IFA fly the Ulster Banner as the Northern Ireland flag above Windsor Park at all international matches. I'll try and get a photograph at the next match in August if you really need one, but please stop denying their use of it. The GAA is irrelevant since they don't use any symbol for representation of Northern Ireland. beano 15:15, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Here is a link to the IFA website - not once is the UB used!--Vintagekits 15:43, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
What the hell has the IFA website got to do with it? You said the IFA didn't use the flag, not that they didn't use it on their website!! There's more to the world than the internet for crying out loud! The IFA may not use the flag on their website, but they do use the flag. beano 15:51, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
I found this link [8] with a summary of flag/anthem practices in various sports. It seems as though most federations either compete on an all-Ireland basis, or allow members to choose between Ireland and the UK. Strangely, cycling seems to be divided into pro-unionist and pro-nationalist federations. Apart from the Commonwealth Games, it seems as though only the soccer team competes internationally as "Northern Ireland" at all. These are the flags used for soccer (reported by the IFA): "Union Jack/N Ireland flag/Other[UEFA/FIFA]". I have no idea what "other" means, but maybe somebody here does. Maybe it means that the UEFA or FIFA flags are used, in which case that would be an excellent argument for saying that Northern Ireland didn't have a flag. Personally, though, I find it difficult to believe that FIFA would adopt a flag for Northern Ireland if the IFA itself had rejected it as sectarian. Joeldl 01:46, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
The FIFA or UEFA flag is flown depending on the governing body for the fixture in question. In practical terms I think this means UEFA for Euro (and possibly World Cup, though I'm not sure) qualifiers and FIFA for friendlies, but I stand to be corrected on the exact details. This, however, is in addition to the NI flag being flown in matches, not instead. beano 12:26, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think anyone is denying that the Ulster Banner is used by groups and individuals to represent Northern Ireland, and as such whether the IFA use it or not is irrelevant. It would only be relevant to the debate if some were contending that the Ulster Banner is never used by anyone, anywhere, ever. I see enough mindless thugs putting it up on lampposts at this time of year to know that it is still used by many. The IFA is not Wikipedia, and vice versa. The IFA do not have to follow Wikipedia rules and guidelines, and so whether they use the flag or not is a complete non sequitur. Martin 17:16, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Surely it's relevant when considering the argument that while the flag is not official, it is used to represent Northern Ireland (in most of the few sports where Northern Ireland is distinctly represented) and is therefore a de facto and/or unofficial flag. beano 18:51, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

And that information about its use by a number of sporting bodies can be placed in the main article, it dosen't qualify the flag a de facto status, nor does it justify putting it in the infobox.--padraig3uk 19:19, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Is that your opinion or is there some guideline somewhere about what constitutes de facto status? Recognition by sporting bodies and other encyclopaedias would seem like a good place to start. beano 11:01, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Article Should Remain Locked

Flag of Europe.svg

It is very clear that the article should not be unblocked as it will lead to an immediate resumption of an edit war. We really must look for a Third Way (as the British and NI Prime Minister would say!). I suggest (1) The Assembly logo; (2) failing agreement to that the EU flag, which I think no reasonable person can object to. Look at it - beautiful, is it not? (Sarah777 21:37, 7 April 2007 (UTC))

Sarah777, the EU Flag is not a option.--padraig3uk 21:50, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

And why not?? (Sarah777 22:00, 7 April 2007 (UTC))

What has a EU flag got to do with Northern Ireland, who is only a member of the EU through the UK.--padraig3uk 22:28, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
"What has a EU flag got to do with Northern Ireland, who is [] a member of the EU []." Is that not a tad oxymoronic? You make my case!(Sarah777 23:02, 7 April 2007 (UTC))
Flag of the United Nations.svg
Sarah777, why not suggest the UN Flag as well, Northern Ireland is not a seperate member of the EU in its own right, its membership comes through the UK as a whole.--padraig3uk 23:13, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes P, you have already said that. The UN Flag suggestion is worth considering though. Perhaps very appropriate in the circumstances. And IT'S nicer than the local flags too! (Sarah777 23:35, 7 April 2007 (UTC))

And why is either the EU or UN flag a better choice than the Union Flag? Martin 00:27, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

They are clearly more inclusive. Thus more representative of the NI population as a whole. Obviously. (Sarah777 01:36, 8 April 2007 (UTC))
We're not here to be inclusive though. What if I were a euro-skeptic, and so resented the use of the EU flag? Would that be grounds for not using it? Martin 03:50, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
The Union Flag is inclusive and covers the entirety of the NI poulation. NI is part of the UK. Some may not like it but this is the simple truth of it. Ben W Bell talk 10:45, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
So is the EU flag and the UN flag - howeer none of the three specifically represent NI and therefore should not be in the info box.--Vintagekits 10:50, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Well it's arguable that the UK one is as it's a direct flag of the country and state of the UK, but we all know the arguments for and against this and I wasn't suggesting we necessarily use it, just pointing out that the UK flag is inclusive of the people in NI. Ben W Bell talk 10:55, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm failing to see any way out of this. We seem to be in an irresistible force/immovable object situation. All "third ways" are rejected by BOTH sides. Never thought I'd agree with DJEgan, but this IS very very silly and I occasionally regret my part in starting it. I guess reacting to "abuse" without thinking FIRST is part of the problem. I still believe that "no flag" is the best solution - but I'm not going to go to war over it. (Sarah777 14:00, 8 April 2007 (UTC))
If there is going to be flag it can only be Union Flag as it is the only offical flag of the province as per the British Government however I see no wikipedia poliy indicating that there should be a flag in the infobox so I see nothing wrong with the current set up. --Barryob entretien 23:43, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
I love the page as is. Let it stay locked as long as it can. "Currently without a National Flag" is awesome. This is a little ridiculous, the EU? The UK? The UN? NI has no individual flag, hasn't for years. When they get around to designating one, put it up.--Patrick 18:35, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Flag of Northern Ireland.svg
Northern Ireland does have a flag. It has had a flag for years - its the Flag of Northern Ireland. Until a new flag of Northern Ireland has been designed and implemented, the current flag of Northern Ireland should be used to distinguish Northern Ireland from other regions. --Mal 19:02, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
This would be the "Flag of the Former Government of Northern Ireland (1953-1972)"? Under whose authority does it "have a flag"? Martin 19:24, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Under whose authority does Wales have a flag? Or Scotland? Or England even? The only flag that represents Northern Ireland, as a unique region, is the Flag of Northern Ireland. That the former government of Northern Ireland no longer exists (and therefore obviously cannot use the flag) is irrelevant. The flag of Northern Ireland represents Northern Ireland, ironically enough(!) To deny this fact is to enter a world of Newspeak. Just because any given fact may be undesirable or unpleasant to some, doesn't negate the fact that it remains a fact. --Mal 19:47, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Mal, the Ulster banner is not the flag of Northern Ireland, its use is POV.--padraig3uk 19:43, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Padraig, the Northern Ireland flag is indeed the flag of Northern Ireland. Its use is fact. --Mal 19:47, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Mal, if that is the case can you point out under which Law or statue of British Law it is under, because the British Government disolved the Northern Ireland House of Commons and its Flag in 1972/3.--padraig3uk 20:31, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Hi Mal, just because some people use it as the NI Flag (which is not in dispute), it doesn't mean that it *is* Northern Ireland's flag. Some people call the Westminster clock "Big Ben", but that doesn't mean that its name *is* Big Ben, does it? Martin 20:59, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Mal last year you state that the flag was defunct and unofficial on your self created User:Setanta747/Northern Ireland page, has the flags status changed with the year?. --Barryob Vigeur de dessus 06:13, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Location map caption

In country articles, the location map of this David Liuzzo design obtains a map caption (here simplified):

Location of X (orange)
on the European continent (white) — [Legend]

or

Location of X (orange)
- on the European continent (camel and white)
- in the European Union (camel) — [Legend]

The colours of the areas are further explained on a linked [Legend], which is specific for the EU (or maps without the 'camel' colour the Legend preserves for it) and cannot serve for Northern Ireland. In this case, the normal parameters for "map_caption" in the infobox, would not render a proper result either. I prepared a map_caption that exactly follows the syntax otherwise produced by the template, it renders this text when actually passed to the Infobox of the Northern Ireland article:

Europe location N-IRL.png
Location of  Northern Ireland  (orange) in, officially,

the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland
 (camel and orange respectively),
and of this UK on the European continent  (white)

In case this is found acceptable, copy [from this read-out screen, not from edit mode] this next part and paste it into the article in edit mode (when not protected) underneath the line: |image_map = Europe location N-IRL.png

|map_caption                 = <div style="text-align:center;font-size:11px;line-height:1.15em;"><!--
--><span style="font-size:11px;">Location of <span style="font-size:2px;">&#160;</span>[[Northern Ireland]] <!--
--><span style="font-size:2px;"><span style="white-space:nowrap;">&#160;</span></span>(<span style="font-size:9px;">orange</span>) <!--
-->in,&#160;officially,</span><p style="width:250px;font-size:11px;margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:0px;line-height:1.15em;">''the <!--
-->[[United Kingdom|United Kingdom of Great Britain and<br/>Northern Ireland]]'' <!--
--><span style="font-size:8px;"><span style="white-space:nowrap;">&#160;</span></span>(<span style="font-size:9px;">camel and <!--
-->orange respectively</span>),<br />and of this [[United Kingdom|UK]] on the [[Europe|European <!--
-->continent]] <span style="font-size:4px;"><span style="white-space:nowrap;">&#160;</span></span><!--
-->(<span style="font-size:9px;">white</span>)</p></div>

A simpeler "United Kingdom" would be possible, but here the official full name is more informative. Kind regards. — SomeHuman 8 Apr2007 22:48 (UTC)


Why is the European Union not included on the "location map"? (Sarah777 23:01, 8 April 2007 (UTC))

I suppose it would make it more difficult to tell the difference between the whole European Union and just the United Kingdom. « Keith t·e » 23:20, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
And Northern Ireland is not a member of the EU, the UK which includes Northern Ireland is the member and its article has the proper map caption. We do not specify the EU for subdivisions of EU members. Usually, such are not shown in a Europe map but rather in a map of the country anyway. — SomeHuman 9 Apr2007 11:41 (UTC)

Our wee country

NI used to be described by the BBC and others as 'the province', ( although nationalists thought that it was only part of a province, namely 'Ulster'!)

Now we get the likes of the 'Nolan Show' on BBC Ulster using the tern 'country' to describe NI. We even have a debate over the location of a 'National(sic) Stadium'.

When will unionists ever grow up and come to terms with the fact that NI is neither a 'province' nor a 'country' but just a part of the island of Ireland? Big Ian mentioned our two countries when he recently shook hands with the 'Irish Prime Minister' (sic),,,but then maybe he was referring to the UK and Ireland! Lughlamhfhada 09:56, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Northern Ireland is considered a province of the United Kingdom (England and Scotland are Kingdoms, Wales a Principality). « Keith t·e » 10:32, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
What Keith said!--Vintagekits 11:58, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
When they say province they mean a province of GB, not the Province of Ulster, Northern Ireland may be on the Island of Ireland, in the same way that Scotland is on the Island of Britian, it is a province of the UK, it has nothing todo with the Republic of Ireland, who it shares a land border with. --Cka4004 16:54, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Correct, they are referring to NI as a provience within the UK and not in its traditional sense of the provence of Ireland.--Vintagekits 17:04, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
You could technically refer to any of the constituent parts of the UK as provinces; NI seems to get referred to as a province because no one can think of a better description! :) Martin 23:49, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Thats true, but as it is not physically joining the rest of the UK it is more appropriate to call it province, rather than country due to the complex nature of the UK's construction. --Cka4004 20:09, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Northern Ireland is a country. It is no less a country than Wales, Scotland or San Marino. It is not only nationalists who nationalists think that it is part of the province of Ulster.
When will you ever grow up and come to terms with the fact that Northern Ireland is both a 'province' (of the UK) and a 'country', as well as being part of the island of Ireland?
By the way, I could equally attempt to correct you regarding your usage of the name "Ireland" in your sentence: "maybe he was referring to the UK and Ireland" - the UK is a country, but "Ireland" is merely an island.
Northern Ireland's physical connection to "the rest of the UK" has absolutely no bearing on its being described as either a country or a province Cka4004. --Mal 19:14, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
"By the way, I could equally attempt to correct you regarding your usage of the name "Ireland" in your sentence: "maybe he was referring to the UK and Ireland" - the UK is a country, but "Ireland" is merely an island."
That would be an interesting "attempt to correct" seeing that Ireland is a country; as per the Constitution of Ireland. I'd argue that the NI statelet clearly isn't though. More an "Entity", than a country or province.

(Sarah777 19:30, 11 April 2007 (UTC))

You obviously have comprehension problems Sarah777. I have not suggested that Ireland is not a country, but I have suggested that Ireland is an ambiguous term which could in fact refer to an island - not a country.
Northern Ireland began as a country, and remains a country to this day. It is every bit a province and a country as it is an "entity". --Mal 19:40, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I am not trying to dispute NI's status as a country, but simply trying to explain why it is somtimes known as the province in relation to the rest of the UK due to its status of being located on the Island of Ireland and not on the Island of Britain along side the other countries of the UK. Politically when I say Ireland I do of course mean Republic of Ireland. But culturally and in sport I refer to Ireland as one land, or island. --Cka4004 19:46, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

To be honest, I think the term 'Province' came about due to the re-shaping of the border back when it had been the issue. Presumably it was referred to as a province because it was intended, at one point, that the whole province be included as belonging to the northern government. I don't think its status as not being a part of the landmass of Britain has anything to do with it though.. otherwise we may well have called Shetland a province.
Whilst I cannot tell you what you should or should not refer to when using any given term, I'd like to point out to you that many people see the culture of Northern Ireland as being distinct from that of the Republic of Ireland, yet sharing much.. in the same way that it is distinct yet shares much with Scotland, and with England etc. Certainly many sporting bodies, including the IFA (and related bodies) and the NIJF (and related) define it as being distinct. Other bodies include the whole island. Still other sporting bodies include the whole of the British Isles. Some even consider Europe as being a single body. --Mal 19:56, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

"the UK is a country, but "Ireland" is merely an island. - Mal." So, you are saying that you didn't actually mean what you wrote? That style of writing would indeed cause comprehension difficulties! (Sarah777 23:24, 11 April 2007 (UTC))

I thought/hoped that the standard of debate over this issue would be thought provoking ...at least past 11+ standard, but sadly the apologists for unionism have yet again failed to deliver.

If you were born in Ireland you are Irish by nationality ( natare = to be born). You may claim Irish or British Citizenship ( or even both) of course ( see the Belfast Agreement) but this still leaves you Irish.

If Ireland is your country of birth ( north, south, east and west of Ireland) then it matters little whether you saw the first light of day north or south of the border.

Describing Northern Ireland as a country is to misuse the term, given that there is no such thing as a Northern Ireland 'nationality'. ( There is no Armagh nationality either of course!)

The fact that northern protestant unionists are Irish of course does not diminish their rights to claim British Citizenship nor should it diminish their loyality to the Crown.

What seems to me to be a pointless debate is the harping on an on ad nauseam about a flag for Norhtern Ireland or other trappings of 'nationhood', when the dogs in the street all know that this the stuff of dunderheads.

Big Ian in his speech in Dublin recently alluded to his Ulsterness and his Irishness. so maybe this bogeyman will soon be laid finally to rest! Lughlamhfhada 21:06, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

There are some who regard 65% of the province of Ulster as a "country". Just like Cork people really! (Sarah777 23:10, 12 April 2007 (UTC))
Now now! keep the box closed please!!!--Vintagekits 23:13, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Lugh, he also referred to "our two countries". That's some cheek you've got bemoaning the 11+ standard of debate and then proceeding directly to "If you were born in Ireland you are Irish by nationality" illustrating a fundamental lack of understanding of the problem. beano 11:09, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

10:32, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

What Keith said!--Vintagekits 11:58, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
When they say province they mean a province of GB, not the Province of Ulster, Northern Ireland may be on the Island of Ireland, in the same way that Scotland is on the Island of Britian, it is a province of the UK, it has nothing todo with the Republic of Ireland, who it shares a land border with. --Cka4004 16:54, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Correct, they are referring to NI as a provience within the UK and not in its traditional sense of the provence of Ireland.--Vintagekits 17:04, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
You could technically refer to any of the constituent parts of the UK as provinces; NI seems to get referred to as a province because no one can think of a better description! :) Martin 23:49, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Thats true, but as it is not physically joining the rest of the UK it is more appropriate to call it province, rather than country due to the complex nature of the UK's construction. --Cka4004 20:09, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Northern Ireland is a country. It is no less a country than Wales, Scotland or San Marino. It is not only nationalists who nationalists think that it is part of the province of Ulster.
When will you ever grow up and come to terms with the fact that Northern Ireland is both a 'province' (of the UK) and a 'country', as well as being part of the island of Ireland?
By the way, I could equally attempt to correct you regarding your usage of the name "Ireland" in your sentence: "maybe he was referring to the UK and Ireland" - the UK is a country, but "Ireland" is merely an island.
Northern Ireland's physical connection to "the rest of the UK" has absolutely no bearing on its being described as either a country or a province Cka4004. --Mal 19:14, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
"By the way, I could equally attempt to correct you regarding your usage of the name "Ireland" in your sentence: "maybe he was referring to the UK and Ireland" - the UK is a country, but "Ireland" is merely an island."
That would be an interesting "attempt to correct" seeing that Ireland is a country; as per the Constitution of Ireland. I'd argue that the NI statelet clearly isn't though. More an "Entity", than a country or province.

(Sarah777 19:30, 11 April 2007 (UTC))

You obviously have comprehension problems Sarah777. I have not suggested that Ireland is not a country, but I have suggested that Ireland is an ambiguous term which could in fact refer to an island - not a country.
Northern Ireland began as a country, and remains a country to this day. It is every bit a province and a country as it is an "entity". --Mal 19:40, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I am not trying to dispute NI's status as a country, but simply trying to explain why it is somtimes known as the province in relation to the rest of the UK due to its status of being located on the Island of Ireland and not on the Island of Britain along side the other countries of the UK. Politically when I say Ireland I do of course mean Republic of Ireland. But culturally and in sport I refer to Ireland as one land, or island. --Cka4004 19:46, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

To be honest, I think the term 'Province' came about due to the re-shaping of the border back when it had been the issue. Presumably it was referred to as a province because it was intended, at one point, that the whole province be included as belonging to the northern government. I don't think its status as not being a part of the landmass of Britain has anything to do with it though.. otherwise we may well have called Shetland a province.
Whilst I cannot tell you what you should or should not refer to when using any given term, I'd like to point out to you that many people see the culture of Northern Ireland as being distinct from that of the Republic of Ireland, yet sharing much.. in the same way that it is distinct yet shares much with Scotland, and with England etc. Certainly many sporting bodies, including the IFA (and related bodies) and the NIJF (and related) define it as being distinct. Other bodies include the whole island. Still other sporting bodies include the whole of the British Isles. Some even consider Europe as being a single body. --Mal 19:56, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

"the UK is a country, but "Ireland" is merely an island. - Mal." So, you are saying that you didn't actually mean what you wrote? That style of writing would indeed cause comprehension difficulties! (Sarah777 23:24, 11 April 2007 (UTC))

I thought/hoped that the standard of debate over this issue would be thought provoking ...at least past 11+ standard, but sadly the apologists for unionism have yet again failed to deliver.

If you were born in Ireland you are Irish by nationality ( natare = to be born). You may claim Irish or British Citizenship ( or even both) of course ( see the Belfast Agreement) but this still leaves you Irish.

If Ireland is your country of birth ( north, south, east and west of Ireland) then it matters little whether you saw the first light of day north or south of the border.

Describing Northern Ireland as a country is to misuse the term, given that there is no such thing as a Northern Ireland 'nationality'. ( There is no Armagh nationality either of course!)

The fact that northern protestant unionists are Irish of course does not diminish their rights to claim British Citizenship nor should it diminish their loyality to the Crown.

What seems to me to be a pointless debate is the harping on an on ad nauseam about a flag for Norhtern Ireland or other trappings of 'nationhood', when the dogs in the street all know that this the stuff of dunderheads.

Big Ian in his speech in Dublin recently alluded to his Ulsterness and his Irishness. so maybe this bogeyman will soon be laid finally to rest! Lughlamhfhada 21:06, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

There are some who regard 65% of the province of Ulster as a "country". Just like Cork people really! (Sarah777 23:10, 12 April 2007 (UTC))
Now now! keep the box closed please!!!--Vintagekits 23:13, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Lugh, he also referred to "our two countries". That's some cheek you've got bemoaning the 11+ standard of debate and then proceeding directly to "If you were born in Ireland you are Irish by nationality" illustrating a fundamental lack of understanding of the problem. beano 11:09, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, Beano should re-read my article, for he evidently is confused. It was Big Ian who said 'our two countries' not me! As regards my having a 'fundamental lack of understanding of the problem', maybe Beano will come back to debate this observation and what he terms the 'problem'?

Ireland has for a long time been partitioned ( see other examples like Cyprus or Kashmir). We therefore live under seperate jurisdictions or states, one being the UK and the other Ireland ( or the 'Republic of Ireland' as it is described). The six counties of Northern ireland which remain in the UK are of course still part of Ireland and the people who were born, lived or died there, are Irish by nationality and have a right to claim Irish, British ( or both) citizenship.( see Belfast Agreement).

They can't claim English or Scottish nationality because they were not born in these countries, nor can you claim English or Scottish citizenship because no such thing exists ( unfortunately!).

Nationality involves many things but in order to advance this debate I would like to raise the question of the use ( or misuse) of the term 'mainland'.

The 'Isle of Wight' is an English island and county, off the southern English coast, to the south of the county of Hampshire.' It is taken for granted that if one is born in the 'Isle of Wight' that England is the your 'mainland'. Of course England has become part of a larger political entity, the UK and the EU. We could envisage someone born on this island referring to either of these larger entities as 'the mainland', but I would suggest that this is improbable.

if you visit 'Rathlin island' you will notice that the islanders refer to the island of Ireland as the mainland. Go down to the harbour and ask a boatman to bring you to the mainland and you will be brought to north Antrim not the west of Scotland to to mainland Britain( sic). It is therefore rediculous, if somewhat amusing, to hear some presumably insecure or confused unionist referring to Great Britain as the 'mainland' instead of his own country, 'Ireland'. Lughlamhfhada 11:10, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Someone has screwed up this section. Lots of repetition of the cut'n'paste sort. Lughlamhfhada - you are the prime suspect! "The Mainland", from a Dublin perspective - if it isn't where we are already are then it's that place where Paris and Brussels are located. (Sarah777 15:50, 22 April 2007 (UTC))

What's more, this section appears to be entirely a political troll. What constructive points relevant to the article are actually mentioned here? I don't see the point of it. --ZincBelief 16:01, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, what is the point of anything? But is this the place to engage in philosophical debate? Surely we should stick to the subject, which is....Our Wee Country. And 'troll' is such negative word, Zinc. (Sarah777 16:13, 22 April 2007 (UTC))

Edit request

{{Editprotected}}

Flag of Northern Ireland.svg

This article contains incorrect and misleading information. In its infobox at the top of the article, it is claimed that Northern Ireland is "Currently without a National Flag". In actuality, the country does have a flag (as shown on the right), so this statement is in error. Equally, the countries England, Scotland and Wales can be said to currently be without a national flag. All countries however, also share the national flag known as the Union Jack. This renders the current statement in the infobox completely inaccurate and, in fact, a nonsense.

The protection template states: "This page is currently protected from editing until disputes have been resolved. Protection is not an endorsement of the current version (protection log)." However, clearly the current setup is completely in support of the few who have a particular political agenda (as opposed to respecting the de facto situation), and the previous edit protection states also supported this particular point of view. No edit protection freezes I have witnessed have frozen the article the way it had stood for the longest uninterrupted period - that the Flag of Northern Ireland was included in the infobox.

Further, the disputed issue was in regard to the Flag of Northern Ireland, but it appears that someone has also removed the coat of arms, which had not been in dispute.

Either some other edit should be made which presents a correct picture regarding the issue, as opposed to a completely false suggestion, or the flag of Northern Ireland that had been part of the article for the longest time (barring a couple of interruptions) should be restored forthwith.

It is a ridiculous state of affairs that an encyclopedia presents incorrect information to its readers. --Mal 19:37, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Disagree with Edit Request - The coat of Arms and the Ulster Banner are in dispute, as both ceased to be used 35yrs ago, the Flag is not offical, and under UK law has no status.--padraig3uk 19:41, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

However Padraig, the Ulster Banner is the best known symbol as a flag to represent NI at present, and is seen across hundreds of Wiki pages as a symbol to show a person from Northern Ireland's nationality, or the location of a number of different artifacts and places of world stature. such as on the page of [[Ikea ]] in their list of stores section. --Cka4004 19:49, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Well that must make it offical then if ikea have it on their page, not. We will ignore the fact that Northern Ireland is under British Rule and according to the British government and British law the Ulster Banner has no status, can't be flow from any Government buildings.--padraig3uk 20:10, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Mal, do you have any references showing the Ulster Banner to be Northern Ireland's "national" flag? I can provide references that it isn't, and have done so several times. I have every respect for you as an editor Mal, but I strongly resent your accusation that I have a "particular political agenda". Please be careful with your words.
Having said this, I agree that that text should be removed; it just looks bad and out of place more than anything else. Martin 21:01, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Agree (with edit request): The page should at least be edited to remove <big>[[Northern Ireland flags issue|Currently without a National Flag]]</big> from the infobox's native_name field. The flag field can just be left blank as it is now, but the phrase placed where it is is clearly a POV edit (why else the <big> tag? why put it in the native_name field?) and is the basis of one side of the current debate. Its presence there is likely to cause offence/more trouble/less likelihood of actually resolving this spat. Aside from that it also looks ugly and is unnecessary. --sony-youthtalk 21:07, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

This whole piece of code will have to be removed: <tr><td colspan="3" style="line-height:1.2em; text-align:center;"><big>[[Northern Ireland flags issue|Currently without a National Flag]]</big></td></tr> - disgraceful edit, whoever made it. --sony-youthtalk 21:11, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
The edit in question was added when User:Mysid replaced the infobox as the last edit on the 8th. Ben W Bell talk 21:13, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I see he is an administrator also, and made the edit after it was protected, that really is shocking. I fell like reporting him. --sony-youthtalk 21:17, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
If that is what you want then report away. He really shouldn't have edited it after the protection, but I believe he did it in good faith and with no malice intent. The edit he made would have been acceptable if he hadn't entered that text into the replaced infobox, the rest of it was just bring the article more in line with other country articles. Ben W Bell talk 21:42, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I see! - prob. just meant it as a signal that someone should put a flag in there - unfortunate in the circumstances. Still, it should be taken out to reflect the original state of the article at protection. --sony-youthtalk 22:42, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Disagree (with edit request), the current version is correct and adheres to WP:NPOV - at this moment, to add a flag would be POV.--Vintagekits 21:50, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I think the point is that the edit should not have been made while the article was under edit protection. Protection is not an endorsement of the current version and under Wikipedia rules the edit should not have been made, especially when it has altered a point on which the reason for the page being protected was based on in the first place. Ben W Bell talk 22:07, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Disagree (with edit request); what is being sought here is the effective restoration of the flag which was voted off the infobox. It is not the NI flag by decision of the British Government because it is a partisan offensive symbol of a sectarian regime scrapped 35 years ago. The attempt to introduce sectarian symbols to the NI article on the spurious basis that NI must have something simply because some other areas of the UK do - when the fact is that NI does not. (Sarah777 23:13, 11 April 2007 (UTC))
It was not voted off the infobox. No consensus has been reached Sarah. You may view the flag as sectarian and offensive, but that's entitrely your POV and nothing to do with this discussion. Stu ’Bout ye! 08:16, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

There does not seem to be clear consensus to make the edit. I have disabled the tag. If consensus does develop, please feel free to add the tag again. CMummert · talk 01:06, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Edit request 2

{{editprotected}} OK, my point for agreeing with the edit request seems to have been lost in the issue of restoring the flag or not. As a new edit request, I don't want to restore the flag, but to make an edit to remove <tr><td colspan="3" style="line-height:1.2em; text-align:center;"><big>[[Northern Ireland flags issue|Currently without a National Flag]]</big></td></tr> from the infobox's native_name field. This is the only edit I wish to make and should be seen as a seperate issue as to whether or not there should be a flag/coat of arms in the infobox. The code is an artificial insertion to the infobox, looks ugly and is unnecessary whether it is true or not. --sony-youthtalk 08:59, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Again I Disagree (with edit request), as there is no flag of NI there needs to be a clear direction in the infobox as to why. The current method is the best way of doing that imo.--Vintagekits 09:05, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Agree. If the article is to remain locked for the time being, then the current text should go. Stu ’Bout ye! 09:15, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment, I have no problem with a Admin removing the text in question from the infobox, as long as the protection is not removed, In fact if possible I would like to see the protection placed only on the infobox, with the rest of the article un-protected to allow editors to edit it..--padraig3uk 09:37, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment, I could remove it but I feel that I shouldn't as I've been involved in discussions on this page and I don't think it would be non-involved, unless there was a complete consensus on that point. Ben W Bell talk 11:19, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Rather than making statements directed towards an admin, you will have to discuss the issue with the other involved editors to find any consensus. Since this text seems to be part of the dispute for which the page was protected, I don't believe it would be appropriate to change it until the dispute is resolved. This is not an endorsement of the current content; it's a general policy to minimize the amount of editing done to protected pages. CMummert · talk 13:32, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

The substance of the text IS the substance of the dispute - however, it was added AFTER the page was protected by a 3rd party. I don't think that any of the editors involved in the dispute would have thought it okay to put "CURRENTLY WITHOUT A NATIONAL FLAG" in big letters (literally, using the <BIG> tag) in the infobox. Could we just have it back to how it was at the time of being protected? --sony-youthtalk 13:41, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I have requested that editor who changed the infobox to remove that part; let's wait to see if that editor is willing to do so. CMummert · talk 14:00, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Cool. Best idea all round. --sony-youthtalk 14:04, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Actually imo the current version is the correct version as per the discussion and concensus on the talk page.--Vintagekits 14:10, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
The version at being protected still has this text: "Northern Ireland has no current National Flag See: Northern Ireland flags issue" - just no in a more respectable font size. --sony-youthtalk 15:05, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
The infobox has now been reverted to the version of what was there when the article was protected, is everyone happy with that.? --padraig3uk 15:19, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
For the timebeing yes, it will do until the wider issue is resolved. Stu ’Bout ye! 15:29, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
It looks like we made a mistake with the versions and that text had already been added when the article was protected, as a result the user who made the change didn't actually add in anything, it just appeared a bit more pronounced. I apologise for my involvement in this mistake, the text was added in earlier and wasn't anything to do with the altering admin. Ben W Bell talk 16:44, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Solution

Now that the issue above is sorted can we now find a solution, so that we can have the article un-protected and we can get on with improving the article.--padraig3uk 15:35, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure how we are going to arrive at a solution. There are valid arguments for and against each of the possible outcomes, namely using the Ulster Banner with an explanation of its status below the flag, using the Union Flag also with some kind of explanation below, or using nothing. We've all made our points time and time again, and I don't see that anything new has been added in a while. If, as it as been been suggested, that this is unmediatable and Arbcom will reject it as a content dispute, where do we go from here? Stu ’Bout ye! 15:50, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Well any option that includes having the Ulster Banner in the infobox is not going to work, as it is POV. I don't see any valid reason for using the Union Banner unless it was agreed that it is used in the England, Scotland and Welsh infoboxes as well, along with their National Flags, with N Ireland being blank, and I can't seeing concensus being agreed on that. So the only option I see working is to leave things as they are, with or without the current wording.--padraig3uk 15:59, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I could state the arguments against your two points again Padraig, but as I said before they've already been made ad nauseam. Stu ’Bout ye! 16:03, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I say either the Ulster Banner (with explanatory text) or nothing at all (with explanatory text), as we have now. The Union Jack would seem to be the worst of both worlds. --Guinnog 16:49, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Short term fix

A possible short term fix may be

  • Create a template containing the infobox
  • Protect the template
  • Replace the existing infobox with the protected template
  • Unprotect the NI page

This approach does have flaws (eg removing the template), however the flags issue is horrendious and could last for years, while the rest of the article stagnates. It does require people to have a bit of sense(sic) and realise that the protected template is not to be altered. 86.12.249.63 17:19, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

The Current infobox is a template used just on this article, which could be protected to allow this to happen.--padraig3uk 18:01, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
It's not quite the same thing. The framework of the current infobox is a template, but the contents are added in dynamically from this article. I think the suggestion was to create a new template that contains all the content as well and lock the whole thing down. Would probably solve a lot of problems, but would move the arguments to a new talk page. Ben W Bell talk 18:07, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Ben, I created the template we are currently using Template:Infobox_UK_N-Ireland the flag and arms fields have been removed, and the message about the flag issue is set in the template, therefore it could be protected.--padraig3uk 18:12, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
That template doesn't have the content added into it, it's just a copy of the current dynamic template. We need one with all the contents and data put into it as well. Ben W Bell talk 18:15, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
The only disputed content is the Flag and coat of Arms, but if you want I could add the rest of the details into the template as well.--padraig3uk
The only disputed content is the Flag and coat of Arms and as that is on an external template, it is the only editable part of this article, let the edit war recommence!86.12.249.63 19:14, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Suggestions to new infobox


Currently, Northern Ireland has no national flag.
See Northern Ireland flags issue.

Northern Ireland  (English)
Tuaisceart Éireann  (Irish)
Norlin Airlann  (Ulster Scots)1
Location of Northern Ireland/Archive 5 (orange) – in Europe (tan & white) – in the United Kingdom (tan)
Location of Northern Ireland/Archive 5 (orange)

– in Europe (tan & white)
– in the United Kingdom (tan)

Capital
and largest city
Belfast
54°35.456′N 5°50.4′W / 54.590933°N 5.8400°W / 54.590933; -5.8400
Official languagesEnglish (de facto), Irish, Ulster Scots3
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
• Queen
Queen Elizabeth II
Tony Blair MP
office suspended
office suspended
Peter Hain MP
Establishment
1920
Area
• Total
13,843 km2 (5,345 sq mi)
Population
• 2004 estimate
1,710,300
• 2001 census
1,685,267
• Density
122/km2 (316.0/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2002 estimate
• Total
US$33.2 billion
• Per capita
US$19,603
CurrencyPound sterling (GBP)
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+1 (BST)
Calling code445
ISO 3166 codeGB-NIR
Internet TLD.uk4
  1. Norlin Airlann is a neologism which was not used by Scots speakers historically, but which has some official usage. The spelling Norn Iron is often used by indigenous speakers as an affectionate phonetic spelling to reflect local pronunciation.
  2. In common with the rest of Ireland.
  3. Officially recognised languages: Northern Ireland has no official language; the use of English has been established through precedent. Irish and Ulster Scots are officially recognised minority languages
  4. Also .eu, as part of the European Union. ISO 3166-1 is GB, but .gb is unused.
  5. +44 is always followed by 28 when calling landlines. The code is 028 within the UK and 048 from the Republic of Ireland

I am who suggested to User:Mysid change the template. Someone have created a Infobox only for Northern Ireland and it was redundant. I only changed from Template:Infobox UK N-Ireland to a general country Template:Infobox Country, without change nothing in content, as I made in others UK constituent countries (England, Wales and Scotland). So, I suggest to modify the Infobox here and in the future request to admin move to the article. Guilherme Paula 00:03, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Altered flag issue text.--padraig3uk 00:22, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Another suggestion for flag text. NI has a national flag, it's the UK's flag. What it is lacking is a regional flag or unique flag or a flag representing Northern Ireland as a distinct entity. I'm not sure what the best wording exactly is but to say it has no national flag is just incorrect. beano 10:52, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Beano the Union Banner is not a national flag, it represents a Union of Different Nations, each of which has its own National Flag, except Northern Ireland.--padraig3uk 10:57, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
That's highly POV. Aside from the fact that I'm not sure the English flag has any legal standing (I stand to be corrected) getting into the definitions of nation is a grey area. The UK is in the United Nations though, so it's fairly reasonable to say its a nation. Besides, if your argument that NI is not a nation was accepted, why would there be a need to say there was no national flag? beano 10:58, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Is Northern Ireland a nation? I'm not sure of the definition, but I presume looking at the united nations, that it is not a nation, it is a region within a nation with finite political autonomy. NI has no regional flag, or no official regional flag. Semantics ahoy.--ZincBelief 11:01, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
No Northern Ireland is not a Nation but England, Scotland and Wales are, therefore the Union Banner represents them all as a Union, including Northern Ireland, each of them has its own National Flag, Northern Ireland dosent.--padraig3uk 11:15, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps an example could be taken from the Ascension Islands who also do not have an official flag of their own. --Cka4004 00:14, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Isnt that because its a BOT?--Vintagekits 00:23, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
We do not need a new infobox. The version that existed for years was fine until vintagekits and padraig3uk started their recent campaign to remove it. We should not change something just to suit the agenda of a highly vocal minority Jonto 00:20, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
"Minority" - like the same minoritiy that nationalists had for years in Derry!--Vintagekits 00:23, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Jonto, your right we should ignore facts and the law and allow a minority to promote their POV by including a un-offical flag in the infobox.--padraig3uk 07:11, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Just a question - the flag and arms were granted to the Government of NI, not to NI itself, correct? --sony-youthtalk 19:33, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Sony-youth, that is correct the flag ceased to be offical when the government was disolved, the coat of arms issue is different as they are in limbo status, and could be brought be back into offical use if a future NI government requested it.--padraig3uk 20:03, 14 April 2007 (UTC)


If their is no national flag, the info box should reflect this. Regards--Domer48 19:41, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Just passing by. On the whole I think it would be useful if editors here read WP:TIGERS. I would also remind padraig3uk to try and avoid sarcasm - it doesn't help your point. Just my two cents on the flag issue but you could always have an historical list of flags (ie the St. Patrick's cross whenever-whenever, The Standard of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1801-1922, Flag of the former Government of Northern Ireland 1953 -1972, [BTW, I don't pretend to know which flags should and shouldn't be included - this list is just an aid to discussion]). It could become a sprawling list of flags but since at this moment in time the devolved Northern has no offical flag it is an option. The other option is to go with the last offical flag and leave a note to say that it was the last offical flag and became unoffical at such & such a date.--Cailil 02:00, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
You say the 'other option' is to go with the last offical flag and leave a note to say that it was the last offical flag and became unoffical at such & such a date. This implies that you don't regard the favoured solution, no flag, as an option. Why? Regards (Sarah777 09:25, 15 April 2007 (UTC))
Sorry if my post is confusing. I actually agree with the flagless box decision, it makes the most sense. My above response is to the dispute about which flag to use. I should perhaps have added the caveat "If a flag is going to be used"--Cailil 12:24, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Ascension Island does not have its own flag or coat of arms. The Union Flag and Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom are used instead. The fact remains that the Ulster Banner is still the most widely recognised symbol of Northern Ireland across the world, and is still used across Wiki and world sport as a flag and symbol to represent Northern Ireland. --User:cka4004 12:55, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Thats becuase the Ascension Island is a British Overseas Territory.--Vintagekits 13:31, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

The Ascension Island has no flag because it simply has no national flag, that is all, just like Northern Ireland, and in its place the flag of the Union of the UK is used, just like in Northern Ireland. --Cka4004 15:33, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

88111203121, you raise a valid point. While organisations like FIFA use the Ulster Banner to represent NI it seems appropriate to use it in Wiki articles relating to soccer. But I was looking at the various categories associated with Mountains of Britain and Ireland and this sort of thing is fairly common:

I presume that the use of this emblem in Wiki projects should be stopped, as there is in fact no flag representing NI? (Sarah777 15:35, 15 April 2007 (UTC))

Yes, a number have been removed already and replaced with a map of NI--Vintagekits 15:39, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

By clicking on a map of NI, there are infact nearly 1000 or more pages in wiki that use the Ulster banner, as a flag to represent Northern Ireland, as a map of Northern Ireland has no official status at all I have changed some to a mini flag of the Union jack and simply writing Northern Ireland, UK. in replacement, as the Union Jack is the only offical flag for Northern Ireland. By the way 88.111.203.121 is me, I just hadn't logged on by Accident. However much people dislike it, until a replacement the Ulster Banner will be the best known symbol of Northern Ireland. This would appear to be reflected within Wiki as they use it all the time across so many pages. --Cka4004 15:52, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Fix this page please

{{editprotected}} Please fix this page it look terrible cant it just be protected ?? (Gnevin 22:07, 3 May 2007 (UTC))

That's not an edit request, and the article is already protected. What is it that you want to be changed? Issue another edit request once you know. Sandstein 06:04, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

A non-politically motivated alternative

I doubt this is a "non-political" alternative to the clear majority supporting "no flag", but if accepted it would of course mean that in the example I have supplied above the Ulster Banner would need to be replaced by the Union Jack. (Sarah777 15:40, 15 April 2007 (UTC))

NIShape.gif



Currently, Northern Ireland has no national flag.
See Northern Ireland flags issue.

Northern Ireland  (English)
Tuaisceart Éireann  (Irish)
Norlin Airlann  (Ulster Scots)1
Flag of Northern Ireland
Location of Northern Ireland/Archive 5 (orange) – in Europe (tan & white) – in the United Kingdom (tan)
Location of Northern Ireland/Archive 5 (orange)

– in Europe (tan & white)
– in the United Kingdom (tan)

Capital
and largest city
Belfast
54°35.456′N 5°50.4′W / 54.590933°N 5.8400°W / 54.590933; -5.8400
Official languagesEnglish (de facto), Irish, Ulster Scots3
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
• Queen
Queen Elizabeth II
Tony Blair MP
office suspended
office suspended
Peter Hain MP
Establishment
1920
Area
• Total
13,843 km2 (5,345 sq mi)
Population
• 2004 estimate
1,710,300
• 2001 census
1,685,267
• Density
122/km2 (316.0/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2002 estimate
• Total
US$33.2 billion
• Per capita
US$19,603
CurrencyPound sterling (GBP)
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+1 (BST)
Calling code445
ISO 3166 codeGB-NIR
Internet TLD.uk4
  1. Norlin Airlann is a neologism which was not used by Scots speakers historically, but which has some official usage. The spelling Norn Iron is often used by indigenous speakers as an affectionate phonetic spelling to reflect local pronunciation.
  2. In common with the rest of Ireland.
  3. Officially recognised languages: Northern Ireland has no official language; the use of English has been established through precedent. Irish and Ulster Scots are officially recognised minority languages
  4. Also .eu, as part of the European Union. ISO 3166-1 is GB, but .gb is unused.
  5. +44 is always followed by 28 when calling landlines. The code is 028 within the UK and 048 from the Republic of Ireland

Currently, Northern Ireland has no national flag.
See Northern Ireland flags issue.

Northern Ireland  (English)
Tuaisceart Éireann  (Irish)
Norlin Airlann  (Ulster Scots)1
Flag of Northern Ireland
Location of Northern Ireland/Archive 5 (orange) – in Europe (tan & white) – in the United Kingdom (tan)
Location of Northern Ireland/Archive 5 (orange)

– in Europe (tan & white)
– in the United Kingdom (tan)

Capital
and largest city
Belfast
54°35.456′N 5°50.4′W / 54.590933°N 5.8400°W / 54.590933; -5.8400
Official languagesEnglish (de facto), Irish, Ulster Scots3
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
• Queen
Queen Elizabeth II
Tony Blair MP
office suspended
office suspended
Peter Hain MP
Establishment
1920
Area
• Total
13,843 km2 (5,345 sq mi)
Population
• 2004 estimate
1,710,300
• 2001 census
1,685,267
• Density
122/km2 (316.0/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2002 estimate
• Total
US$33.2 billion
• Per capita
US$19,603
CurrencyPound sterling (GBP)
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+1 (BST)
Calling code445
ISO 3166 codeGB-NIR
Internet TLD.uk4
  1. Norlin Airlann is a neologism which was not used by Scots speakers historically, but which has some official usage. The spelling Norn Iron is often used by indigenous speakers as an affectionate phonetic spelling to reflect local pronunciation.
  2. In common with the rest of Ireland.
  3. Officially recognised languages: Northern Ireland has no official language; the use of English has been established through precedent. Irish and Ulster Scots are officially recognised minority languages
  4. Also .eu, as part of the European Union. ISO 3166-1 is GB, but .gb is unused.
  5. +44 is always followed by 28 when calling landlines. The code is 028 within the UK and 048 from the Republic of Ireland

Currently, Northern Ireland has no national flag.
See Northern Ireland flags issue.

Northern Ireland  (English)
Tuaisceart Éireann  (Irish)
Norlin Airlann  (Ulster Scots)1
Location of Northern Ireland/Archive 5 (orange) – in Europe (tan & white) – in the United Kingdom (tan)
Location of Northern Ireland/Archive 5 (orange)

– in Europe (tan & white)
– in the United Kingdom (tan)

Capital
and largest city
Belfast
54°35.456′N 5°50.4′W / 54.590933°N 5.8400°W / 54.590933; -5.8400
Official languagesEnglish (de facto), Irish, Ulster Scots3
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
• Queen
Queen Elizabeth II
Tony Blair MP
office suspended
office suspended
Peter Hain MP
Establishment
1920
Area
• Total
13,843 km2 (5,345 sq mi)
Population
• 2004 estimate
1,710,300
• 2001 census
1,685,267
• Density
122/km2 (316.0/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2002 estimate
• Total
US$33.2 billion
• Per capita
US$19,603
CurrencyPound sterling (GBP)
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+1 (BST)
Calling code445
ISO 3166 codeGB-NIR
Internet TLD.uk4
  1. Norlin Airlann is a neologism which was not used by Scots speakers historically, but which has some official usage. The spelling Norn Iron is often used by indigenous speakers as an affectionate phonetic spelling to reflect local pronunciation.
  2. In common with the rest of Ireland.
  3. Officially recognised languages: Northern Ireland has no official language; the use of English has been established through precedent. Irish and Ulster Scots are officially recognised minority languages
  4. Also .eu, as part of the European Union. ISO 3166-1 is GB, but .gb is unused.
  5. +44 is always followed by 28 when calling landlines. The code is 028 within the UK and 048 from the Republic of Ireland

Currently, Northern Ireland has no national flag.
See Northern Ireland flags issue.

Northern Ireland  (English)
Tuaisceart Éireann  (Irish)
Norlin Airlann  (Ulster Scots)1
UK Royal Coat of Arms of Northern Ireland
UK Royal Coat of Arms
Location of Northern Ireland/Archive 5 (orange) – in Europe (tan & white) – in the United Kingdom (tan)
Location of Northern Ireland/Archive 5 (orange)

– in Europe (tan & white)
– in the United Kingdom (tan)

Capital
and largest city
Belfast
54°35.456′N 5°50.4′W / 54.590933°N 5.8400°W / 54.590933; -5.8400
Official languagesEnglish (de facto), Irish, Ulster Scots3
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
• Queen
Queen Elizabeth II
Tony Blair MP
office suspended
office suspended
Peter Hain MP
Establishment
1920
Area
• Total
13,843 km2 (5,345 sq mi)
Population
• 2004 estimate
1,710,300
• 2001 census
1,685,267
• Density
122/km2 (316.0/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2002 estimate
• Total
US$33.2 billion
• Per capita
US$19,603
CurrencyPound sterling (GBP)
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+1 (BST)
Calling code445
ISO 3166 codeGB-NIR
Internet TLD.uk4
  1. Norlin Airlann is a neologism which was not used by Scots speakers historically, but which has some official usage. The spelling Norn Iron is often used by indigenous speakers as an affectionate phonetic spelling to reflect local pronunciation.
  2. In common with the rest of Ireland.
  3. Officially recognised languages: Northern Ireland has no official language; the use of English has been established through precedent. Irish and Ulster Scots are officially recognised minority languages
  4. Also .eu, as part of the European Union. ISO 3166-1 is GB, but .gb is unused.
  5. +44 is always followed by 28 when calling landlines. The code is 028 within the UK and 048 from the Republic of Ireland

As has been pointed out before the Union Banner represents England, Scotland, Wales and N Ireland as one Union, it dosent present then as individual parts.--padraig3uk 15:51, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Vintagekits suggested that I place of this version in a new context info box as an alternative to the one that has been used for years and and the we currently have as a place for people to view it, however if people cannot stand the sight of a Union Jack then simply dont look.--Cka4004 15:57, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Padriag the only flag that does repressent NI as an idividual part of the UK if the Ulster Banner, which is reflected across Wikipedia as the flag used to show Northern Ireland. The only offical flag of Northern Ireland, and the flag which in the Belfast Agreement all the major parties accepted the offical use of was the Union Jack, however reluctantly. --Cka4004 15:58, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Sarah, it is non-politically motivated as it is the Offical flag of the Country, any challenge to that status is for our politicians to decide. --Cka4004 16:00, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
We are going around in circles here and it has been explained on a number of occasions why the UJ shouldnt be used. Does the article for New York state have the US flag in the info box? Does the article for the Republic of Ireland have the EU flag in the info box? Doe the article for County Dublin have the Irish tricolor flag in the info box? No is the answer, although each of these flags represent the articles mentioned it does not specifically or solely represent the articles subject. The UJ represents NI as a consituant therefore should not be used in the info box.--Vintagekits 16:17, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
But is is widely disliked in Northern Ireland and a divisive symbol. More importantly, from the Wiki perspective, it isn't SPECIFIC to NI; and the function of the little flag-symbols (as shown above...where did the UB go???) is to distinguish the different bits of these Islands. The U Jack doesn't do that. My suggestion of the EU flag would be better as it lacks the divisiveness of the UJ. Failing that the UN flag! (Or maybe a white flag with a dove carrying a bit of a twig!). Padraig; I am in favour totally of "no flag" - just trying to see if there is ANYTHING we can (most of us) agree on. (Sarah777 16:21, 15 April 2007 (UTC))

Sarah, I understand what your saying, but we have been over this already. I have removed the second infobox from here it is not necessary for this discussion.--padraig3uk 17:08, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

If their is no national flag, the info box should reflect this. Regards--Domer48 17:27, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

I am sorry Paidrag, but the substance of this part of the article which I started requires the provision of a sample infobox to show my opinion on the situation, which everyone has their right to do. --Cka4004 18:12, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

In response to Vintagekits, Northern Ireland is not a county or city, and the Union Jack is the only official flag for the country, it has priority as the flag of the UK, but as NI has no national flag the Union Jack is the only official flag for Northern Ireland, as stated in the Belfast Agreement. For the info box to say NI has no flag is not true, especially when the rest of Wikipedia has been using and continues to use the Ulster Banner as a flag for Northern Ireland on almost 1000 different pages. --Cka4004 18:16, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

To state that "Northern Ireland is not a county or city" you are just ignoring the point I am making. We that the UJ is the flag of the UK and not the specific flag of NI.--Vintagekits 18:21, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Quoting Guilherme Paula from above in sub heading sugesting new info box. ' So, I suggest to modify the Infobox here and in the future request to admin move to the article. Guilherme Paula 00:03, 13 April 2007 (UTC)' --Cka4004 18:19, 15 April 2007 (UTC)


Cka4004, the reason why Guilherme Paula provided the code for the infobox is because of this Talk:Northern_Ireland#Short_term_fix discussion. It wasn't so that we could restart the whole discussion again fron last October, the concencus is to remove all flags from the infobox, the code was provided so that we could make it into a template and then request an admin to protect that template and place it on the article so that the article itself can be unprotected so that we can edit it.--padraig3uk 19:22, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Well why didnt Guilherme say that then? as when I read it, it is clear that the template is so we can edit it and then ask admin to upload our edited version if agreed upon to the main page. --Cka4004 19:36, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

The intended discussion here is to see if people are happy with the wording about the flag or wether we should remove the wording.--padraig3uk 19:45, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

For the several people who still care enough to follow this debate, for reference it might be useful to look at the Kosovo infobox which has no official flag. 86.156.2.227 22:27, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Padraig, this page is for discussion about any issue relating to the Northern Ireland page, and anyone can write anything they want about that issue. I have placed an alternative infobox to the one currently on the NI page, and will be contacting Admin shortly, in acordance with what Guilherme said in their above article, on this alternative infobox, showing the Official flag of Northern Ireland, not an Infobox which has no flag and is derogitory to the article and misleading to the public. --Cka4004 22:32, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

The Kosovo page is interesting however has nothing todo with the UK or her sister countries. --Cka4004 22:32, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

How about the other info box for an alternative? the NI outline looks well. --Cka4004 22:53, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Now that I have seen how well the small 6 counties of Northern Ireland looks on the pages I have seen, I think it would be a suitable logo for NI across Wikipedia and in the Infobox of the Northern Ireland page. --Cka4004 23:01, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Agree. The map looks good, and is clearly recognisable in both the Country Infobox and as the small symbol for NI in other articles. being it looks so well and appears so neutral I assume everybody on both sides will ridicule the idea!! I support the proposal to use the map. In fact the Assembly should probably adopt it as the new flag; set in an orange background! (Sarah777 00:06, 16 April 2007 (UTC))

Just to tell you: {{Infobox Country}} now supports a "text_flag" parameter, wherewith text can be displayed instead of an image. GracenotesT § 00:33, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, I heartily agree with the emerging consensus of using the infobox displaying the map, especially as everyone in the North are Irish and some do not identify with being part of the Union (though they can, of course, elect to have British citizenship, as well). gaillimhConas tá tú? 01:44, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
The problem I have with that image is that it protrays Northern Ireland as a island, not as part of Ireland.--padraig3uk 01:48, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
True enough. Perhaps we could use a map of Ireland with the North highlighted? gaillimhConas tá tú? 01:54, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Why does it have to show it as part of the entire island of Ireland? No reason to do so, it's not part of the same political entity. The Kosovo one that people refer to just shows the map of Kosovo, but not as part of Europe just on its own, so why can the NI one not be the same. I vote against using the entirety of Ireland with NI highlighted as the rest of the island is irrelevant to this particular part of the discussion, and vote for using the map of NI on its own as shown precedence by the Kosovo article. Ben W Bell talk 07:14, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
With regards to your reference about what has been done with the Kosovo article, it certainly has no relevant bearing on this situation, as the histories of each entity is different in immeasurable ways. As each person living in the North is Irish (no such thing as Northern citizenship now, is there?), it's only fitting that we display the six counties as part of Ireland, as a whole. gaillimhConas tá tú? 07:53, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Surely if you wanted to go down that route it would be much more relevant to show NI as part of the UK, not as part of Ireland, as people born in NI are British citizens (with the option of becoming Irish citizens) and are governed as part of the larger entity of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland? Surely due to these arguments just NI on its own is best. Ben W Bell talk 08:46, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Ben W Bell, the image dosen't have to show the entire island, but at least should show the surrounding counties on the border, showing Northern Ireland as if it was a seperate island is misleading.--padraig3uk 08:38, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
It's not misleading at all, why does it have to show other areas of the same landmass? The Kosovo article which people are using to support the map option doesn't show the surrounding countries but it doesn't seem to imply that it is an island on its own. It's an outline map of the area known as Northern Ireland, to show other countries on it would be more misleading. Ben W Bell talk 08:46, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I have added a different image showing the surrounding border counties.--padraig3uk 09:10, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think the image is trying to portray NI as an island, just it is a very nice image and looks very well when used as a small icon to represent NI across all pages in Wiki and in the infobox of the NI page. Gaillimh people in NI are not automatically Irish Citizens, they are however automatically British on the day their birth cirtificate is signed, as a child born in any other part of the UK. It is Irish citizenship that is optional, and people may chose to take it up or maybe chose both as many do, to enjoy the benifits of British Nationality while expressing a wish to enjoy Irish Citizenship as well .--Cka4004 14:42, 16 April 2007 (UTC)


I also support the proposal to use the green NI map as the logo for Northern Ireland on Wikipedia in the info box and as a logo in place of a flag for Northern Ireland to identify it from the other home nations. --Cka4004 14:46, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I like the map, and have a suggestion for the "island" problem - could you have two little black line showing tiny continuations of the coastline where it extends beyond NI's borders on both sides? Just to show this is not an island, but not obtrusive to show the whole of the island of Ireland (if that's the right expression). I only comment as I failed to recognise what it was at a first glance and thought it needed a little pointer that it wasn't an island, if you see what I mean. Just a suggestion. LeeG 22:08, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

How about this image Northern Ireland map - April 2007.png as an alternative.--padraig3uk 13:33, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Suggestion: full request for comment

OK, this may hurt sensitivities on all sides, but personally I don't see any way for the editors contributing to page to resolve the flag/no flag infobox issue alone (i.e. reach a consensus). Trenches have been dug and in fairness its too tight an issue for people close to the matter to call for themselves. I'm of the opinion that there is a case for both sides, but I would not like to be the one to have to call it, nor am I willing to do contribute to the debate for one side or another. What I suggest is that the contributers here put the matter to an international "jury" and put it to a full Request for Comment. Both (or three? UB/UF/no flag) sides should be able to put their cases forward in a fair manner then allow neutral contributors to judge what they would do. --sony-youthtalk 18:17, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I had, perhaps wrongly, thought that the NIShape.gif was possibly going to be an option, as it is suitable instead of the UB as an identification of Northern Ireland on Wikipedia such as when placed in an Infobox, or a User box etc like this,

--Cka4004 21:45, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree absolutely with Cka4004; on purely aesthetic grounds the NI map looks good: NIShape.gif. It does not show any other part of the UK or any other part of Ireland; it reflects the 'no flaf' majority - heck it's green and vaguely shamrockish. If the NI Unionist folk are happy with it I really can't see any objections. Surely what we want here is COMPROMISE, not victory? (Sarah777 22:23, 16 April 2007 (UTC))

I've largely kept out of this until now. I support the isolated map idea, as the least offensive compromise to both extremes - I've hears such things described as "equality of misery". I particularly support it as appropriate as an icon on the hundreds of infoboxes that currently have tiny UB that is almost indistinguishable from the St George Cross. --Red King 22:44, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Sarah has started a specific topic on this, at Question: is anyone really strongly opposed to NIShape.gif? below. --Red King 22:48, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Ark Poll is not an honest assessment of the demographics

The Ark poll states:

A plurality of the present-day population (40%) define themselves as Unionist, 22% as Nationalist and 35% define themselves as neither.

The survey was not an accurate analysis of the current views on Northern Ireland demographics relating to Nationalists & Unionists. The poll had a majority of 51% taking the poll who were Protestant, with only 37% who were catholic. To get a true and unbiased view on NI demographics, a poll should represent a 50/50 cut. The Ark poll, which is cited in the article gives a poor reflection of the actual true opinions on Northern Ireland demographics and shouldn't be used on the NI wiki page.If the poll was less biased, the result would be much closer. Previous Ark polls show bias towards Protestant populations as there has never been a Catholic majoritive or equality in an Ark polling, according to Ark's very own tech notes. Ark's survey notes --Jobjobjobtalk 20:53:17, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Jobjobjob wrongly neglects to remember that Northern Ireland is not solely composed of Catholics and Protestants. Any poll should represent as acurately as possible the demographoc of the population, whatever that might be.--ZincBelief 20:26, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

And while that is true, the population of Northern Ireland does not consist of 37% catholic/51% protestant. The count is closer to 44/53. And in the interest of this debate, the current issue revolves around catholics and protestants. And while I don't mind including the other groups, my point I was trying to highlight was that the poll was heavily in favour of the Protestant voice, while lessening the Catholic voice. It was not to neglect other groups. I think if you are going to state on a wiki entry a percentage of who claim unionism and nationalism, the survey should be more honest and not biased. Also, more information on the survey should of been released, as public opinion can change slightly from city to city. From example, If I was to conduct a survey in Derry which has a catholic majoritive, the outcome would be drastically different.

If we are going to specify public opinion, the statistics should be more widespread. I think for something as complex as the North should involve 10,000 people, with 2,000 from each major city with the percentage of the demographics of that said city being reflective in the poll. The current Ark survey is dishonest and should be removed from the wiki entry.--Jobjobjobtalk 21:44:00, 16 April 2007 (GMT)

The article states Northern Ireland has been for many years the site of a violent and bitter ethno-political conflict between those claiming to represent Nationalists, who are predominantly Catholic, and those claiming to represent Unionists, who are predominantly Protestant.. We clearly don't need equal numbers to verify this. I wonder what issue you are referring to?--ZincBelief 20:49, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I have already highlighted the inaccuracies. I have quoted it for the benefit of you in my initial entry. It states that 40% consider themselves Unionist, while 22% as nationalist. The survey conducted had a lower than average catholic count. In a survey that states who is and isn't a unionist or nationalist, the survey shoould be more honest in the percentage of catholics & protestants used for the survey. For example, I could survey 20 catholics from a city and 10 protestants - Would that give me an honest demographical stance for that city? Absolutely not. Which is what Ark's survey is doing.. The percentage of protestants compared to catholics used in the survey is not a true represenation of the percentage of protestants to catholics in the North, and thus isinaccurate and a dishonest estimate of the real demographics. .--Jobjobjobtalk 21:57:00, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

You have only highlighted your own innacuracies. What you are saying is patently bogus. If they know who is Catholic and what answers they give. If they know who is Protestant, and what answers they give ... well --ZincBelief 21:14, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I have not. How is it bogus to ask for a fair percentage in the survey? If the catholic represenation in the poll is less than the true catholic representation of the North, then the true number of those claiming a specific demographic (notably nationalism) will be less than it's true result. The survey favours the protestant opinion by lessening the catholic voice, using a less-than-average catholic surveyees. There are two possible surveys that can be taken. A 50/50 survey to get an honest assessment of both individual group's opinions for statisitical purposes and a true demographical survey, with correct percentages in the catholic and protestant people surveyed. Jobjobjob 21:19, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I take it when people say 'North' they mean Northern Ireland??, also just because somone is a catholic it doesn't mean they are a Nationalist, and just because they are a Protestant doesn't mean they are a Unionist, the poll by Ark, impartially and randomly selects people from across the country, it just happens that the last poll had more protestants than catholics, the next one may have more catholics than protestants, however a 50/50 poll would not reflect a true analysis of the NI people as not everyone is Catholic or Protestant. Unless people are hand picked, which would spoil the legitimacy of the poll, then there will probably never be a purely equal % to that of say census data to the demographics and opinions of the people in any poll. --Cka4004 21:43, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

"it just happens that the last poll had more protestants than catholics" - It just so happens that EVERY poll has had the catholic community outnumbered by protestants, always exceeding their demographical percentage. The reference backs up my claims. Not all protestants are unionist and not all catholics are nationalist - This is correct, but if we're going to get an honest evaluation of who's who - At least do an accurate poll instead of a protestant heavy poll. I reaffirm my original point and ask for that citation to be removed from the article as it is not an accurate demographical poll and shouldn't be treated as such. Jobjobjob 21:16, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Question: is anyone really strongly opposed to NIShape.gif?

Rather than seeking outside help, could we not agree (however imperfect) that this map is not a flag; that it neutrally represents NI without any reference to either the rest of the UK or Ireland - and adopt it as the NI symbol till (if) the Assembly come up with something different? Really is time to put this argument to bed! (Sarah777 22:36, 16 April 2007 (UTC))

I dont think that image should be used in the Infobox on this article, it is fine on other templates, but not on the main Northern Ireland article, as Northern Ireland is not a Island on its own but part of Ireland and the image should reflect that, the infobox looks better without it.--padraig3uk 22:48, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Padraig...you are only saying that now because you have the article locked with nothing in the box - your preferred option (and mine) while waiting for the tricolour! But on 23rd Feb when the UB was still in play you said:
  • We could use this NIShape.gif in the infobox, it illustrates Northern Ireland and is NPOV.--padraig3uk 13:20, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Come on - say you agree and put us out of our misery. (Sarah777 00:34, 18 April 2007 (UTC))
No objections whatsoever to the isolated NI map icon, I think it's a great compromise and deals solely with the shape of NI without bring the rest of the UK or Ireland into the equation. Ben W Bell talk 07:50, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Good compromise; works for me. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 09:24, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Not only am I not opposed to it but I think its brilliant, its a really nice image, clear and shows lough Neigh and the counties, its an image that promotes NI and looks really well when reduced down for use on the templates as a symbol for NI across Wikipedia instead of the UB which is being used in the majority of cases at present. This article is about Northern Ireland the Province, not about a Geographical part of the British Isles or its location on the Island of Ireland, that symbol is great!! --Cka4004 09:28, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I think its a good alternative and means that we can move on and start improving articles instead of fighting over this issue. Looking and the other editors (one usually opposed to my POV) who also think that it could be a compromise then I think that we could probably get a strong consensus.--Vintagekits 09:32, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I still think it's ridiculous to remove the flag in the first place and this makes Northern Ireland seem subordinate to the other Home Nations, but if it'll shut people up for a while go for it. I would still contend that there should be an explanation of the lack of a distinctive NI flag and link to the NI Flags Issue page as a minimum though. And I don't think it's right to remove the UB from infoboxes - the outline map looks stupid and out of place next to other countries' flags. beano 17:57, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
beano, that is because other countries have a flag, N Ireland dosen't, the alternative is not to display anything for N Ireland in templates or remove all flags from them.--padraig3uk 22:02, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
The draft infobox says Northern Ireland does not have a flag, see flags issue. The proposal would replace the Union flag and Royal coat of arms with this map image. --Red King 22:10, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
While I would prefer the six counties to be given some sense of scale and location, I am not at all opposed to the map that Sarah is suggesting. It appears to be an excellent temporary solution until the Assembly comes up with a flag (if they do) gaillimhConas tá tú? 02:21, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not opposed to using the map image on the infobox on this page. I'm bored of this argument. My feelings on people claiming consensus where there is none, and the reasons why either the UB and UF should be used are clear. But the "Northern Ireland has no current National Flag See: Northern Ireland flags issue" text should be removed from the infobox. If a newcomer looks at the article they'll wonder why it is there. As Beano says, using the map image on other infoboxes looks stupid. We need another alternative for those. Also, removing the Ulster Banner from Wikipedia entirely isn't an option - there are some places that its use is appropriate. Stu ’Bout ye! 08:24, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

The Northern Irish Flag is still used for offical sporting events like the World Cup Qualifying and Euro 2008 sanctioned by FIFA and UEFA so it has merit in this article as a representation of the province in that respect. Even though in 1972, when Stormont was removed as a governing body, the flag became unofficial, it has continued to be recognised as a symbol of Northern Ireland by international governing bodies and is de facto a representation of Northern Ireland and it's distinctiveness from the Republic of Ireland.
I think the graphic provides a good solution to this issue. A suggestion for the wording "Northern Ireland has no official flag (see Northern_Ireland_flags_issue), however this flag is used for some purposes."
I can't get the link to the flag to work but i'm suggesting a text link to the flag image. Trugster 18:36, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
If others are happy with using the map, I'll happily go along with it. This has gone on long enough and is starting to get old. Maybe then we can get back to editing the article! Martin 00:21, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
If we are going to go with this outline image can we at least make it a bit larger.--padraig3uk 00:29, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Trugster's wording - "Northern Ireland has no official flag (see Northern Ireland flags issue)". Stu ’Bout ye! 16:02, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't that wording be "Northern Ireland has no official regional flag - see: Northern Ireland flags issue" , now how about this image as an alternative.--padraig3uk 16:18, 23 April 2007 (UTC) Northern Ireland map - April 2007.png

I think everyone agreed to NIShape.gif, with yourself being the exception. --Cka4004 19:41, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Padraig, it will cause aggro because it shows NI in Ireland but not in the UK. Also, the green map looks like an emblem rather than just a map - which is the point surely? (And it looks much better; appearance is also important in a symbol to represent a group of people). (Sarah777 21:10, 24 April 2007 (UTC))

so are we agreed on using the NI Shape for now so that we can start editing the article?--Vintagekits 11:36, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Flag of Northern Ireland

Opposed. The green shape of Northern Ireland is not a flag. It doesn't compare to the flags of Scotland, England and Wales and, frankly, looks ridiculous in the proper flag's stead. The flag of Northern Ireland should not have been removed from the Northern Ireland article in the first place. The current infobox is completely inaccurate - it suggests that Northern Ireland doesn't have a flag! It does (see right). --Mal 09:16, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

  • OK then lets have a straw poll should the "Green shape of NI" be used or not.--Vintagekits 10:11, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Opposed, why use a green outline that shows Northern Ireland as a Island seperate from the rest of the country, when their are decent map images avalable that show it in its proper context.--padraig3uk 10:16, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Opposed. Why use a shape when a flag already exists? (see my oppose comment above) --Mal 11:20, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Opposed. While I have nothing against the image itself, playing down the widely recognised de facto flag just to suit the agenda of an extreme minority (who like to fill up a lot of space on this talk page)is no way to do anything. As long as the England, Scotland and Wales articles have their own flags in the infobox, the Northern Ireland should also have its flag in its infobox. There was also already a compromise on the flag issue and a relatively stable consensus after a previous edit war on this issue, and I will outline this in a new section below.Jonto 16:27, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Not Opposed, this is a logo to represent Northern Ireland on Wikipedia, not a location map. The green logo looks best on the pages it has already been used on. No one is debating the geographical location of physical attachments of the land. --Cka4004 18:02, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Not Opposed, obviously. The arguments made by Mal and those who claim the UB is the flag of NI on the one hand and Padraig on the other shows clearly that this is the only compromise in prospect between two positions that reject the new emblem from utterly irreconcilable positions. Seems to me that both sides are happier with the article locked than compromising. (Sarah777 23:21, 26 April 2007 (UTC))
  • Not opposed - The England, Scotland and Wales flags are all recognised by the UK government. The Ulster Banner is not.[9] [10] [11] No one has yet provided any authoritative sources that state that the Ulster Banner is NI's flag. Repeating "NI has a flag", mantra-like, does not make it so. FIFA are unable to decide what a country's flag is, for obvious reasons. That it enjoys de facto status among a section of society is not good enough. Using the outline of NI is recognisable and politically neutral. And what's more, according to the straw poll above, the "minority" who would rather not use the Ulster Banner are actually a majority. Martin 23:15, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Not opposed - It is not a flag, it is not an official emblem, but it has been used to represent NI on other Wikipedia pages. I also think it's a half-decent attempt at a compromise and likely to be the only one that can be agreed upon. I don't think we need to show it as a map that shows it as part of Ireland as the rest of Ireland is irrelevant to this particular part of the discussion. I also don't think it needs to be shown as part of the United Kingdom as I don't see it's necessary. We're just talking about NI here and no other countries/states/territories are relevant to that. Ben W Bell talk 06:37, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment - 4 to 3; in favour of 'not opposed' after two weeks. I assume that means everyone else have no view? In that case padraig3uk you could make it 5-2 (over the 70%) by simply reverting to your earlier position. You were the first to suggest we use it in the infobox! It is utterly ridiculous to have the NI article locked for - what - nearly a month now. PLEASE compromise and allow us to proceed. I don't wish to violate numerous NPA-type Wiki policies here Padraig, but I feel your position is unreasonably intransigent. I thought we could avoid outside mediation - looks like I'm wrong. (Sarah777 23:55, 28 April 2007 (UTC))
  • Apologies - I misread this; Trugston, Bastun, Vintagekits, Beano, Gaillimh and Stu have also agreed; so the vote stands at 10 - 3 (11 - 2 if Padraig would suppotr his own suggestion). (Sarah777 00:05, 29 April 2007 (UTC))
  • Comment I will agree to accept the concencus, although I think the other image would be a better option.--padraig3uk 00:20, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Not opposed - largely per the reasons outlined by Martin.--Vintagekits 00:02, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Comment - checked 'news' on Google; they illustrate the storey of the Loyalist UVF 'decommissioning' with the UB. The internationally recognised symbol of Loyalist terror groups obviously! (Sarah777 18:53, 3 May 2007 (UTC))
Reply: Catch yourself on Sarah, unless we're going to be consistent and refer to the tricolour and particularly the Flag of (the Irish province of) Ulster as 'symbols of republican terror groups'.
Can we start arguing over the colour of the symbol yet. Clearly the logo should be orange with a red hand of lough neagh, oh damn what a giveaway. This whole symbol argument is completely ridiculous. I refuse to vote over the sheer tragic stupidity of it. This is an encyclopedia, not a vendetta. --ZincBelief 13:04, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Changes to NI in the Irish states template

I have asked some questions regarding changes to Northern Ireland on the "Template:Irish states since 1171" template. They are posted on the talk page there. --sony-youthtalk 20:42, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Coming out of the discussion on talk page for the "Template:Irish states since 1171" template, a proposal has been made to create an article specifically about Northern Ireland as a state during the period 1921-72. This could be located at [[Northern Ireland (state, 1921-72)] or something along the same lines. I am in favour, as it another editor, but I would especially like to hear some Unionist perspective on this.
The amended template would run something like as follows:
... Irish Republic Flag of Ireland | Southern Ireland Flag of Lord Lieutenant | Northern Ireland Flag of Northern Ireland | Irish Free State Flag of Ireland ...
Specifically, I would like to know, if it would be suitable to add a new entry for Northern Ireland for post-1998, which presumably would link here (with no flag, I suppose, although I would be in favour of using the assembly logo in this specific case.) The reasoning for this is because that template is specifically for "states", which implies someform of self-governance. --sony-youthtalk 11:46, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
My initial thoughts are that it is over-complication. I realise there are several articles on the different states the Republic has has been, but Northern Ireland has basically been the same country/state/whatever since partition. The name has remained the same, only the form of government has changed. This can be covered in the history section I feel. Stu ’Bout ye! 13:03, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
I think it would be a lot better to do this as it would also help resolve the issue of the Ulster Banner as any Northern Ireland article could display the flag and coat of arms in a infobox without any complaint, and would deal with the politics and history of that period, it could also be tied into the election articles for the Northern Ireland House of Commons and senate, etc.--padraig3uk 13:39, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Still disagree. If the problem with including Northern Ireland in the Template:Irish states since 1171 template and the Irish states since 1171 article is that Northern Ireland hasn't been a state specifically for its entire history, then the template and article should be changed to omit "state". Or the text of the article/template changed in some way. The logical procession of this proposed change would be that there would be articles for Northern Ireland (state, 1921-72), Northern Ireland (1972-98) and Northern Ireland (1998-). Too confusing, and necessary. The state/country/region/province etc has always been called Northern Ireland, so there should be only one article. Stu ’Bout ye! 14:47, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Stu, if you have only one article then it shouldn't display the UB in the template as this is incorrect, also I see no reason why the political history of Northern Ireland can't be split into different articles such as Northern Ireland (1921-72), Northern Ireland (1972-98) and Northern Ireland (1998-) as each of these is worthy of it own article in what is a complex subject.--15:18, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Then the History of Northern Ireland article should be split, not the Northern Ireland article. And the new articles should be called History of Northern Ireland (1921-72) etc. But I don't see the need for that either. Stu ’Bout ye! 07:49, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I also disagree. If you want to talk about the political history of Northern Ireland then by all means knock yourself out, but this/they would be separate from the main Northern Ireland article and may be covered to some extent by the Northern Ireland Parliament / House of Commons articles. I don't believe that NI under different forms of government should be portrayed as separate states because I don't believe this is a factual representation. beano 02:12, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Beano, this has nothing to do with the Northern Ireland article nobody is suggesting changing it, this is to do with the political history of Northern Ireland, and the suggestion that we deal with that in three different periods 1921-72 as a devolved home rule government, 1972-98 under direct rule from Westminster and 1998-present as a Devolved Northern Ireland Assembly as seperate articles, and we alter the Template:Irish states since 1171 template to reflect this change.--padraig3uk 10:43, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Clarifier: I would certainly be opposed to the splitting of the main Northern Ireland article. To do so would be misleading and uninformative. The only thing I would support would be the creation of a new article about the 1921-72 NI state. Under no circumstances should the current NI article the abridged to facilitate this. Stu brings up a good point about the name. I think History of Northern Ireland (1921-72) is too borad, as it covers all history, but maybe I'm being too strict abou it. The name I suggested, however, could imply a difference in states between then and now - that should be avoided. --sony-youthpléigh 08:59, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Comment Just to clarify the situation here, this proposal has nothing to do with this the current Northern Ireland article, this matter is relating to the History of Northern Ireland, and the proposal that we split the history into three articles to cover the time periods 1921-72, 1972-98, 98-present. the only reason this discussion was placed here is that it effects the Template:Irish states since 1171 and it was felt this page would recieve more attention than the template talkpage so more editors would be made aware of the proposal to see if concencus could be agreed.--padraig3uk 09:24, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't even go that far. I wouldn't split any of the current articles, just create a new one. --sony-youthpléigh 09:38, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Whatever is the easiest way to do it, I don't mind which.--padraig3uk 09:46, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

No opposition to History of Northern Ireland (xxxx-xx), only to Northern Ireland (state, xx-xx) as the latter would be misleading. Stu ’Bout ye! 10:07, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Home rule in Northern Ireland 1921-73? --sony-youthpléigh 10:51, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
History of Northern Ireland 1921-72, or just Northern Ireland 1921-72 etc.--padraig3uk 11:54, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Southern Ireland

What's this Southern Ireland article about with Southern Ireland Flag of Lord Lieutenant?? This "state" co-existed in the same space and time as the Irish Republic/Free State, did it? How does that work?!!(Sarah777 21:20, 24 April 2007 (UTC))

Southern Ireland was the state the British tried to create with partition, the election in 1921 was supposed to be an election to this, but was regarded by Sinn Féin as an election to the second Dáil, the Southern Ireland House of Commons met only twice the first time only 5 members attended, and the second time to endorce the treaty, but only after this was already passed by Dáil Éireann first and was just a formality.--padraig3uk 22:39, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

So it was a state of mind rather than a state! Can we write an article on the sovereign state of Ruritania? I believe Groucho Marx was it's President sometime in the 1930s - seems to have rather more reality than "Southern Ireland"? (Sarah777 22:53, 24 April 2007 (UTC))

Well according to British constitutional law it existed, but under Irish constitutional law it didn't, either way it was replaced by the Irish Free State.--padraig3uk 23:03, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Southern Ireland existed and, regardless of its brevity, its importance to Irish and British history is notable.
FYI: There is an article on Ruritania. It was a fictional state and not an Irish one so it does not belong in the template. --sony-youthpléigh 08:07, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

When did it exist? And how could it co-exist in space and time with another state? (Sarah777 10:36, 25 April 2007 (UTC))

Sarah if you read the article it will explain when it existed, the fact is it did exist and is part of Ireland history, even if it wasn't recognised by the majority of people elected to it, I have also split this discussion off from the template debate above.--padraig3uk 11:26, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Sarah, take it to the Southern Ireland talk page. This page is for Northern Ireland. --sony-youthpléigh 11:31, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Nope folks, read the article. It clearly didn't exist - any more than Ruritania did. Therein lies the solution perhaps. As explained, it is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for two different states to co-exist in the same space and time. Therefore all counter-arguments fall. Self-evidently. (Sarah777 11:40, 25 April 2007 (UTC))

Are you still here? Go to Talk:Southern Ireland. --sony-youthpléigh 11:42, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes Sony, still here.
The amended template would run something like as follows:
... Irish Republic Flag of Ireland | Southern Ireland Flag of Lord Lieutenant | Northern Ireland Flag of Northern Ireland | Irish Free State Flag of Ireland ... [Sony, 20th April, on this page]
So it's part of the discussion, is it not? I would have trouble with any template including fictional states in the stream of Irish history. And please don't tell me to 'go away'. I'm sure that breaches several Wiki policies. (Sarah777 11:48, 25 April 2007 (UTC))
Sarah, it is not our purpose here to write out of history everything we may disagree with, Southern Ireland existed in law and that fact cannot be ignored, shall we also ignore the 1921 election that created it as well, the same election that Sinn Féin used to elect the Second Dáil.--padraig3uk 11:57, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Yet again, I will point out the obvious: it is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for two different states to co-exist in the same space and time. So, it didn't exist. The elections held were for the Second Dail, which formed immediately and was successor to the First. Unless you are saying that the decision of the elected representatives of the Irish people has no weight and that the Second Dail didn't exist? This is not 'wishing' anything; it is establishing fact and removing POV. "Southern Ireland" was a British legal fiction. Not a real state in any sense of the word. (Sarah777 12:04, 25 April 2007 (UTC))
Sarah the first and second Dáil, whilst recognised by the Irish people existed along side a British administration during the War of Independence. Now if you want to discuss this further take it to the Southern Ireland talkpage.--padraig3uk 12:21, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Padraig, the inclusion of a fictional state in any Ireland-related template is a matter of concern. I'm not sure the issues can be separated. If the two states existed ALONGSIDE one another then the 'stream' of states in the template is completely misleading. Also, I will categorise "Southern Ireland" under both "Short-Lived" and "Fictional" states until this issue is resolved. Regards (Sarah777 12:49, 25 April 2007 (UTC))

Misuse of templates

  • I have put forward a proposal here regarding the inappropriate use of Northern Ireland flag templates in WP.--padraig3uk 08:19, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Redesign of Irish States Template

I'm proposing a redesign of the "Irish states template", you can see my proposal at the talk page there. Please let me know what you think, good, bad, or indifferent - and also suggestion to improve it. --sony-youthpléigh 08:40, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

what about the civil rights movement!

The civil rights movement of the 1960s was an earthquake in the history of Northern Ireland. It represented the end of the Stormont regime, it led unintentionally to the Troubles and it was part of a worldwide movement (blacks in the US, the Paris spring, the czech uprising ...). Apparently not important enough to get into wikipedia history of Northern Ireland! That makes the entire article a joke. And as for the discussion page : thousands of words about the flag and yet not one comment about the dreadful history section!!!

Pmurnion 13:01, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Agree (esp. re: "thousands of words about the flag") sony-youthpléigh 15:07, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

edit request

{{editprotected}}

I'd like to to change the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in the infobox to Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, respectively. They just took their pledges of office.

Agreed! I'm sure if page protection was removed, to allow editing about the NI Assembly, people could agree to leave the infobox template wars alone? BastunBaStun not BaTsun 13:28, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
I can remove the page protection if people would like. Any objections? Ben W Bell talk 13:31, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

I think that either the page protection be removed or someone here hurry's up and updated the Assembly section, as we now have a First Minister along with a full working Assembly!

The page has now been unprotected. Oh and can people please sign their posts. Ben W Bell talk 13:48, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

It's still protected!!! Whats going on???

Its unprotected now. I've changed the infobox to include Paisley and McGuinness, made reference to the Assembly being restored in the main text, and changed reference #2 accordingly. BastunBaStun not BaTsun 13:59, 8 May 2007 (UTC) (PS - please sign your posts using four tildes).

Not done The page is no longer protected so any required changes can be made. Adambro 14:42, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

edit request

{{editprotected}}

The main article should be flagged with

and ideally included on the Wikipedia main page as a current event. Northern Ireland today formed a new power-sharing government, marking the large end to sectarian conflict that has affected Northern Ireland, Eire and Great Britain for 30 years.

Not done The page is no longer protected so any required changes can be made. Adambro 14:42, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Please don't put it on the main page, it'll just get trashed and require protection again.--Patrick 16:24, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

NI Assembly

I hope that this page will be updated asap as the Northern Ireland Assembly is up and running with a First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

Northern Ireland Assembly

The Rev. and Rt. Hon. Ian Paisley was made First Minister of Northern Ireland today. The Deputy First Minister is Martin McGuinneas.

As the legislative assembly is now up and running, it may be considered as well that the emblem of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland might be used in the fact box as the emblem for northern Ireland. It is the only officially recognised logo apart from the Union Flag and Royal Coat of Arms.Image:Northern Ireland Assembly logo.png

This proposal makes little sense...but then most of the proposals made in this site are of a similar nature! The LOGO is that of the NI Assembly not that of Northern Ireland. Why not have the logo of the PSNI or maybe the NI Gay Rights Association? But then I would suggest that whichever you should choose that you ask them for permission! We wouldn't want to break any copyright laws would we! Lughlamhfhada 21:40, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Lughlamhfhada, the LOGO is certainly a clean break with the past! I think an alien plant is a fitting symbol for the entity. And you are being a bit disingenuous by implying the RUC or Gay Rights logos are equivalent to the Assembly in terms of representing NI. The assembly is the ONLY body democratically representing NI; and was established by the all-Ireland democratically supported GFA. Certainly more legitimate that the British Government; never mind the Gay Rights etc. I support this suggestion. (Sarah777 08:20, 11 May 2007 (UTC))
I support it also. And want to back up Sarah's criticism of Lughlamhfhada comments above. --sony-youthpléigh 08:47, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Sarah for your interesting contribution. You state that "The assembly is the ONLY body democratically representing NI" and you evidently think that this sufficient reason for hijacking it for use in Wikipedia! I would ask you WHY? The National Assembly of Wales has a logo also ...why is it not used to represent Wales instead of the Welsh Flag? Please don't say it is because the Welsh have a flag! Where else in the world is the logo of a local assembly used to represent a political area? Why is a logo needed? As regards Sony-youth, perhaps he could expand on why he supports the use of the flax plant logo? I would also be grateful if he could expand on his comment 'And want to back up Sarah's criticism of Lughlamhfhada comments above.'

Lughlamhfhada 19:43, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

A comments such as "Why not have the logo of the PSNI or maybe the NI Gay Rights Association?" is unnecessarily provocative. Saying "This proposal makes little sense...but then most of the proposals made in this site are of a similar nature!" is uncivil and abusive towards your fellow editors. Sarah described your comments as disingenuous. I believe that to be the case. --sony-youthpléigh 21:00, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
User:Lughlamhfhada - are you now rejecting your own proposal? I was supporting it. (Sarah777 23:27, 11 May 2007 (UTC))

Dear Sarah, I'm confused! according to Sony-youth you think that my comments are 'disingenuous'. I thought that you gave your support to the idea 'that the emblem of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland might be used in the fact box as the emblem for northern Ireland.', a proposal which I found to make 'little sense'.I said that it would make equal sense hijacking the logo of the PSNI or the NIGRA. All these LOGOS are there to represent the various organizations, no more and no less! A flag is used usually to represent a country and thus we have Wales represented by the Welsh Flag (depicting a dragon). Sony-youth is evidently not used to 'Ulster plain speaking'! I have expressed my exasperation at the (low) standard of debate and the lack of basic knowledge/education of some of the participants....but this is not to take away from the right of these participants to join in debate and to receive a proper hearing, rather is it a 'plea' to the people involved not to 'mouth off' unless they can back up their argument with sensible reasons or examples. We all carry baggage from our past and hopefully we can learn from one another, be tolerant, understanding and forgiving. If we can try harder to understand the views of others, maybe our own views will become more rounded and less confrontational. Lughlamhfhada 10:54, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Regardless of any perceived merits of using the Assembly logo in this way, it would serve a decorative (not identificatory) role in this page's infobox as regards to its subject (the Assembly itself), and as such I don't really see how it can be acceptable as fair use. See WP:LOGO. --Kwekubo 11:18, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Apologies Lug. Obviously you didn't write the first paragraph above (just below the heading). It looked (and still does!) like you did. The original proposer must not have signed his name. While that made you contribution look a wee bit contradictory - well, you know what you said yourself about the standard of debate here! I thought you were making the proposal despite thinking it was nonsense. Stranger things have happened in the wacky world of Irish Wiki! (Sarah777 17:33, 12 May 2007 (UTC))

The Way Ahead?

If, please God, the devolved Assembly works out OK, surely the British Army can withdraw, and the post of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland can be abolished? I accept that we might need to give things a year or two to settle down, but surely these two objectives are valid? Millbanks 22:01, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

This talk page is for discussing improvements to the Northern Ireland article, not for general discussion about Northern Ireland. Feel free to discuss such topics in an appropriate forum elsewhere. --Kwekubo 22:09, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Flaura & Fauna

Doing research on natural history of Northern Ireland the first place I looked was here, only to find that there is quite literaly nothing. To see some articles added would be of great help.

Thanks

Try Ireland as the flora and fauna don't tend to worry about the border. If your research finds anything new, please add it and cite your sources. --Red King 19:47, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

The Irish Language [sic]

I have problems with the following statement; "Often the use of the Irish language in Northern Ireland has met with considerable suspicion from Unionists, who have associated it with the largely Catholic Republic of Ireland, and more recently, with the republican movement in Northern Ireland itself. Catholic areas of Belfast have road signs in Irish as they are in the Republic, viewed by some as a way to let Protestants know that they are not welcome". There are no references given by the author which would serve to back up these observations. I have a completely different view and feel that the writer of these less than fair comments is perhaps biased towards or ignorant of (or maybe both) the Gaelic language. Lughlamhfhada 19:00, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Then edit that section if you feel its wrong.--padraig3uk 19:26, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
There may be some elements of the suspicion that are true in there but it's pretty much unverifiable and opinion. See what you can come up with to fix it. Ben W Bell talk 06:42, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Yup, unsourced original research as it stands. Stu ’Bout ye! 07:53, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
A good resource to start might be here. (In browsing through it I especially enjoyed this: "In 1833, the Presbyterian General Assembly gave its teachers an introduction to Irish which it termed ‘our sweet and memorable mother tongue.’" And this: "[Using the Irish langauge to construct an anti-unionist ideology] was milestone in undermining the Irish language as a badge of identity common to both traditions in the country, and Hyde wrote in a private memoir that it had ‘put an end to my dream of using the language as a unifying bond to join all Irishmen together’") --sony-youthpléigh 08:39, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
There was also a edit made a couple of weeks ago which I had to revert because it was a copyvio, but it used an excellent resouce also: "The Irish Language in education in Northern Ireland". --sony-youthpléigh 08:51, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Prob the most (in)famous example might be [12] 86.12.249.63 20:05, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
William Bedell is a good example of the attitude of many Protestants in the past. Unfortunately the deliberate (and successful) English efforts to extinguish Gaelic culture through use of plantations (amongst many other measures) is well documented. Let us not fall for the classic Imperialist stance of "blaming the victims for resisting too much". As we see alive and well in much western establishment commentary on Palestine and Iraq at the moment. (Sarah777 22:30, 2 June 2007 (UTC))

United (sic) Ireland

Due to some comments on the United Ireland page, I thought it may be of interest to reproduce the discussion here. Hope it dos'nt offend anyone too much! Fergananim 19:23, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Ireland was united in 1014 a.d. by Brian Boru, high king of Ireland.FACT.

And it had a unified monarchy, High-Kingship, for centuries before that. Gold♣heart 18:45, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
The phrase "in the modern sense" is the weaselly part of that statement. "Modern" meaning what, exactly? 217.155.20.163 22:05, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Sadly for both himself and the Dal gCais, Brian achieved nothing of the sort. He directly controlled Thomond, was King of Munster, was allied with Hy-Many and Mide, but could never bring Ailech, Uladh or Lagin fully under his control. And that's not even to mention the kingdoms of Dublin, Waterford and Wexford.
Nor was the monarcy unified - its claimants and holders were from different dynasties all over the island - or in use for centuries before that. It only came into existence in the 9th century (circa 862, just over a century and a half before Clontarf. And I must point out - again - that none of the Ard Rí's from Máel Sechnaill mac Maíl Ruanaid (reigned 846-862) to Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair (1166-1198) ever ruled all Ireland. Their title simply meant that they were the most powerful king on an island of kings. Then, as now, there were political divisions among the states of the island.
The wiki section on High King of Ireland sums it up:
The concept of a high kingship was converted into political reality by the Uí Néill in 862 when Aed Finliath is styled in the annals as rí Érenn uile (king of all Ireland), but this was a personal kingship (my emphasis - Fergananim) to be won anew generation by generation rather than an impersonal office settled upon a lineage.
I find that not only with this sore subject, but other related ones, huge misunderstandings on crucial subjects in Irish history. And we all know where that has lead. Is mise, Fergananim 19:23, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
The debate about this subject whilst interesting is rather ethnocentric.

The Gaels (or the Scotti as they were termed in the Middle Ages) did not consider themselves 'Irish' or 'just Irish, rather did they consider themselves as belonging to an ethnic group 'the Gaels'( 'Scotti' in the Latin language) who had a common language and history.( Ireland, the Isle of Mann and most of modern day Scotland was considered to be their patrimony. Ríocht na nGael or 'Kingdom of the Gael'.) It is interesting that Brian Boru [sic] is not referred to in the 'Book of Armagh' as the 'Ard Ri' – that is, High-King – but rather he is declared "Emperatus Scottorum," or "Emperor of the Scots." It was the English speaking sons of former Palesmen ( Wolf Tone etc) who latched on to the 'United Ireland' bandwagon. This phenomenon was to be expected, given the earlier developments, notably in France regarding republicanism.

That modern nationalism should concentrate on the island of Ireland to the exclusion of the wider Gaeldom is a reflection of the decline of the Gaelic language and weak political influence exerted by Gaelic speaking people in our society. Eog1916 09:08, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Civil rights movement section on NI a vandalised mess

Could someone who knows the subject take a look at Civil rights movement#Civil rights movement in Northern Ireland as it is a vandalised mess. Which in a way is good because what's left if you just delete the vandalisms is a bunch of non-sequiturs. --88.97.11.54 11:13, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for mentioning that here. The article is now getting the attention of a couple new editors. The vandalism and nonsense have been cleanup out of the NI section, but it still is in need of a rewrite. ---Cathal 15:35, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Proposal for Flag Inclusion

Ok, while I recognize the various positions that lead to the consensus to remove all flags, the infobox suffers from the lack of one. So, my suggestion is, why not use a neutral unoffical flag? St. Patrick's Flag or the Ulster Flag, with specific notation that they are just regional flags... perhaps even a proposed flag with "Proposed Flag" under it? I'm aware that this debate is tired to most, but the top of page is very bland and completely lacking in any symbolism of Northern Ireland. -- MichiganCharms 04:57, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree, but it is actually in its own way quite a fitting symbol for the lack of unity on the ground in Northern Ireland that it is a territory without a flag acceptable to all. --John 05:04, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
The wording in the infobox needs changing though. It says Currently, Northern Ireland has no official national flag but the page it refers to states that The flag of the United Kingdom, the Union Flag or Union Jack, is the only official flag used in Northern Ireland. I suggest that the wording is replaced with The flag of the United Kingdom is the only official flag used in Northern Ireland. but that no image is shown or Image:Dummy flag.png is used as the flag. Bazza 09:19, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
@MichiganCharms, St Patricks flag is not a neutral alternative, this flag is only really used by the Church of Ireland, and is seen by many people as a British flag.
@Bazza, The wording could be changed to Currently, Northern Ireland has no official regional national flag which would reflect the situation at present.--padraig3uk 10:29, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Exactly, the Union Flag would not be suitable because it does not represent solely Northern Ireland but rather it represents Northern Ireland as a constituant much like all the States in USA are represented by the American flag or all the countries in Europe are represent by the EU flag.--Vintagekits 11:31, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Make your mind up - regional or national - you can't have both. Bazza 12:18, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I dont understand your comment.--Vintagekits 12:29, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
padraig3uk said above "The wording could be changed to Currently, Northern Ireland has no official regional national flag...". My point is that "regional national" doesn't make sense - it's either "regional" or "national". If the latter, then Northern Ireland flags issue says it's the Union Flag. Bazza 15:11, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
When dealing with the issue of a national in relation to the UF then the nation is the United Kingdom. The key word in the Northern Ireland flags issue article is "in" - "is the only official flag used in Northern Ireland" for "is the only official flag used for Northern Ireland". Northern Ireland has no specific flag to represent itself - that is the unavoidable issue.--Vintagekits 15:21, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Apart from the last sentence, what you've written there is far from clear. I've changed the wording in the article to reflect reality, including removing the unnecessary "currently" (Wikipedia should strive to always be current). Bazza 12:37, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Bazza I reverted your edit your There is no official flag for Northern Ireland is incorrect, the Union Flag is the only official flag currently. But the Union Flag represent NI as part of the UK, and therefore is not the regional National flag for which NI dosen't have one.--padraig3uk 12:46, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm confused by the "National" bit. NI does have an official national flag - it's the Union Flag, as described in Northern Ireland flags issue. If it has no official regional flag, then that's what the text should say. (And simply reverting an attempt to correct an inaccuracy without discussion first isn't very friendly.) Bazza 12:52, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
St. Patricks flag would not be appropriate. The wording as it is now is confusing and/or contradictary and/or inaccurate. But rewording it brings back up old issues, should we just go with the UK government line: "The union flag is the only official flag that represents Northern Ireland." If we do, then using the Union Flag in the info would seem like a logical progression. That might cause more trouble than its worth, so how about just saying, "The union flag is the only official flag that represents Northern Ireland (see Northern Ireland flags issue)." ... or just leave the section blank, as it is amply covered in the article itself. --sony-youthpléigh 13:26, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Your suggestion is admirable, explains why there's unusually no flag, and is implemented. Bazza 14:07, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I have to say i find all this arguing over a flag troubling, I would as remind you consensus does not mean whoever has the most votes, wikipedia is not a democracy, its not agreed reality or as colbert coined wikiality. I would recommend you use the flag the sports team fly as this would be the de facto flag as the other component nations of the UK do, if you look on many of the articles that list northern Ireland and show its flag this is the one shown, and it is a component of the Union flag itself so it makes sense to use it. i would also remind just because people find it offensive does mean it should be removed many americans particularly African Americans find the south cross {based of the Irish and scots flags) offensive yet Mississippi has it as part of there flag which could be seen as POV (the African American to White ratio in Mississippi is roughly the same as Catholic to Protestant in northern Ireland.) Sherzo 10:13, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
If you read this debate you will understand why using the Ulster Banner is unacceptable not to mention incorrect. It is like saying we should use the Flag of the Soviet Union as the Flag of Russia.--Vintagekits 12:06, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Small matter: "... it is a component of the Union flag ... etc." - you are thinking of Saint Patrick's Cross. --sony-youthpléigh 12:37, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
He is partly correct the ulster banner is based on the Flag of England --Barryob Vigeur de dessus 15:38, 18 June 2007 (UTC)


What about the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland's flag currently in use on the Southern Ireland page? - MichiganCharms 21:24, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Southern ireland as refered to in that article is the state the British proposed in the partition of Ireland, this included the stillborn Southern ireland House of Commons, the state never come into existance, as Sinn Féin used the election as an election to Dáil Éireann, the flag shown in the article is the proposed flag of that non-existant state.--padraig3uk 23:25, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Images

Any thoughts on changing the images in the article? The Mussenden Temple is an interesting photo, but should be replaced with the far more recognisable Image:Causeway-code poet-4.jpg. I also think the mural photo should be replaced. It we replace it with another mural photo then Image:Derry mural.jpg fits in with the accompanying text. But I would prefer a historical photograph, something like Image:Carson signing Solemn League and Covenant.jpg. There should also be a couple of photos of Derry and Belfast, like Image:Shipquay Street Derry SMC 2005.jpg and Image:H&W Cranes2.jpg or Image:Belfast City Hall - Carisenda.jpg or Image:Stormont Parliamentary Building 01.JPG. Stu ’Bout ye! 08:20, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

I like the current crop better. The Carson photo looks like an Oswald Moseley rally; or perhaps a Monty Python sketch about an Oswald Moseley rally. (Sarah777 08:39, 12 June 2007 (UTC))
I would support more images, especially ones of Derry. The "Free Derry" mural, however, must be added if only because it is one of the most significant (and famous) nationalist murals - MichiganCharms 05:51, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

RFC/USER discussion concerning Sarah777

A request for comments has been filed concerning the conduct of Sarah777. The discussion can be found at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Sarah777, where you may want to participate. --sony-youthpléigh 14:08, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Flags etc.

Since the flag and arms are back in I'd like to change to captions to "Former flag of ..." and give dates etc. but cannot do the same for the coat of arms. Could someone look at the code and see what can be done. --sony-youthpléigh 10:17, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

  • I think it should be unofficial flag and former coat of arms. Astrotrain 10:44, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I would like to add an unofficial flag, but that would be just me pushing a POV, and would offend other editors. Regards --Domer48 12:25, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I am really sick of this lame edit war over the flag. I have protected the article meantime. --John 18:41, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Can we get some outside editors to come in and advise? It's clear there is no consensus here and too many people have a POV to push. - MichiganCharms 19:59, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
We did here, and the conclusion was clear. As there is no official flag, an unofficial flag should not be used in the infobox. Editors should respect the consensus. One Night In Hackney303 20:02, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
To be completely honest, I don't think they were correctly informed. The flag used by the sports teams is clearly the closest thing to a flag. And either we use it or the Union Flag because that is the official flag... it really doesn't matter how many people died in the famine, Wikipedia has no obligation to be politically correct. - MichiganCharms 20:20, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes but the Ulster Banner is not the flag of N Ireland, and can't be used, and the Union Banner is not unique to N Ireland.--padraig3uk 20:30, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
What do you mean "can't be used"? It can and it is used. Not only that but the Flag of Northern Ireland is the Flag of Northern Ireland! You seem to be having a terrible time with logic Padraig. The Flag of Northern Ireland is the only flag Northern Ireland, specifically, has ever had. --Mal 23:21, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Why is the flag icon called Flag of Northern Ireland, when it is not an official flag? Regards --Domer48 20:38, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Exactly! Presumably its called the Flag of Northern Ireland because its the flag of Timbuktu!! ;) --Mal 23:21, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
The FlagIcon is mainly used and intended for use in sports articles and result tables for the commonwealth games etc, as the NI team use the UB as a symbol, it is not intended for use in articles on Northern Ireland today unless in a historical capicity.--padraig3uk 20:46, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. The fact that it is the former flag of NI does not mean it is still the flag of NI. Personally, I find that easy to grasp - but maybe I'm just exceptionally bright. (Sarah777 23:52, 21 June 2007 (UTC))
But the Ulster Banner is the closest thing to a flag there is. Clearly people want a flag, and we should provide them with one using the most logical one there is. Other then that, we'd have to default to British Indian Ocean Territory where the Governors standard is used or Ascension Island where the Union Flag is used. -MichiganCharms 20:55, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
"Clearly people want a flag, and we should provide them with one using the most logical one there is" - no. If there is no official flag, we do not have a flag. It's quite simple. One Night In Hackney303 21:01, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I look forward to your edits to the Welsh infobox ONIH... --Mal 23:22, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
You'll be living in a United Ireland long before that happens. One Night In Hackney303 23:24, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Oh look...

The page has been protected again at a stage that appears to endorse the POV of the campaign to remove the Flag of Northern Ireland from Wikipedia.. just like all the other articles and templates regarding this exact issue! --Mal 23:17, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

The page was protected because you ignored consensus and tried to add an unofficial flag, resulting in an edit war. The Ulster Banner is not the flag of Northern Ireland, simple fact. One Night In Hackney303 23:18, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I didn't ignore consensus. Please stop misleading people. The Flag of Northern Ireland is the Flag of Northern Ireland - simple fact. --Mal 23:23, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Try and remain consistent One Night In Hackney303 23:26, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
What exactly was I inconsistent about..? --Mal 10:10, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
The protection is merely reflecting both the facts and the consensus, Mal. It is best to avoid edit wars and accept the consensus. It is important we all respect WP:NPOV. Having inadvertently breached the 3RR myself, I would caution everyone to avoid that trap. (Sarah777 23:28, 21 June 2007 (UTC))
There is no consensus, and there does exist a Flag of Northern Ireland. I'm afraid you're wrong on both counts Sarah.. then again, perhaps I'm exceptionally bright. --Mal 10:14, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I protected it, at another user's request, to stop an edit war that was ongoing. I resent the implication that I protected "the wrong version". Actually if you read the archived talk here, I argued for the retention of the flag. But having it flip-flop a dozen times in a day is not ok. --John 00:09, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
John: mea culpa - every document in Wikipedia, without exception (except for one today I believe), which Hackney, Vintagekits, Sarah and one or two others have run around trying to cause havoc on regarding the flag of Northern Ireland, has been frozen at a point favouring their point of view. I'm sure you can understand the frustration involved. --Mal 10:14, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm calling wikiality here... consensus is not a democratic agreement, it's what is true. I'm sure I could get 1,000 people who are sure Steve Martin was a cast member on Saturday Night Live, it doesn't change the fact that he never was. What's true is there is only 1 flag that represents NI, it is the Ulster Banner. There is only 1 legal flag of NI, It's the Union Flag. Wikipedia is not a forum to debate NI's sovereignty, and that's all this silly debate is. -MichiganCharms 00:44, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
The flag does not represent Northern Ireland, it is a defunct flag. It is now an unofficial flag, this is a fact. One Night In Hackney303 01:10, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
If it's the flag that flies when Northern Ireland's teams in the Commonwealth Games and any other event... then it represents Northern Ireland. Before you say it only represents the Unionist community, remember that the nationalist community doesn't even recognize NI's existence in the first place... so should we delete the article to be politically correct? -MichiganCharms 01:58, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
The Ulster Banner was never the flag of Northern Ireland it was the flag of the Northern Ireland Government used between 1953-72, this government was suspended in 1972, and abolished in 1973, with the passing of the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 by the British Parliament. Under British constitutional law the flag of the government is not regarded as a civic flag of the area, so the flag ceased to exist when the government was abolished. The former Coat of Arms still have a semi-official status in that the charter with which they were granted is still in existance, and in theory a future government of Northern Ireland could apply to use it again, but this is highly unlikely to achieve the necessary cross community support for that to happen. So until such time as the Government in Northern Ireland agree on a new flag, then Northern Ireland is flagless.--padraig3uk 02:16, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Which is why it's used on articles about sport in Northern Ireland, not this article though. You're not saying anything that hasn't been said before. It's an unofficial flag, its use is POV. If you're not going to read the entire talk page before commenting, it's a waste of time commenting. One Night In Hackney303 02:17, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

The Ulster Banner is not Northern Ireland's flag. That some people call it "the Northern Ireland flag" does not mean it is anymore than calling Northern Ireland "the occupied six counties" means that it is. There is legislation regarding the use of flags in Northern Ireland, and this legislation does not recognise the Ulster Banner. The English, Scottish and Welsh flags are all recognised to varying degrees by the British government; the Ulster Banner is not. Even the main Unionist parties eschew the Ulster Banner in favour of the Union Flag.[13][14] I hardly need to point out that it does have negative connotations for many, both Catholic and Protestant. Given that its status is unofficial, this is an important consideration for us.

Now, it is used by various sporting bodies in lieu of a flag, and that's certainly one argument for using it in the info box. But that's not the only consideration, and it certainly is not the same at it *obviously* being *the* Northern Ireland flag. Let's stick to the verifiable facts. Martin 02:27, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Not getting involved in this again, but I'd like to point out for the last time that there was no consensus. 53% is a simple majority but in no way consensus. Also User:TamB is a suspected meatpuppet of VK. So could people stop claiming consensus one way or the other. Also, stating the flag has negative connotations is irrelevant. If it was relevant then we would have to start removing the Flag of Ireland, the Flag of the United States and just about every other flag on Wikipedia as they all have negative connotations to some. Stu ’Bout ye! 08:22, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but the US flag is the flag of the United States, whether anyone likes it or not. This cannot be said of the Ulster Banner, hence my comment. Martin 01:01, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
It can be said and, in fact, I have said it.
If the Flag of Northern Ireland is not the flag of Northern Ireland, then what is the flag of Northern Ireland..?
Padraig or Hackney suggested earlier that basically the flag was a Loyalist flag. I have to correct him on that. They may like to think it is, just as some members of the IRA like to think the Irish tricolour is theirs. But I'm certainly not a Loyalist, and the reality is that the Northern Ireland flag is, de facto, Northern Ireland's flag.
Until a new flag is created that takes its place, that is the story. --Mal 10:27, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
So you're saying that it is Northern Ireland's flag, but as you regard it as a de facto flag, it's not actually Northern Ireland's flag? Surely if you regard it as being de facto, you don't regard it as Northern Ireland's flag in an objective sense?
As regards its de facto status, I assume we both agree that it is only ever used by Unionists? Also, it is certainly not used by all Unionists, so surely it is only used by a minority of the population? Martin 15:36, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I do not agree that the Northern Ireland flag is "only ever used by Unionists". You may want to look up the meaning of the term 'de facto' Martin. --Mal 18:48, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Setanta747, in response to your question, If the Flag of Northern Ireland is not the flag of Northern Ireland, then what is the flag of Northern Ireland..? very simple there isn't one and until such time as the Assembly agree to implement one that is the way it will stay, it is not the role of WP to invent a flag when none exists. As for the Loyalist flag thing, are you saying that it is not associated today with Loyalist groups, most mainstream Unionists use the Union Flag. On the point of it being a de facto flag, for that to be the case it would need to have support and be used by both sides of community in Northern Ireland and we both know that is not the case and never likely to come about either.--padraig3uk 16:50, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
The question Padraig, was rhetorical. The answer is actually in the question. Until such time as another Northern Ireland flag is created, the current Northern Ireland flag is the flag of Northern Ireland. It is WP:OR to suggest otherwise. It is not Wikipedia's place to invent 'solutions' to any problems in the outside world: the flag of Northern Ireland is the flag of Northern Ireland, whether you, or I, like it or not.
As for your presumption that "most mainstream Unionists use the Union Flag".. use it for what exactly? I'd humbly suggest you spend a bit more time around unionists than you appear to have done. As far as it being the de facto flag, there is nothing in my dictionary which states that something may only be de facto if "both sides of the community support it". --Mal 18:48, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

An outside opinion on the flag issue

I'll start with my disclosure: I'm not from any of Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, or any part of the United Kingdom. I have no agenda to push, nor any political alignment. My interest here comes from the desire to see an end to this disruptive edit warring.

I think that Flag of Northern Ireland.svg is unquestionably a widely known flag representing Northern Ireland, and to omit it from the infobox in this main article is puzzling. For example, just this past weekend I was watching the 2007 U.S. Open Golf Championship on television, and at times in the third round, I saw Graeme McDowell's name tagged with that flag. I hadn't even heard of him before (Darren Clarke is the only golfer from Northern Ireland I knew), but I instantly recognized his nationality because of the flag. The US Open website is also showing the flag icon. It has been mentioned before that FIFA use that flag on their web site and the Commonwealth Games Federation does too on their web site.

From my perspective, I think it is safe to say that this flag is clearly the de facto flag of Northern Ireland, even if it is not the de jure flag. I think the "no flag" camp on Wikipedia isn't really representing a NPOV position because of that. I think that using the argument that it hasn't been a legal flag since 1972 as justification for outright removal from the infobox has elements of WP:IDONTLIKEIT and WP:POINT. Neutral point of view is supposed to balance different views, and I don't see outright removal of the flag as considering the view of people like me who recognize that flag.

With that in mind, I would propose that the flag be put back in the infobox, but with a caption like:

Official flag representing Northern Ireland from 1953-1972, and the de facto flag in some contexts since then

The word-smithing can follow, but my point is that we can appeal to both views with something like this. This caption clearly states the legal status, and recognizes the widespread usage. I think the "Symbols" section of this article and the whole Northern Ireland flags issue article are both fairly well written, and help explain the situation.

I think it would be overly optimistic to think that my comments will impel both sides of this debate to work towards a compromise consensus solution, but I had to say something! The tug of war that this page has become is not helpful to the project. Andrwsc 05:02, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Agree, but think de facto a off, as de jure it is explicity not de facto. Maybe status quo ante? Or are there any other nice Latin words out there? --sony-youthpléigh 08:10, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Andrew Astrotrain 08:17, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
At last, some sense! Its a start. I support. Tsumo@ 13:28, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
You can recognise that flag as much as you want, it does not bestow any legal status upon it. Can we include other unofficial flags in the infobox? Northern Ireland does not have a flag that uniquely represents it, and the Ulster Banner is an unofficial flag. If an unofficial flag does in the infobox it gives undue weight to the flag. There is no "tug of war", the editor who restored the flag without consensus has this to say on the matter:

I can see right away that the official flag of Northern Ireland is going to cause controversy. There are two options: 1) That this is an encyclopedia, and we stick with the correct information or 2) We appease a minority of people by changing the flag to the defunct Northern Ireland flag.. some of whom will still not accept that flag either.

The emblem of the Northern Ireland Assembly is just that - an emblem used by that body. The proposed flags have not yet been adopted and so are not official.

This leads me back to the two suggestions above - the official flag of Northern Ireland (the Union Jack), or the unofficial Northern Ireland Flag. I do not want to purposely cause offence (though it seems to me that anyone likely to be offended by the official flag would also refuse to accept the existance of Northern Ireland in the first place), but I do want to include factual information in this encyclopedia.

Note that he claims the flag is both unofficial and defunct. Obviously his option 1 is the correct option, we stick to correct information. We've already had outside opinions before (see above), and they unanimously said that as there is no official flag, no flag goes in the infobox. One Night In Hackney303 13:29, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't see what you're so confused about Hackney. As I said above, there's nothing there that is inconsistent with what I have been saying all along. --Mal 10:35, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Unanimously? --John 14:00, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Seems pretty unanimous to me. One Night In Hackney303 14:04, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Ah, that wee thing. I see nine other headings above under which the flag issue was discussed. I don't think unanimous is a fair characterisation of the debate. --John 14:09, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
The outside opinions did seem pretty unanimous though you'd agree? One Night In Hackney303 14:14, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, outside as in what? Would you count me? --John 14:18, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I have trouble with that section when one of the outside editors claimed the Union Jack would be "offensive to those who died in the Irish Potato Famine and the heroes of the Easter Rising " Clearly, almost everyone arguing against the flag has a POV and most of them have shown it. I agree with opinion voiced at the top of this section, it's time to leave it and move on to bigger and better things. - MichiganCharms 14:37, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Totally object to the Ulster Banner being put in the infobox. This is based on the simple fact that it ISN'T the flag of NI. It is a divisive sectarian symbol but that is beside the point. As is the Great Famine. (Sarah777 14:51, 22 June 2007 (UTC))


Wikipedia seeks to present the facts as they are. If this WP article is accurate, and surely it is, then it needs to be the Union Jack, at least until the new Assembly agrees on a new one or whatever. Anything else is pure POV, and against WP policies. MarkThomas 18:20, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia seeks to present the facts as they are. If this WP article is accurate, and surely it is, then it needs to be as it is. No Official Flag, so no flag in the info box. Anything else is pure POV, and against WP policies. Thanks Mark for pointing this all out, Regards --Domer48 19:08, 22 June 2007 (UTC)


I'm sorry Mark. You are quite wrong on this one. Perhaps you should read the full discussion on this issue; it has been explained many times by many people.
There is no need to "manufacture" a NI flag when there is none. And there is none. That would certainly breach NPOV. No Wiki rule that says there must be a flag in the box even where there is none in reality. Regards (Sarah777 19:11, 22 June 2007 (UTC))
The Northern Ireland flag was "manufactured" back in the 1920s Sarah. It is manufacturing to suggest, as you are doing, that there is no Northern Ireland flag when, quite clearly we can see that there one indeed exists. I don't see quite what you don't appear to understand about this! --Mal 18:54, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Mal, not sure this latest Wiki Policy applies to discussion on the talk page; and I put manufacturing in quotes to indicate a specific use of the term. I have a confederate $1 bill, manufactured in the 1860s - it exists, it's real but it ain't currency! (Sarah777 23:49, 6 July 2007 (UTC))

Some additional thoughts come to mind after seeing these comments:

  • It is unfortunate that some people find that flag offensive, but that is not a valid reason for excluding it from this page. Wikipedia articles on human sexuality frequently have photographs or drawings that some people find offensive, and Muslims would find the image on the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy article offensive, but in all these situations, Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not censored applies.
  • Using the legal status of a flag to determine its infobox usage is a red herring. Take a look at the infobox for the Martinique article. It's not a perfect comparison to this situation, but it does show an unofficial flag.
  • I see the same unchanging comments repeated again and again and again. Please, folks, let's try to find some consensus here! We simply must find a compromise that everybody can live with. I think it makes Wikipedia look shabby when fairly high priority articles are as unstable as this.

With that in mind, I offer another suggestion. How about something like this?

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Northern Ireland.svg
The Union Flag is the
only official flag of
Northern Ireland
The Ulster Banner was
officially used from 1953-72
and has some de facto usage now

I would hope that this kind of solution addresses both main viewpoints in this issue. Remember, a good compromise probably means that not everybody likes it, but everybody can live with it. I believe a solution can be found, but I am an optimist. Andrwsc 20:19, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

If there was going to be a flag in the infobox it can only be the Butcher's Apron as it is the only government sanctioned flag, but I see no policies stating that a flag has to be placed in the infobox and NI is not the only article that does not have a flag Kosovo seems to get by fine without one. --Barryob Vigeur de dessus 20:36, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Agree. There is no compelling need for a flag. Why is that simple fact so difficult for some editors to accept? Why the determination to insert pov into the infobox? I don't see the point. It is time we all accepted that there will be no agreement here and thus "no flag" is the neutral position. (Sarah777 20:51, 22 June 2007 (UTC))

Unfortunately, "no flag" is not a neutral position, hence the struggle. NPOV means that both sides are presented, not neither. Andrwsc 21:02, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Simply put, you do not like it! There is no official flag, and that is that! The fact that regardless of this, editors plaster the flag around as if it was official! So much for policies! One would almost throw their hand up in despair when having to deal with some of the motley crew this subject throws up. You get into dispute with one, and almost at once, in the distance, you hear their knuckle dragging mates arriving to lend support. Like nodding dogs in the back of a car window, they will agree with any type of argument. In the interest of fairness and sanity I am going to click the unwatched tab on this page, and get back to doing what I came her to do, Edit pages I'm intrested in and improve Wikipedia. --Domer48 21:18, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Please be civil. To reply to your comment, there is nothing in my proposal that says it is "official". In fact, I clearly point out that it is not. Using it on Wikipedia doesn't make it any more official either. The flag is obviously used by quite a few organizations, as has been pointed out. To pretend it doesn't exist is to deny reality, and that is not NPOV. Andrwsc 00:59, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Andrwsc; nobody is "pretending it doesn't exist". Misrepresenting the clear statements of other editors is also a breach of WP:CIVIL. What is being stated is the simple fact that the Ulster Banner is not the flag of NI. Official or otherwise. (Sarah777 01:07, 23 June 2007 (UTC))
Andrwsc, you say having no flag is not Neutral, yet you propose the Ulster banner that is used by extremists on one side of a divided community, if we want to be neutral we leave the infobox as it is with no flags or symbols, or if you want a really neutral option then use both the Irish tricolour and the Union Flag, as these are the flags that identify the two communities of Northern Ireland.--padraig3uk 21:23, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
So FIFA, et. al. are "extremists"? "Neutral" does not mean suppression of information. Two salient comments from WP:NPOV are appropriate for this discussion:
  1. The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly. None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth, and all significant published points of view are to be presented, not just the most popular one.
  2. As the name suggests, the neutral point of view is a point of view, not the absence or elimination of viewpoints. It is a point of view that is neutral; that is neither sympathetic nor in opposition to its subject.
(emphasis added by me)
I'm not sure I see the logic in your proposal for United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland as the two flags to be shown. That seems to be an attempt to identify the people vs. the region, which is different from common usage of these infoboxes. Andrwsc 00:59, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
That is the logic behind those wanting the Ulster banner, as it dosen't represent Northern Ireland it represents the political view of one section of the population, if we go down that route then the logic would be be represent both sides. I don't believe any flag or symbol should be used. It should be remembered that under British constitutional law and tradition flags and arms are conveyed to the Government of the region not to the people, hence when the Government of Northern Ireland was abolished under the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 the Ulster Banner ceased to officially exist as it never had any civic status.--padraig3uk 02:16, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Something I have wondered for awhile: how do FIFA & co decide what flag to use for a particular place? Obviously they have no legislative power, so the fact that they use a certain flag does not in and of itself demonstrate anything other than that they use it. Who tells FIFA what flag to use, or do they decide for themselves? Doesn't the argument that the flag is used by sports bodies require an understanding of how and why it's used by the body in question in the first place? Martin 01:28, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
They use the symbol or flag provided by the local sports body for that sport, the same with the Commonwealth games, their acceptance of these symbols conveys no status on the flag or symbol.--padraig3uk 02:16, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Andrwsc's initial thoughts and, in fact, its been basically what I've been saying all along. I would be happy with that compromise and I seem to remember the article did sit with that very compromise for a while, until around the beginning of this year was it..? --Mal 10:38, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately; the Ulster Banner (Flag) is not a compromise between flag and no flag. Obviously the mistaken position that was in place last year was the cause of all this debate. I have made numerous attempts at compromise but they have been rejected by both sides of the flag v no flag debate. Manifestly; if a stand-off is unavoidable, the status quo (no flag) is by far the most consistent with NPOV policy. (Sarah777 11:00, 23 June 2007 (UTC))
Can we not just get over this? The deal on offer is a good one:
  • Having the Ulster Banner there, but:
    • with a header notice:
      • saying the Union Flag is the only official flag in NI
      • pointing to the flags debate
    • giving dates for the prorogation of the NI parliament (and consequentially the Ulster Banner)
    • saying its de facto (or otherwise) use is limited
What more can be asked of a people? --sony-youthpléigh 11:16, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I think what people are asking is that as there is no NI flag there should be none in the box. To concoct a flag, especially the UB, is clear breach of NPOV(Sarah777 11:55, 23 June 2007 (UTC))
Its not 'concocted', Wikipedians did not invent the Ulster Banner, but it is officially prorogued, limited in use, and divisive. I would be afraid that if it were put here, it would spawn a whole load of copy-cat uses in other articles that would point to the one here as evidence. For that reason, I have reservations about the captioning its use a "de facto" as stated above. But "Former Flag (1953-72)" is truthful and clear. --sony-youthpléigh 12:26, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
OK. Recycled then. But its like John Cleese's parrot. You'd not try to sell that in a birdcage! (Sarah777 12:42, 23 June 2007 (UTC))
The Ulster Banner wasn't prorogued it was Abolished along with the government it belonged to, the British government dosent recognise it in any form. WP is an encyclopedia, therefore the Ulster Banner can't be used in the infobox, it is already included in the main article text as it is part of the history of that period between 1921-72.--padraig3uk 12:45, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Regretfully, this discussion is degenerating to the same old rhetoric, instead of moving forward to a lasting compromise consensus. It's difficult for me to understand statements such as "there is no NI flag" (Sarah777) and "it is not the role of WP to invent a flag when none exists" (padraig3uk). Clearly it "exists". I saw it on the U.S. Open telecast last week. You can see it in a photo of the Northern Ireland flag bearer in the 2002 Commonwealth Games on the BBC web site. So then, how can I understand statements that it is "used by extremists on one side of a divided community" (padraig3uk) or that it is a "divisive sectarian symbol" (Sarah777)? Unless the Commonwealth Games Council for Northern Ireland and the Irish Football Association only represent "extremist" athletes, these statements can only be viewed as hyperbole language used to push a certain position.

To restate some obvious facts and policy:

  • the Ulster Banner was the official flag from 1953-1972 only. This is unquestionably verifiable.
  • the Ulster Banner is currently used to represent Northern Ireland by several international organizations. This is also unquestionably verifiable.
  • Wikipedia:Neutral point of view states that an NPOV position requires that, where multiple or conflicting perspectives exist within a topic, these should each be presented fairly. and that it is not the absence or elimination of viewpoints
  • It is also Wikipedia policy that it is not censored, so offensive or divisive symbols are permitted if relevant to the content

The only conclusion that can be drawn from these points, while maintaining Wikipedia policy, is to show both flags, with appropriate explanatory captions. Of the four options available (show one flag only, the other flag only, show both, or show neither), I truly believe that this is the alternative that best follows Wikipedia policy. Andrwsc 19:09, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

The best option is the current one, show none. (1) The Ulster banner was the official flag of the Government between 1953-72, it was never the flag of Northern Ireland, it is included in main article along with the coat of arms of that government, but it dosent represent Northern Ireland today which is what the article is about. (2) Several sporting bodies do use the former government flag as a symbol no one is disputing that, but this is not a article on sport in Northern Ireland. (3) The policy of NPOV is already covered by not displaying any flag, the other alternative would be to use the flags that represent both communities, but that option would only start another edit war. (4) As pointed out already the Ulster Flag and coat of arms are already included within the article itself, so I don't understand your reference to not censored nobody is attempting to remove them from the article.--padraig3uk 19:34, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Not to imply I disagree with your opinion on this, but I don't understand your distinction in point 1. How was it not the flag of NI, if it was the flag of the government there? --John 19:47, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
According to British tradition, a coat of arms or flag is granted to the government of a territory, not to the people residing there. Therefore, when the government of Northern Ireland was disbanded in March 1972, its arms and flag officially disappeared.--padraig3uk 21:22, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Are we going to need another straw poll? and to whoever claimed I "should read the whole talk page", I've read the talk page and all 4 archives, I was merely advocating he most logical source. -MichiganCharms 20:08, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Mich, that was me. Trying to be helpful as usual, glad you took up my suggestion. No strawpoll necessary; maybe permenent protection of the infobox though. What do you think? That would end all this bickering. (Sarah777 22:19, 23 June 2007 (UTC))
(reply to Padraig3uk) (1) The Ulster Banner does represent Northern Ireland today. Obviously, in certain contexts only, but they are widely known contexts nonetheless. (2) Nor is it an article on the government of Northern Ireland only. In a sense, this is the "root" article for all Northern Ireland topics, so it needs to be inclusive. If there are multiple commonly-used flags that represent NI, then they should all be shown. (3) As I've demonstrated, the "no flag" alternative is less NPOV than the "both flags" alternative. (4) My reference to WP:NOTCENSORED was because the offensive nature of the flag in some contexts has been used as an argument for its exclusion from the infobox. That argument does not apply.
Lastly, your persistent reason of excluding the flag from the infobox because of its legal non-status is a complete non sequitur. The UK government doesn't determine what goes in a Wikipedia infobox. We do, through the process of consensus. Andrwsc 16:50, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
The last time I checked the Parliament of the United Kingdom was the supreme legislative body of Northern Ireland if they say it doesn't have a flag then it doesn't have a flag. --Barryob Vigeur de dessus 17:17, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I am not disputing that NI doesn't have an officially legislated flag. In fact, I stated only a few lines above that this was "unquestionably verifiable". Please follow the full discussion. Andrwsc 17:31, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

I totally agree with the original comments from andrew.Traditional unionist 17:46, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Just for anyone who is interested: Both the BBC and even the SDLP refer to the "Northern Ireland flag" and "red-and-white Northern Ireland flag" respectively [15]. beano 10:39, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Now that is an interesting proposal. "... only the Swedish flag would feature on the Belfast building." Maybe we could have the same solution here. --sony-youthpléigh 10:48, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I'd have no problem with the Swedish flag so long as they make it the official flag on NI. (Sarah777 11:14, 25 June 2007 (UTC))
I would be utterly opposed to such a thing. Clearly the symbol of a bigoted Protestant nation. --sony-youthpléigh 11:19, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Wow Sony....I'm saving that for your RfC :) (Sarah777 11:46, 25 June 2007 (UTC))
Oh no! --sony-youthpléigh 11:58, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

The former flag of the government of Northern Ireland should not be in the infobox. It is the FORMER flag of Northern Ireland, not the current flag of Northern Ireland. It would be like putting the swastika flag in the Germany page as it is the Former flag of Germany. The only flag that is for a fact the flag of Northern Ireland, the only flag backed up by legislation is the Union Jack. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.29.236.244 (talkcontribs)

No, that's an imperfect comparison. For example, neither the German Football Association nor the German Olympic Sports Confederation use the Nazi flag, but their counterparts in Northern Ireland, the Irish Football Association and the Commonwealth Games Council for Northern Ireland, currently use the Ulster Banner. It is clearly not just a historical flag. Andrwsc 18:23, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
That's a good point. Maybe it would help if we could compile a list of organizations that use the flag, then we could judge whether we were giving it undue weight or otherwise here. --sony-youthpléigh 18:40, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
It is illegal to use the Swastika in Germany, which may explain why it isn't used! A former flag is a former flag; no matter how you spin it. I suggest we drop this issue as it is wasting time discussing nonsense that could better be spent improving the article. (Sarah777 20:23, 27 June 2007 (UTC))
Excellent point, The so-called Ulster Bannor was set up by Unionists for Unionists in a Unionist State. This is not reflective of todays society in NI and is not recognised Internationally as the flag for the area. I congratulate Wikipedia for their bravery in removing it while dealing with the great hostility that doing such an action brings! I do not believe a flag should be added to the article as clearly it is a conflictive issue, having the British Union Jack and Irish tricolour together for the article would be more reflective to the community, however this too is not recognised as an official emblem and would surely meet Unionist resistance.
I believe we can only therefore keep the article flagless in order to maintain neutrality.
--ro2000 00:22, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

OO (Part II)

You miss the point. The Ulster Banner is clearly used today, so it is not just a former flag. Also, this issue cannot be dropped until consensus is reached, because the article is under protection until that time. You can't dismiss opinions you disagree with in an attempt to have the article unprotected. I am trying to reach a mutually agreeable position in an attempt to reach consensus — I suggest you also try to have an open mind and do the same thing, so that we can resolve the issue properly and move on to improving the article. Andrwsc 20:35, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't miss any point. I disagree with your point. The BNP and some German equivalents "still use" the Swastika. That doesn't make it a symbol of modern Germany. And as I said: "flag" is not a compromise between "flag" and "no flag".
Perhaps you miss that point? (Sarah777 20:53, 27 June 2007 (UTC))
Could you explain what the "BNP" refers to? I am unfamiliar with the reference.
And as I said, there are (at least) four choices here, not two: one flag, the other flag, both flags, or no flag. My second choice is both flags, as I think that is an acceptable compromise. Of those four alternatives, what is your second choice? Andrwsc 21:04, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
BNP, is the British National Party, a non-mainstream British Nazi group.
Choices? I think your 4 options are a bit restrictive; the option of a symbol was the favoured compromise some time ago; it was rejected by the pro-flag folk. That would be my first choice. So, to answer you question, my second choice would be "no flag". (Sarah777 21:17, 27 June 2007 (UTC))
Your prefered choice is both flags, I assume that is the Union flag and Ulster banner, there is no case for including the Ulster banner, it is a historical flag of a former government and has not been used for 35 years, it is already used within the main article so what justification is there for having it in the infobox, which is meant to convey info about Northern Ireland today. The only neutral position is the current one, having no flag.--padraig3uk 21:32, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Padraig3uk, your rhetoric is flawed, and I think you know that. You keep repeating the same point, over and over again, to make your WP:POINT. You say it "has not been used for 35 years", yet you have been shown several well-known examples where it has been used in current times. There is clearly no legal, official flag, but just as clearly, there is an unofficial usage that is significant enough to warrant inclusion in the infobox. Your political views are blinding you to the fact that Wikipedia verifiabilty and notability policies are satisfied by having the flag in the infobox. Andrwsc 22:07, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Using your arguement the Irish Tricolour would also qualify, as it is used in Northern Ireland by the nationalist community and the flag they identify with, and is also used in a sports context, and like the Ulster Banner is not officialy recognised by the British government. The vast majority of Unionists in Northern Ireland used the Union Flag it is only a minority within that community that identify with the Ulster Banner.--padraig3uk 22:21, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
You have not asked yet Andrew, but the Tricolour would be my third choice. Let's be clear that PadraigUK isn't the only person here repeating the same point, over and over again, to make his WP:POINT. Everyone is, including yourself. "just as clearly, there is an unofficial usage that is significant enough to warrant inclusion in the infobox" - that is not at all clear. (Sarah777 22:28, 27 June 2007 (UTC))
Padraig, you've used that logic before and it's still wrong. The tricolour doesn't specifically represent Northern Ireland but, depending on your political viewpoint, the Republic of Ireland for which it is the legally recognised flag, or some aspirational 32-county all-Ireland republic. Either way, it has nothing to do with the entity of Northern Ireland as in the first case it is excluded and in the second no such entity would exist. beano 23:15, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
(Note that I am User:AndrwscUser:Andrew is someone else.)
I can see some logic in also showing the Flag of Ireland, but I think the biggest problem is that while it may be used as a symbol that some individual people identify with, it certainly doesn't represent Northern Ireland (as a whole) in any international context. It unambiguously represents the Republic of Ireland (only) at the Olympic Games, international football, etc. The Ulster Banner unambiguously represents Northern Ireland (only) in sports where each of the home nations have independent teams (like football and the Commonwealth Games). Both flags are also commonly used in several non-team sports, such as golf. You see the tricolour next to Pádraig Harrington's name on a TV or web site leaderboard, just as the Ulster Banner was displayed next to Graeme McDowell's name two weeks ago on the US Open telecast and still shows on their website.
Also, it's interesting (to me) that some sports have all-Ireland teams (rugby, cricket, curling) and those sports have opted to use their own flags (i.e. neither the tricolour or UB), such as Ireland, Ireland and Ireland. Therefore, I can't see the tricolour as being something that represents both the Republic and NI.
I guess this whole debate is about context. I'm a big sports fan, and so I see the Ulster Banner regularly as a flag that unambiguously represents Northern Ireland's athletes. Sarah777 and Padraig3uk, you both seem to be closely connected to the unionist vs. nationalist conflict, and maybe that's why you see things primarily in those terms. I didn't even know what "unionist" or "nationalist" meant until I read about it on Wikipedia a few months ago. Where I am, halfway around the world from you, the Ulster Banner is a common symbol for Northern Ireland. Andrwsc 23:52, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Andrwsc, I hate to labour this. But if you show a Swastika in a white circle against a red background in any part of the world and ask - "What country does this flag represent?" - "Germany" will be the near universal reply. It still doesn't appear on the infobox. (Sarah777 00:08, 28 June 2007 (UTC))
Isn't it obvious why not? That flag is no longer used to represent Germany in any international context. The difference is that the Ulster Banner is currently used to represent Northern Ireland in multiple, significant, international contexts. It's a misleading comparison that you make. Andrwsc 00:15, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Labour the point all you like Sarah, it's still incredibly spurious. For a start, ask someone to draw the German flag and it will not feature a swastika. Ask someone to draw a Northern Ireland flag and what do you think they'll come up with? beano 16:51, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Ninety-nine point nine percent of humanity would hand the paper back - blank! (Which would = "no flag") (Sarah777 18:54, 30 June 2007 (UTC))
Why are we bring Nazi Germany into this? When trying to find a solution wikipedians are constantly trying to stake out the issue as completely black and white, which is not helpful to resolving the problem. The Swastika has two uses, that of a religious symbol for hindus, and that of a right wing political symbol for Nazis. The Ulster Banner has probably more than 2 interpretations. Every symbol there is can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. What we need to identify firstly is a symbol that is appropriate to represent Northern Ireland. That symbol needs to be recognizable, that is the primary criteria. The Ulster Banner is clearly recognizable as symbolising Northern Ireland. However, it is also hated by politically minded wikipedians for various political and social reasons. Alternative symbols have been proposed, these are all likely to offend various wikipedians. Using No symbol has also been proposed to avoid offending wikipedians. This suggestion offended some wikipedians as well. In short, is it fair to say that no symbol can be chosen that does not offend somebody?--ZincBelief 11:12, 29 June 2007 (UTC)


Firstly the Irish Tricolour predates the Republic of Ireland state, the flag dosent belong solely to that state, but is a Irish nationalist/republican banner. In Northern Ireland many sports organisation also display the Tricolour, alot of sport in Northern Ireland is divided along Unionist/Republican lines, the vast majority of nationalists don't support the N Ireland soccer or olympic teams but give support to the Republic of Ireland teams in these events.
But the main issue here is not sport, this is not a sports article, but about the Northern Ireland state today, and in that context the Ulster Banner plays no part, it is the flag that represents a minority of one side of a divided community. As I have said before I have no problem with the use of the Ulster Banner in a sports context or in the context of the history of the Northern Ireland state between 1921-72. I even used the Ulster banner in this Template that I created to use on articles refering to elections and politics of that period.--padraig3uk 00:13, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Firstly, the tricolour has never, ever been used to represent Northern Ireland which is the article we're discussing. As for "many sports": aside from GAA could you name one? beano 16:51, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
The two largest sporting organisations in the O6 dont use the UB - infact if Ulster rugby is the third largest then that makes three.--Vintagekits 18:42, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Of course this is a bit of a red herring as none of these organisations represents Northern Ireland specifically. --John 18:44, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Since when does the IFA not represent the O6? Additonally I would like to know if there are any Ulster rugby player that are not from NI.--Vintagekits 19:42, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
The IFA represents Northern Ireland and flies the Northern Ireland flag at their matches, so I don't know what you're talking about on that one. The GAA don't use it, Ulster Rugby (because technically they don't represent Northern Ireland) themselves don't but the fans do, the IFA do and the Commonwealth Games team do. beano 19:54, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

What does O6 mean? - some relative of oxygen?? - I hope it is not a bigoted, biased and blatently offensive term for Northern Ireland —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dionysus99 (talkcontribs) 09:25, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

The IFA dont use the UB FIFA and UEFA do.--Vintagekits 20:30, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
So tell me then, is it FIFA or UEFA who raise the flag at Windsor Park for international matches? I've told you before there's a big world out there beyond the internet. beano 17:09, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Games that the IFA representatives submit a team in are licenced by FIFA and UEFA, so yes. Like I said the IFA dont use the Ulster Banner.--Vintagekits 17:37, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

(deindent) So you believe that FIFA and UEFA dictate that the IFA uses this flag at matches and on their websites? Is there any evidence for this? --John 17:57, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Read what I said (carefully!!), the IFA dont use the Ulster Banner - plain and simple.--Vintagekits 18:00, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I would assume though that if the IFA asked FIFA and UEFA not to use the flag to represent them, that they would go along with this, wouldn't you? What flag is flown at Windsor Park when NI are playing? Beano seems to think it is the UB; is he right or wrong? --John 18:06, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Well you make all the assumptions you want but I would like you to provide a bit of evidence. Here is the IFA's website, they dont use the Ulster Banner and dont even sell it in their club shop, I have two programmes from games involving Northern Ireland and they dont use it either.--Vintagekits 18:14, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, we previously discussed that. So you would say Beano is wrong that they fly the UB at matches? I have no evidence, I am just trying to figure out which of you is right. So far I am unsure. You are right that evidence would be nice. --John 18:20, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
So lets just clear this up, I have provided evidence that the IFA dont use the Ulster Banner. Beano says that it's flown at Windsor Park - I wouldnt know that as the likes of myself are not welcome there but I wouldnt doubt it if he says it is. May issue with that is by who authority or direction is the flag flown? I know that when UEFA take over a stadium from the Champions League that they dictate what flags, symbols etc are used so it is concievable that the same would be invloved with internationals.--Vintagekits 19:08, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Corrent me if I am wrong, this claim that the Ulster Banner is flown at Winsor Park, is this ground also used by one of the local league teams as a Home ground, is it during their matches that the banner is flown.--padraig3uk 19:24, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Interesting. I can't see any info on the web about it; as you say, VK, the IFA site does not contain the UB but both FIFA and EUFA use it to represent NI on theirs. Like you I am inclined to believe Beano about the flag being flown at international football matches. This, while amusing, is hardly authoritative. --John 20:38, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
the Northern Ireland flag is, naturally, flown at NI games. Windsor Park is owned by Linfield, but the IFA have a 99 year lease to use it for internationals. The home and away flags are both flown, as is the case at all international football games.Traditional unionist 22:04, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
To clarify the above (Padraig), yes, Linfield own Windsor Park, but they fly the Union Flag at their matches. When international matches this flag is removed and replaced with the Ulster Banner, the UEFA flag and the flag of the visiting country. I have no idea whether it's a FIFA/UEFA or IFA representative/employee who erects this flag (though I would suggest the latter is more likely), however since the it's the IFA who sbmit to FIFA/UEFA the flag that will be used to represent them, it doesn't really matter because it's the IFA's decision to use it. beano 10:34, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Symbols vs content in images

The vast majority of images on this page are taken up by symbols of dispute - from the flags debate to the Free Derry mural.

Meanwhile the page doesn't even have a picture of Stormont. Now I don't imagine there are many provinces or regions on Wikipedia with pages that don't show their significant legislative body.

I would have assumed that the page would be better made up of things that are undisputed and actually make Northern Ireland seem like the fairly normal place it is becoming, rather than squabbling over flags and concentrating on the divide which is becoming increasingly unimportant. --Breadandcheese 20:30, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Agree totally. An excellent reason for removing ALL divisive symbols. (Sarah777 20:53, 22 June 2007 (UTC))

Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not censored, it is displaying the truth. In an article on a place that is so divided, the truth is there is division. -MichiganCharms 21:20, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

See the conversation above regarding images. I replaced some with more recognisable images. But yes there should be one of Stormont and a historical one, maybe Blair and Ahern signing the GFA? If we can find a decent highish-res image of it that is. Stu ’Bout ye! 16:00, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Whilst I do agree with MichiganCharms point about not hiding the division, I also agree with the initial posters in thinking that the article focuses far too much on divisions and not enough on common things in Northern Ireland. There should be photographs of Stormont, Glens of Antrim, Mournes, Belfast H&W, etc. etc. The article should be more like Scotland and Wales which also have an image gallery at the bottom.
Divisions are also falsely entrenched in sections such as the one about nomenclature which is inaccurate in places and where often many of the phrases mentioned would also cross the divide - this section is also excessively long, especially since there is also a main article for this topic. Jonto

Protection status

Hi. Protection expires in a few hours and I have been asked to renew it. What do other people think? Is there likely to be another edit war over flags in infoboxes or some other issue, or should we let it go unprotected for a while? --John 04:50, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Protect it, as a edit war is guaranteed unless you can protect just the infobox on its own.--padraig3uk 04:52, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Put the infobox in a template of its own (like {{British_people}} on Briton). Protect that template and unprotect the article. --sony-youthpléigh 09:56, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I've pulled out the infobox into a new page (Template:Northern Ireland infobox) so that it alone can be protected if necessary. The discussion about the infobox should probably move to that talk page too. That new page should not be permanently protected (thereby effectively endorsing the current layout), therefore, I do not want to see the discussion end without a permanent consensus. Andrwsc 15:49, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Infobox Currency

Could we try to ensure that the any Curreny such as the Gross domestic product is listed with the GBP (£) as neither Northern Ireland, United Kingdom or any of the British Isles use the US Dollar unless they are on Holiday to the USA. Craig7006 19:48, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

:Disagree. As the British Isles are claimed to include Ireland and Ireland does not use GBP; US$ are more appropriate (though I'd prefer € myself). Ooops! Wrong talk...I thought this was the "British" Isles page - really must start reading stuff before responding. (Sarah777 00:29, 30 June 2007 (UTC))

This issue should be discussed at Template talk:Infobox Country, not here, as the current policy is to use USD figures for GDP in all country articles.--Kwekubo 15:24, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Some thoughts on flags

I did not get overly involved in the awful debacle of removing the Northern Ireland flag from the Northern Ireland article. Bow I want to challenge some things that have been taken as given. 1) The Union Flag has no sanction from anything, save for the Mandleson flags order. It's design or use is not laid down in legislation, only convention. It is not in the legalistic sense an official flag, the UK does not have one. 2) There is no citation on any article, despite tags requesting citations for the claim that the flag only began usage in 1953, nor any source for the claim that it fell into disuse in 1972 or 3. Now both these things may well be correct, but why is an entire (and illogical) argument being based on two unsourced claims? Traditional unionist 21:55, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

The Government of Northern Ireland brought the flag into use in 1953, they could have done this at any time since 1922, under under British traditional the flag was granted to the government not to the state or the people as a civic flag, therefore when the Stormont government was abolished under the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 the flag ceased to exist with the government under British Law. The Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 provides for which flags can be flown on Government buildings, under this the Ulster Banner can't be flown.--padraig3uk 22:31, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to know what government convention has to do with the use of flags to denote subnational regions on templates and articles in Wikipedia anyway. Wikipedia is not a government building. Wikipedia is not governed by the Belfast Agreement. The flag of Northern Ireland is, de facto, the civic flag of Northern Ireland. The flag of Northern Ireland is the ONLY flag that uniquely identifies Northern Ireland as a subnational of the UK. --Mal 22:50, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
What its got to do with WP is that using the flag in templates or article dealing with Northern Ireland today gives the impression that it is an officially recognised and accepted flag of the state, which it isn't, its not recognised by the Assembly, the Executive or the British government. WP is supposed to present facts.--padraig3uk 22:59, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
The arguments in favour of the Ulster Banner as "de facto" representing NI have been made over and over while the point that it "de facto" alienates half the local population and is repulsive to many is ignored. If all Wiki must do is represent sectional "de facto" usage, then I think the argument for giving the Irish tricolour equal status is conceded. So, perhaps the solution to this intractable issue is to use both banner and tricolour side by side? (Sarah777 00:24, 9 July 2007 (UTC))
Open question to all — do you think we'd have a chance at a lasting consensus if the infobox had three flags (Union Jack, Ulster Banner, and Tricolour), all with appropriate (yet brief) captions? If so, I could mock up something tomorrow and propose it here. Andrwsc 00:28, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I'd have no objections. (Sarah777 00:57, 9 July 2007 (UTC))

I'd object. The Irish flag has nothing to do with Northern Ireland. The two flags option with explanations seems the most reasonable. I'm also still waiting for sources.....Traditional unionist 07:13, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I object to that idea also, the Irish Tricolour has nothing to do with Northern Ireland, and never has. It is the flag of a foreign state and has no place in the article in such a position. True some fly the flag in Northern Ireland, but at least the UB had some degree of officialdom, the Tricolour has no such thing. Ben W Bell talk 07:39, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
No Ben, you are wrong there. The tricolour was the legal flag on NI under the Irish Constitution until a few years ago, thus having had "some degree of officialdom." Much longer than the UB. The second largest democratically elected party in NI considers it the flag of NI. Clearly it at least merits the same claim to represent NI as the UB. It is just such a reaction to the tricolour that leads to an equal and opposite reaction to the UB, in my opinion. Ever been to a major Ulster GAA match in NI between two NI teams? Not a UJ or UB in sight; tricolours galore - and all 30,000 people there natives of NI - not some "foreign country"! (Sarah777 08:06, 9 July 2007 (UTC))
The Irish Constitution has no sway over Northern Ireland though. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, not the Republic of Ireland (or Ireland (state)). It holds as much weight over Northern Ireland as the constitution of Nigeria. Yes it has constitution claims over the area, but it was not part of it so it was irrelevant. NI is part of the UK and always has been throughout its history despite what other claims and constitutional amendments have been made elsewhere. Ben W Bell talk 08:25, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
The Irish constitution has been illegal for various parts of its existence, and the articles you refer too were never accepted by any state or international body outside the Republic of Ireland. We are getting down some very odd roads in this conversationTraditional unionist 08:19, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
The Irish Constitution was never illegal. And it's recognition of the tricolour as the flag of NI was clearly official; thus giving the tricolour "some degree of officialdom.". Period. That was the only point I was making. (Sarah777 20:43, 9 July 2007 (UTC))
The Irish Constitution has also never ruled over Northern Ireland. Anything contained in it pertaining to Northern Ireland has no legal bearing on anything to do within Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, and has been for its entire existence, never part of the state of Ireland. Any "official" recognition within it to do with the flag of Northern Ireland is completely irrelevant. Only Northern Ireland and UK laws can have any bearing on this. The UB has the advantage that it was once the legal flag (though no more). Ben W Bell talk 06:16, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Is the tricolour being flown to represent Northern Ireland? No. It isn't. It's use is either for representing the Republic or some aspirational all-Ireland nation. This whole argument about the tricolour is based on a fallacy and distracting from the real issue. beano 11:26, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Just like the Fallacy that the Ulster banner represents Northern Ireland.--padraig3uk 13:44, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Not at all comparable. The UB is flown with the intention that it represent Northern Ireland and on a widely-accepted understanding of that intention, and in the case of sport, of the fact that it does. This 13:44 statement is just another in a long line of spurious grounds for arguments on this topic. beano 19:08, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Clearly the UB does not represent NI, when half the population prefer and use a different flag - and the UB has no official status whatsoever (unlike the tricolour). (Sarah777 20:46, 9 July 2007 (UTC))
I'm sorry Sarah, but your contribution adds nothing to this debate. It is the accepted flag of NI. The Tricolour has no and never has had any meaning to Northern Ireland.Traditional unionist 21:17, 9 July 2007 (UTC)


I want to remind those who oppose the use of the flag that I am still waiting for references to the claims I cite.Traditional unionist 21:17, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

While you wait - I will also wait for you to provide a reference that states that the Ulster Banner is the current official Flag of Northern Ireland.--Vintagekits 21:31, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you miss my point, I am seeking clarification on the assumption that it is not!Traditional unionist 21:32, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually wiki doesnt work that way - it isnt until you prove it is - the vurden of proof is with you if you are trying to claim that it is the FofNI, toodle pip!!!
For your questions [16] the flag was officially adopted in 1953, and was the flag was used by the Executive Committee of the Privy Council of Northern Ireland this was abolished in 1973 since that date the flag has not been used officially. --Barryob Vigeur de dessus 21:39, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
The person quoted in this, I have to say confusing source, doesn't seem to know himself; "It is my understanding"Traditional unionist 21:47, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Breach of WP:CIVIL to say that my contributions add nothing to the debate.
But there isn't any debate on the substantive issue, the silly claim that the UB is the flag of NI, when it manifestly isn't. (Sarah777 22:29, 9 July 2007 (UTC))
Breach of WP:CIVIL to call my argument and my extension me silly.
I am trying to ascertain the basis for some unsourced claims. What has been offered does not strike me as either academic or authoritative, so we're not further forwardTraditional unionist 22:52, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
It isn't a breach of WP:CIVIL to describe a specific claim as silly; you could be a very intelligent guy and still hold some very silly opinions. But the onus is clearly on you to produce some evidence that the UB is the flag of NI; there has been voluminous evidence presented here that it isn't. Can you produce any evidence to deny the fact that for much of the population of NI the flag that represents them is the tricolour? Can you respond to the excellent suggestion by Andrwsc with anything more valid than WP:IDONTLIKEIT? (Sarah777 23:13, 9 July 2007 (UTC))
I'm sorry, but you don't seem to want to recognise my point. A revert took place on the basis that the Northern Ireland flag is no longer such. I am questioning that assumption, as I have not seen any reliable evidence for it. The onus is not on me, as I was happy with the way the article was before this little argument.Traditional unionist 08:16, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
I see your point but respectfully disagree. The normal state of the article for the past six months has been no flag; after a clear decision was taken that the UB wasn't the flag of NI. What you are seeking to do is overturn the status quo and insert the UB as the flag of NI. I fully realise how difficult it can be to overturn the status quo, and the weight of evidence you must gather seems at times excessive - but that is the way Wiki works, as someone above pointed out. Maybe you'd give a bit more consideration to the excellent tricolour/UB suggestion by Andrwsc? Regards (Sarah777 09:10, 10 July 2007 (UTC))
I am trying to establish the legitimacy of the removal of the Northern Ireland flag in the first place. The weight of evidence for that action is by no means overwhelming, and I'm not convinced exists at all. If that decision was wrong, it must be rectified. Now I'm not saying it was, I don't know. But those who want it removed must defend that action under scrutiny.Traditional unionist 09:13, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Padraig, hit him with that qoute from some British tribunal or something like that that states the the English, Welsh and Scottish flags are for those countries but doesnt not state that the Ulster Banner is the flag of Northern Ireland and only states that the only flag that has any official status is the Union Jack.--Vintagekits 09:20, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
This is what the British Government says about the Ulster Banner:
Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:
What legislation covers the definition of the form, shape and design, and any rules about the permitted use, of (a) the union flag; (b) the English flag (cross of St George); (c) the Scottish flag(St Andrew's saltire) (d) the Scottish royal lion flag (e) the Welsh flag (dragon); (f) the flag of Northern Ireland. [HL1099]
18 Jan 2007 : Column WA181
Lord Davies of Oldham: (a & b) There is no legislation that governs the form, shape or size of the union flag or the English flag (St George's cross). There are no rules about the permitted use of the union flag or English flag (cross of St George) on non-government buildings, provided the flag is flown on a single vertical flagstaff and neither the flag nor the flagstaff display any advertisement additional to the design of the flag as explained under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992. Government departments are restricted to flying flags on 18 fixed days a year in compliance with rules issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Consideration should also be given to flag protocol, which considers it improper to fly the union flag upside down and requires that the flag should not be defaced by text or symbols and should be treated with respect.
(c & d) There is also no legislation that governs the form, shape or size of the Royal Arms of Scotland (here referred to as The Scottish royal lion flag) or the St Andrew's cross, but the design is firmly specified in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland. The Royal Arms of Scotland can only be used by the Sovereign or Her Great Lieutenants when acting in their official capacity. The Scottish flag(St Andrew's cross) may be flown by Scots and to represent Scotland on all occasions; however, under The Act of Lyon King of Arms Act 1672, cap. 47 individuals may not deface the flag by placing a symbol on top of the flag or use it in such a way that suggests it is his/her personal property.
(e) There is no specific legislation about the Welsh flag design or rules about permitted use.
(f) The union flag is the only official flag that represents Northern Ireland. The Flags (NI) Order 2000 empowered the Secretary of State to make the Flags Regulations (NI) 2000, which governs when and where the union flag can be flown from government buildings in Northern Ireland on specified days. The legislation does not define the form, shape or design of the union flag. Flag flying from non-governmental buildings is unregulated.
For all flags, consideration should also be given to flag protocol, which requires flags to be treated with respect, not to be defaced by text or symbols or flown upside down. [17] --padraig3uk 09:33, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Even that isn't very clear. It doesn't state the detail of why the Union flag is the only official flag, gives no background and only mentions the Mandleson flags order. I might try this myself.Traditional unionist 09:42, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Totally conclusive evidence (again) that the UB is not the flag of NI. Even St Thomas could have no doubts at this stage! Now, can we get back to discussing the merits of the suggestion for a tricolour/UB double flag, as suggested by Andrwsc? (Sarah777 09:52, 10 July 2007 (UTC))
The Government was granted the right to have a flag to represent the government, this right was taken up in 1953, under British tradition the flag is granted to the government and not the state or population of the area, therefore when the government was abolished under the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 the flag ceased to exist along with the government. The coat of Arms on which the Ulster Banner is based, is different, although it was granted to the government and no longer used since 1973, the warrant that was granted with is still legally in existance, and a future Northern Ireland government could apply to have the warrant transferred to them.--padraig3uk 09:57, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Yup states it very clearly that the Union Flag is the only flag that represents Northern Ireland in this day and age. I believe there is mileage in showing the UB somewhere and stating that it was once the flag of Northern Ireland, but it's not necessary in the infobox. So if we want a flag in the infobox I think it's clear that it should be the Union Flag with probably some text underneath stating that NI has no flag in and of itself. Ben W Bell talk 10:18, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Both the Ulster banner and the coat of arms are already shown within the main article.--padraig3uk 10:27, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
No need for any flag in the infobox seeing as just about everyone has rejected the latest proposed compromise. Best just forget about it. (Sarah777 10:33, 10 July 2007 (UTC))
Ben W Bell, the only flaw with the Union Jack argument is that the UJ does not solely represent NI but only as a constituant, much like that EU flag. It does not solely represent NI.--Vintagekits 10:38, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Looking at that parliamentary answer again, it also says that there is nothing official about the welsh flag either! Which vindicates the view that UK flags are not based in any official use, as there are no specific written guidelines.Traditional unionist 11:01, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Cute, however, two problems with that argument 1. at least the welsh flag is mentioned - the UB doesnt even get a sniff and 2. UB was the former official flag, so if it still was (which we all know it hasnt been since 1973) then it surely would have been mentioned.--Vintagekits 11:08, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Unless that answer was written using the same lazy assumptions that have been applied here? I still have not seen any fully drawn out explanation for the view it fell into disuse in 1973.Traditional unionist 11:23, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

I guess we will both continue waiting then!--Vintagekits 11:33, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
And I haven't seen any fully drawn out explanation for the view that the tricolour does not have equal claim to represent NI as the UB, apart from WP:IDONTLIKEIT. (Sarah777 11:48, 10 July 2007 (UTC))
Other than the Tricolour represents a completely different country? The UB was once official. The Tricolour has never had any official status in representing NI in any manner whatsoever. I also have never seen a claim that the Tricolour does represent NI anyway, just as a complete united Ireland move. It may be used to represent a wished for state that encompasses the entirety of the island, but it's never used to represent Northern Ireland in any way as Northern Ireland would not exist in this unified state. The tricolour represents NI as much as the Stars and Stripes would. Ben W Bell talk 12:16, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually it represent Northern Ireland in many of the same constituant ways that the Union Jack represent Northern Ireland.--Vintagekits 12:35, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Can't agree Ben. It was the flag of Free Derry; of Crossmaglen and other areas where British rule had but a tenuous hold. And the fact that it also represents Ireland is irrelevant. The Union Jack still appears of various nations and micro-nations around the world; is Australia not a "foreign country"? Post Good Friday, in fact, it is clear that the tricolour now represents NI, not only Ireland, to the nearly half the population of NI who would never fly a UB or UJ. (Sarah777 12:48, 10 July 2007 (UTC))
Um no it's never been the flag of those places. People may have flown the flag, but that doesn't make it the flag of the place. The Tricolour has no representation of Northern Ireland in any way even approaching offically, and never has. People like to fly it yes, but it's not a flag representing NI, if it was then the UB would be even more appropriate which it isn't. Yes the Union Flag appears in various other nations, but they adopted and choose to have it in their offial flags, that has nothing to do with this situation. The Tricolour has never represented NI in NI in anything other than the hopes and dreams of people who want a united Ireland. Ben W Bell talk 15:56, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Trolling seems to know no bounds. If I proclaim my front garden as part of New Zealand, then fly the flag of New Zealand on it, by extension of Sarah's argument it becomes an official flag in the same standing as the Tricolour. --ZincBelief 15:28, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

In all honesty, how is it possible to reach a consensus on an issue, with people with attitudes like this?! Its incredulous! British rule in Northern Ireland was entrenched by the Belfast Agreement! The Union flag is the internationally accepted flag of Crossmaglen and Londonderry! Australia used the Union flag as a symbol of its colonial history - this is not in any way relevant to the issue at hand! The tricolour does not represent Northern Ireland, and never has!Traditional unionist 13:05, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

For the second time I must ask you to respect WP:CIVIL. The Union flag represents NI only in the way that the EU flag represents the UK. The UJ is not a specific flag on NI. The UB and tricolour have no current legal status and are both currently akin to football favours; we must have both or none to represented NI. I am perfectly content with the status quo, none - as it doesn't try to pretend that one set of favours have priority over the other. To say the "tricolour does not represent Northern Ireland, and never has" (even in bold type) is simply not true. Prior to the removal of Articles 2 and 3 is was the flag of NI by the terms of the Irish Constitution. (Sarah777 13:17, 10 July 2007 (UTC))
A constitution that was at various points illegal. The articles you refer to were ignored by everyone, and rejected by the international community. None of this is relevant.Traditional unionist 13:44, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
OK this has gotten beyond ridiculous. The tricolor is the flag of a sovereign state, the Union Jack is the flag of another. Northern Ireland can only be in a single sovereign state unless joint rule was accepted sometime in the few hours since I last read this article. The only options here are Ulster Banner, Union Jack, both, none. Anything else is making up a flag... and if we're going to do that there are a lot better choices then the Tricolor. -MichiganCharms 17:09, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
The constitution of a soverign state is legal by definition. More WP:IDONTLIKEIT I fear. MichiganCharms, NI does not have a flag specific to the entity - hence the absence of one from the infobox. That means the "Ulster Banner, Union Jack, both" are all ruled out. So, it would appear that "no-flag" is the answer based on your reasoning above. (Sarah777 23:25, 10 July 2007 (UTC))
I do rather agree with the 'no flag' situation myself, however I'd like to point out that international law does exist, as do the facts of global consensus - and recognises the United Kingdom as the only state with authority over Northern Ireland. It's a flight of fancy to suggest the Irish Republic's old constitution had any baring on that: it had no more legitimacy than a degree issued by myself declaring myself High King of all Ireland. I still think the Tricolour should be featured in the article as an important 'tribal banner' of the Nationalist/Republican people of NI however, but Northern Ireland is not and never was part of the (southern) Irish state. --Breadandcheese 00:40, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

That fact that the "International Community" chose to ignore did not make it "illegal", and with respect I thing the Constitution of a democratic sovereign state has rather more validity than any personal declaration you or I might make. So, the tricolour had "legality" just as the UB had. That is the only point I'm making here. (Sarah777 03:25, 13 July 2007 (UTC))

The "democratic sovereign state" did not contain Northern Ireland within its territory despite what the constitution claimed at the time. It did not confer legality on the tricolour in Northern Ireland. And even if it did the ticolour would have been an all-Ireland flag, not a Northern Ireland specific flag. Note that the infobox on Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus does not contain the Flag of Cyprus despite the Republic of Cyprus asserting sovereignty.
Flags shown for Northern Ireland should be flags used to represent Northern Ireland, not flags that are indicators of which larger state one seeks to be part of. The only flags in the infobox should be those for Northern Ireland itself - note that England, Wales and Scotland don't have the Union Jack in their infoboxes and for that matter each of the states of Australia only shows the state/territory flag not the Australian flag.
There's an awful lot of argument about "official" status but many things in the UK are not set down "officially" - the flags for E, W & S have limited official status. Currently the infobox here acknowledges that there are no official languages but acknowledges those "established by precedent" and those with official minority status.
I don't think we should have every flag used to represent Northern Ireland by some grouping - as far as I can see no-one has argued for Ulster Nation or even Flag of Northern Ireland2.svg, despite being the flags used by some Ulster nationalists and football fans respectively. But the Ulster Banner is the flag used to represent Northern Ireland by established organisations when a flag is needed and should be used until a replacement is found. Timrollpickering 17:34, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
O Really? So which of the "Northern Ireland by established organisations" use the Ulster Banner?--Vintagekits 18:39, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Would they be the UVF, LVF, UDA and OO.--padraig3uk 18:44, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

A Flag We Can Agree On? (And It's Just as Legal as the UB!)

Government Ensign of Northern Ireland (1929-1973).svg - MichiganCharms 03:28, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

? --sony-youthpléigh 14:20, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
It's the former government's ensign for merchant ships, I think -MichiganCharms 17:45, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
It's certainly not the flag I'm seeing regularly today on the television coverage of The Open Championship. Andrwsc 17:59, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I was trying to compromise, I think the Ulster Banner is the best option. -MichiganCharms 18:59, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Andrew, actually I note that at the gallery on the 18th hole there was a number of flags, including a UJ, saltire, welsh flag, tricolour but no UB. Additonally the flag used to represent the golf union or association in Ireland was the flag of the four proviences.--Vintagekits 15:31, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
I am User:Andrwsc, not User:Andrew. There is a difference. And my comment was simply to note that television media consistently use the Ulster Banner for golfers from Northern Ireland, like Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy. I saw it on the U.S. Open broadcast a few weeks ago, and I saw it again this week - on two different networks, to boot. Andrwsc 15:39, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Networks in which country/countries? (I know the Golf Channel in the U.S. was making some rather strange use of the phrase 'Republic of Ireland' in talking about Harrington's win at the Open...but that's a whole different story!...) Nuclare 01:57, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
This is wrong, any emblem and indeed the absence of all emblems cannot be agreed on here. All solutions are offensive and cannot be considered. See this page for details. --ZincBelief 09:36, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I'm going to admit I'm no wikipedia expert in writing articles, but I do spend a lot of time reading them. Frankly this 'debate' over a flag is rather childish and smacks of political sniping. The Union flag is, as presviously stated, the only flag that currently represents Northern Ireland. It matters not that the UK has no official flag (as the UJ is official in all but name). Therefore, it make sense that this flag is in the infobox. This is especially true since if Northern Ireland were not in the UK the UJ would lose the cross of Saint Patrick, totally altering its appearance. Hence, when flown on a gov. building this flag symbolises NI and the rest of the UK. Other flags, such as the UB (for a unionist) or a tricolour (for a nationalist), are widely recognised by people as referring to NI/Ulster/whole island but these flags are not proper flags of NI and since wikipedia is an encyclopedia, facts should not be comprised upon. For this there are seperate articles and paragraphs making note of the various historic and proposed alternatives. I fail to see why this is sufficient for some people (yes I am aware of political sensitivities, but the Northern Ireland issue is widely covered). All I'm saying is that in the info box use UJ and make it clear elsewhere that to a large number of people the UJ is a symbol of continued occupation and is at the very least controversal. ~~ BoroForLife 16:01, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

A naive proposal

This is probably far to naive to ever work, but I've made up a propsed change to the infobox in my sandbox. --sony-youthpléigh 09:03, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that idea is going to work. Also the Union Flag and Tricolour should come before the Ulster Banner and Coat of Arms.--padraig 09:35, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Absolutly not. The tricolour is irrelevant.Traditional unionist 11:26, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
So is the Ulster Banner, if not more so.--padraig 11:28, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
The Tricolour has never in any circumstances been used to represent Northern Ireland in any official capacity. The government of RoI may like it to, as may others, but it's never been used in any manner to represent Northern Ireland whatsoever, whereas the UB at least has a history of having done so even though that time has passed. Ben W Bell talk 11:37, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
The problem with the UB is that it is not an official flag, perhaps if the UJ was used as the main flag in the infobox, while the UB and tricolour were given below it with some caption reading "commonly found in unionist/nationalist areas, idicating political beliefs" (or similar) ~~ BoroForLife 14:04, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

The idea of having offensive flags is an interesting one. Is it possible to include the minority chinese, vietnamese and traveller communities in this. If we can all offend everyone equally we may be able to make progress.--ZincBelief 14:09, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

I hadn't thought of that! Do you honestly think people would be offended if the Chinese or Vietnamese flags were inserted? If so, I think it might be a good idea. People seem to take satisfaction from offending others around here. If people are mutually offended then they will also feel a reciprical satisfion at that that fact. I suppose it all comes down to a cost/benefit equation: to balance the cost of personal offense against the benefit of offending your rival.
I had naively thought there might be some worth for all in having something of themselves in there. (Thus maybe, too, showing the reality of flags and emblems in Northern Ireland until such times as Northern Ireland has of a flag its own once again). The desire for mutual annihilation is obviously much stronger. --sony-youthpléigh 14:41, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
But I'm afraid that your proposal does not reflect the reality of the decision taken by 73% of Northern Ireland's population in the 1998 referendum - that NI is British and that the Tricolour does not represent it. Now personally I do not like the Northern Ireland Flag, (I think it should be yellow and not white), and I don't feel it represents my brand of Unionism, but that does not change its status as the de facto flag of Northern Ireland.Traditional unionist 14:44, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) reality has little bearing on the situation. We cannot find a flag that wiill not offend. Therefore we must move to finding a flag that is equally offensive to everyone that can represent northern ireland.
(edit conflict) And neither does it change the fact that it is the de facto reasons why this page has been locked for six de facto months. I'm just throwing an idea out because its clear that "it must be in"/"it must be out" is not working as an argument for either side. --sony-youthpléigh 14:51, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
The de facto status of the flag has yet to be confirmed. I asked for a source for this claim on another talk page recently, and none was provided. See [18] and [19] for lack of confirmation. Scalpfarmer 14:59, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Given the evidence on this page so far, it certainly looks to be worth a shot to me. Perhaps a patchwork quilt of flags can be constructed, with proportions relative to the size of the community to be offended. Good work sony youth. --ZincBelief 14:47, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Personally Sony, I think that the reason we have this conflict is entirely politically motivated, not based on the best interest of wikipedia, but the best interests of Irish Nationalism.Traditional unionist 14:56, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Whatever the reason, its a fact that has to be overcome, and that's not impossible. --sony-youthpléigh 15:15, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
In a situation where best practice is being usurped by partisan ideology, I'm not so confident.Traditional unionist 16:10, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Traditional Unionist, you should be confident, a compromise is always possible. A patchwork idea has merits. You have proposed that the UB is the de facto flag for Northern Ireland. I personally agree, but nationalists believe (rightly or wrongly) that this is a unionist flag for unionists, totally unrepresentative of them. Similarly the tricolour, to a unionist this represents an all-ireland, but this is what a nationalist would see as representing them. Hence I believe in keeping with ZincBelief and sony's proposal of patchwork. I would keep the UJ as the main flag (due to it being most symbolic of the UK and for that reason only), whilst having the UB and tricolour as other flags of equal size, each one symbolising nationalist and unionist people. Essentially this is sony's sandbox but with the UJ and UB switched and I also believe, as sony has done, that it is important to point out the NI has no official flag at the moment. ~~ BoroForLife 16:37, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

I think it's significantly better than having no flags at all. If I may repeat an earlier comment, supression of information is not NPOV. The fact is that Northern Ireland clearly is represented by flags (plural), in different contexts, so to omit all of them is not a neutral POV. I think the most neutral of all possible POVs is to include all the widely-used flags. And as for comments about it being offensive, I repeat that Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not censored.
Lastly, I feel I should comment about this whole nationalist/unionist issue. Am I the only one in this discussion who is not politically motivated? I don't really know much about Northern Ireland politics, and to be honest, don't really care. However, I see the Ulster Banner is used to represent Northern Ireland very frequently. Perhaps it is mostly because I am a big sports fan? And in that context, I find it hard to accept some comments on this talk page as anything more than hyperbolic rhetoric. When I see pictures like this one, from the BBC, am I to understand that this national team only represents half of Northern Ireland? And what of this web site, found by User:John? As he points out, it's hadly authoritative, but to me, it speaks volumes about the "de factoness" of the flag. What beer company in the entire world would intentionally offend half of their potential customers? Money speaks louder than poltitical ideology, and I have to believe that Carling know what they are doing with this marketing campaign.
I would hate to see this page go under another term of protection when the current one expires in a couple of days, but that's what will happen unless we find consensus. I think sony-youth's idea has merit and should be used on the main article for at least a week to get some feedback. I will be quite dismayed if the same crowd blindly reverts to the no-flag version, without any chance for consensus. A plea to all — let this article evolve towards consensus, and not remain in the current limbo. Andrwsc 16:48, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
A flag on a beer website or a picture from the BBC is hardly justification for calling the flag de facto. What happened to verifiability? If the flag is indeed de facto, surely a reliable source should be found to support this? No information is being suppressed or censored by not having the Ulster Banner in the infobox, it is elsewhere in the article. Scalpfarmer 16:52, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
The very definition of de facto means that you won't find any single source that explicitely says its so. However, it means that we should be able to find lots of references that provide evidence for "common practice", and those are but two examples of that. I've provided a few more in website references earlier on this talk page. How many do you think we need for the article? Andrwsc 17:04, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Is it ever likely that a source will be found stating specifically that the UB is the de facto flag? No, this not likely (hence why this is a defacto flag). There is, however, a considerable volume of material on the internet which shows the UB being flown to symbolise northern ireland (including this Carling ad). Is this not surely grounds for inclusion? The argument that no information is being suppressed may be true (as it is elsewhere) but would you not agree that if it were not included in the infobox that this would detract from the overall quality? (I base this on my belief that since Northern Ireland is divided, it would not make sense to portrait it as anything else, by excluding the UB we are essentially saying that it is unrepresentative) ~~ BoroForLife 17:07, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
The very definition of de facto means that you won't find any single source that explicitely says its so. - that is not true, see here for example [20]. I contend that in the absence of the requested reference any attempt to synthesise the use of flags in other references to prove such a status is a breach of policy. Scalpfarmer 17:11, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Would you not agree that the use of the UB to represent Northern Ireland at the commonwealth games gives it de facto status? ~~ BoroForLife 17:18, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Absolutely. The Ulster Banner is used to represent Northern Irish sports teams, in real life and here on Wikipedia. Other uses may be more controversial. --John 17:35, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

How about This as a alternative version.--padraig 17:40, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Good effort. I would quibble with "limited use in sporting contexts"; as far as I know it is used by all sports teams representing NI. A compromise along these lines could be a good way forward though. --John 20:25, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm ok with any of these alternative, but I also agree that the word "limited" is an inappropriate qualifier. I have seen the UB used for every sport where NI has a distinct team (football, Commonwealth Games) or where individual athletes are labelled as from "NIR" (e.g. golf). There are lots of sports where NI is part of the UK team (and therefore competing under the Union Flag and country code "GBR") or sports where NI is part of an all-Ireland team (and therefore competing under something like Ireland, Ireland, or Ireland, but I have yet to find any single instance where an "NIR" athlete or team is not represented by the Ulster Banner. Other than that one word, I'm happy to see some consensus forming! Andrwsc 20:38, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

I have altered the Wording on the Ulster Banner, see Here.--padraig 09:31, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, maybe "used in some sporting contexts" might be better, then later on or in the flags article this can be qualified by explaining theat NI only teams would tend to use the UB, while all-ireland have their own flags and all-uk use the UJ. ~~ BoroForLife 20:47, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
International hockey is not represented by the Ulster Banner, see here [21]. It's a lengthy piece, so search for "Irish Hockey" which will take you to the correct place. Scalpfarmer 21:04, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Is hockey done on an NI basis though? My scan through the articles in Category:Hockey in Northern Ireland suggests hockey is done on an all-island basis with a nine counties subdivision but it's not 100% clear. Timrollpickering 21:24, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Thats my understanding, although the Ulster branch (as it does in rugby) uses white and red with the red hand [22]. The key point here is that there are exceptions to every rule but that the rule stands in the majority of cases. ~~ BoroForLife 21:29, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

My attention has been brought to your query on Ulster Hockey, I will clarify some issues. This area is not without controversy in the past. For example, for a long time Irish International players such as Jimmy Kirkwood, Terry Gregg, Jenny Given/Redpath etc elected to play for the GB & Ireland in the Olympics. Given their playing strength Ireland was never likely to qualify - I believe the highest ranking achieved was 12th in the late 70s. At one stage in the late 1970s-early 1980s the Irish Ladies Hockey Union in Dublin were at odds with the Ulster Branch and banned players from the Ireland team who made this choice. The decision was seen as 'cutting off their nose to spite their face' in Ulster, particularly in the case of Given/Redpath as she was one of the prolific goalscorers in the history of the Irish ladies game. The GB Olympic option has since been blocked by the International Board since c.1994.
In effect hockey is organised on an all-Ireland basis and tend to use the flag you see flying in the background of the picture here [23] or seen here [24] - similar to the Rugby four provinces flag. There have been attempts to enter a Northern Ireland team in the Commonwealth Games in the past but this has been blocked by the International Board because Northern Ireland do not compete separately at any other time and do not as a result hold a world ranking. In the men's game only Raphoe from County Donegal, are the only southern side to currently compete in Ulster Hockey Union competitions, there were others particularly in Cavan in the past but they are all now defunct. In the ladies game, Raphoe are now the only southern club, Letterkenny ceased playing a couple of years back.
I do not wish/will not engage in any other discussion on the flags issue.Weejack48 09:11, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Now that the protection has expired...

and no-one's done anything silly yet, shall we decide where to go from here with regard to flags? Straw poll? Biofoundationsoflanguage 17:18, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

I'd suggest putting up User:Padraig3uk/Sandbox5 and generate comments and improvements from that. The best consensus will be formed by incremental edits instead of pre-change discussions, I think. I will be extremely disappointed if that effort is immediately reverted to the no-flag version we have today. Some patience and compromise will be needed for consensus to form. Andrwsc 18:55, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Agree. Let's put it up and see what happens. --sony-youthpléigh 20:51, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Absolutely not. It implies that the republic has some jurisdiction over NI, that is not true. The proposal is misleading.Traditional unionist 21:44, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

In what manner is the proposal misleading, it clearly states that both the Ulster Banner and Irish Tricolour are used to represent the Unionist and Nationalist communities to identify themselves, but that neither are official, there is no suggestion that the Republic has any jurisdiction. Although under the GFA the Irish Government does have an input into the affairs of Northern Ireland.--padraig 01:52, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Well if Lighthouses are the path to a united Ireland I'll be amazed. Using an irrelevant flag in the infobox of a country is a bizarre suggestion. It would be like using the French Tricolour in the infobox for Canada because of Quebec.Traditional unionist 07:46, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

... and lifeboats are the path to the Republic rejoining the UK? :)) In honesty though, I think you can see how disenginuious the France/Quebec analogy is. I'm in favour of the proposal becuase it shows and explains the main emblems used in NI, in absense of a unifying emplem for NI itself. How about Zinc's proposal of a montage? --sony-youthpléigh 08:11, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

It may not be a perfect analogy, but it certainly is not disingenuous. What flags each side use is a matter for the flags issue page, not the NI infobox.Traditional unionist 08:17, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we can put whatever flags up we like. We can't just invent a new flag for Northern Ireland just because it suits us. The Union Jack (or flag, whatever one wants to call it) can go up because NI is part of the United Kingdom. The Ulster Banner can appear somewhere because it's the closest thing NI has to a unique flag and is used often to represent NI, despite losing its official status in 1972. The Irish Tricolour, while used by republicans, is not really an option on the infobox because it is neither the flag used to represent NI on its own, nor is it the flag of the country NI is part of. Biofoundationsoflanguage 08:27, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Agreed.Traditional unionist 08:29, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Well then seeing as certain users are so opposed to the idea, we can always stick with the present situation, with no flags at all in the infobox, that is at least an neutral position.--padraig 09:40, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
But it's a nonsense, we are to have no flags at all because some want to include an irrelevant flag? Biofoundationsoflanguage's suggestion is a good compromise.Traditional unionist 10:05, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
It is not nonsense, the Ulster Banner and the Tricolour represent the two communities within Northern Ireland, both flags have no status officialy but are used to identify the nationality of each community.--padraig 10:17, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
One used to represent NI, and remains the de facto flag of the region, the other has no relevance.Traditional unionist 10:21, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

We need a flag that can offend everyone equally. How about the red finger of Ulster, as used in the portadown news website?--ZincBelief 10:26, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

very droll.Traditional unionist 10:27, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
One never represented Northern Ireland, it was solely the Governmental Banner of a government dissolved 34 years ago, and never had civic use or status, neither is it a de facto flag, the Tricolour has as much status in Northern Ireland as the Ulster Banner has today. This is a case of WP:IDONTLIKE on the part of some editors that totaly ignores the political reality of Northern Ireland today.--padraig 10:31, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Well that makes no sense. By your definitions, there is not a single "civic" flag in the UK. The fact remains that as far as the outside world is concerned, the flag of Northern Ireland is just that. The tricolour is the flag of the Republic of Ireland. Those are the facts.Traditional unionist 10:40, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh come on, Padraig - I don't think the tricolour is as strongly associated with NI and it is with the Republic, but, TradUnionist, this doesn't really solve our problem. We can't simply slap an out-of-date flag into the infobox on the basis that its used by a limited number of sports teams - or that its the best we can think of in the absense of one. In that case we could use the four provinces as a flag for an infobox on the Ireland page. --sony-youthpléigh 10:46, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Sony, it is used extensively as the flag of Northern Ireland, to say it is out of date may be factually correct, but quite a semantic point.Traditional unionist 10:53, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
True, but to an extent that it can be used in the infobox? I mean, when neither the UK nor NI governments use it, it kind of loses it's weight. We're in this mess because we're lacking an official stamp and don't have a consensus between ourselves - you've got to admit that that puts us in an awkward position here. Neither of the solutions presented already are working for everybody (either no flag or Ulster Banner), so let's just try and get to an alternative we can live with while that quandary exists. --sony-youthpléigh 11:04, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

actually I think that Biofoundationsoflanguage's suggestion is a good compromise.Traditional unionist 11:06, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

As far as I'm aware no United Kingdom flags have 'official' status in law. Possibly except Wales. Biofoundationsoflanguage 11:10, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Of course you do it would only include the Ulster Banner and Union flag, but that is not an option as it is POV.--padraig 11:14, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
The flag of the country and the de facto flag of the region. Tell me exactaly how that is POV.Traditional unionist 11:16, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't really speak "Northern Ireland" to me - if the Union Flag was used on the England, Scotland and Wales articles of course it would be a different story. When you see the Union Flag, does it mean "Northern Ireland" to you? To me it says "United Kingdom". It would be like using the tricolour in the info box for Connacht. --sony-youthpléigh 11:22, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Quite. The flag of Northern Ireland says Northern Ireland to me, but apparently we have some people on wikipedia who insist on being wildly semantic for political reasons. That is why I think a good compromise is there.Traditional unionist 11:24, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Okay, how about the Ulster Banner, with an expanded explaination and a montage (not just UF and tricolour, but a large montage)? --sony-youthpléigh 11:33, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
But the tricolour has no relevance to an article on NI. Ni flags issues yes, but not an infobox on Northern Ireland.Traditional unionist 11:36, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Doesn't having a montage go against what I said about us no making up our own flag? Biofoundationsoflanguage 11:41, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I mean it to represent the variety of emblems represent NI (in the broadest sense). The Ulster Banner is the clearly foremost among these, but none of them is a clear "winner" on its own - they can all be validy argued against. Any other ideas not mentioned already would be welcome. --sony-youthpléigh 11:46, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I really must object to the Ulster banner being used on its own as a flag. This is a flag of Northern Ireland for only the unionist population. To place it there on its own would suggest to an outsider that NI was united behind this flag, when frankly to a considerable amount of people this flag is a reminder of a different era. Since wiki is an encyclopedia we can't make things up. Hence I believe if there is no official flag then none shall be given and somewhere in the article we can have a section on flags an emblems. ~~ BoroForLife 14:38, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Exactly there is no way the Ulster banner can be used on its own, the flag has no status and dosen't represent Northen Ireland its Assembly or its Government.--padraig 16:02, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
It de facto represents Northern Ireland, and the Union Flag de jure represents it, ergo the infobox should include both those flags.Traditional unionist 16:25, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Other flags can be mentioned in the article, but foreign flags should not be used in the infobox. Biofoundationsoflanguage 16:31, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Provide a source that supports its de facto status outside of some sports context.--padraig 16:30, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Encyclopedia Britannica uses the NI flag to denote Northern Ireland - http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9110757/Northern-Ireland

--82.29.235.160 17:28, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

It also says Encyclopdeia Britannica says: According to British tradition, a coat of arms or flag is granted to the government of a territory, not to the people residing there. Therefore, when the government of Northern Ireland was disbanded in March 1972, its arms and flag officially disappeared; however, the flag continues to be used by groups (such as sports teams) representing the territory in an unofficial manner.

--padraig 17:42, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

The UB is used to represent predominantly unionist teams, such as in football. This goes to prove my point that it is a unionist flag, bearing no relation to nationalists (who are as much a part of NI as any unionist). There is no point in having a flag for an article if the subject of that article does not have its own flag. Furthermore, since the government of NI has no flag, and the government is supposed to represent the people, there is clearly no official flag of NI, and none should be used. ~~ BoroForLife 18:05, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
But despite that Britannica still heads up its article with the flag and Wikipedia has plenty of articles about provinces, territories or regions with 'unofficial' flags. --82.29.235.160 19:48, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
That is why the Ulster Banner is included in the main article, but it can't be used in the infobox to represent Northern Ireland as it is not recognised by the British government, nor the Northern Ireland Assembly or its Executive.--padraig 19:52, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
This is wikipedia not Her Majesty's Government. If you're on a quest to remove all the flags from infoboxes which do not have official status in that country, then you have a big job ahead of you. There's a lot more than just Northern Ireland. That would also leave a hell of a load of articles without flags. Biofoundationsoflanguage 09:24, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
With a slight change to the wording, I'd be okay with putting the Ulster Banner in the info box below the "notice" that's there right now. The wider issue of using the Ulster Banner across wikipedia needs to be sorted out though. My option would be to avoid it when referring to NI in a political context (such as when listing the constituent countries of the UK). The change in wording I'd propose is the following: "The Union Flag is the only official flag used to represent Northern Ireland. The former official flag, the Ulster Banner, continues to be used by groups (such as sports teams) representing the territory in an unofficial manner (see Northern Ireland flags issue)." This is a mix of the UK govt. explaination and the entry from Britannica. I wouldn't show the coat of arms in the info box. --sony-youthpléigh 09:55, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

That's probably fair enough. With or without the Union Flag above it?Traditional unionist 09:57, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Without. --sony-youthpléigh 10:14, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Biofoundationsoflanguage, the infobox is intended to be used to convey information about the current situation in Northern Ireland, its government etc, having the Ulster Banner there on its own gives the impression that it has status as a flag to represent that state, when that is not the case. The Union Flag is the only flag with any status, the Ulster Banner and Tricolour if they are used are only to represent the political allegance of the two communities, neither of which has any status. So if users want to include the Ulster Banner then the Tricolour also has to be included, with notes on both clearly stating they have no official status.--padraig 09:58, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

You are wring to equate the tricolour with the Flag of Northern Ireland. We can dispute the current status of the latter, but what is certainly true is that the tricolour has never had any relevance to Northern Ireland. Your point is not valid.Traditional unionist 10:04, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

The Tricolour is used by a Large minority of the population as their flag, it cannot be dismissed because Unionists don't like it, the same applies to the Ulster Banner. The voting population between the two communities is very close, with only about a 60,000 vote difference between them at the last elections. So it cannot be ignored as WP is supposed to be factual and NPOV, it is not a soupbox for one side or the other. We can either include or exclude both flags from the Infobox, but we can't use one without the other.--padraig 10:15, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
That is utterly irrelevant. Your argument is an excellent one for both flags being included in the Flags issue article. The infobox should include both the de facto and de jure flag of Northern Ireland. The Tricolour has NEVER had any status in Northern Ireland.Traditional unionist 10:24, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
It is not irrelevant, the Ulster banner is not a de facto flag, something that none of yous have been able to provide a source to support the claim that it is, it is only used by one side of a divided population, just as the Tricolour is used by the other side.--padraig 10:35, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The tricolour is the flag of a different country. Some people in Northern Ireland may very well support that country, but that cannot be put in the infobox for an entirely different reason from the one you (padraig) say. The Tricolour is not simply the nationalist opposite of the Ulster Banner. If it was then there wouldn't be a problem and we could have both. Biofoundationsoflanguage 10:26, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The Tricolour predates its use by the current Irish Republic state, it is used in Northern Ireland as it identifies the desire of those nationalists for a United Ireland, but that desire is not the extention of the existing 26 county state, but the creation of a new Unified 32 county Republic.--padraig 10:35, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Again, utterly irrelevant. I quote The Tricolour is not simply the nationalist opposite of the Ulster BannerTraditional unionist 11:12, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Lads, you're not going to solve this one here. You know that. Don't try shouting each other down over it. --sony-youthpléigh 10:45, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I think it's been very good-natured so far. Even if we are going round in circles. Biofoundationsoflanguage 11:28, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Quite, perhaps we should petition to have 'going round in circles' our national sport. On a more seious note I would agree to having the UB in the infobox as long as it does not take centre stage (ie, have 'the union flag is the only official flag etc' above it and absolutely not the coat of arms. + of course a mention of the flags issue. ~~ BoroForLife 12:13, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I think we are getting somewhere now.Traditional unionist 12:22, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The inclusion of only the Ulster Banner is POV and against WP:NPOV it therefore cannot be included in the infobox, unless the same is given to the nationalist Flag the Tricolour, the ideal solution is to leave the infobox without any flags, the proposal solution was a compromise to those that wanted to include flags as it represent the current situation within Northern Ireland, and meets WP:NPOV.--padraig 12:40, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry Padraig, but you have a fundamental misunderstanding over the difference between the Flag of Northern Ireland and the tricolour. They are not equitable. It is not POV to include the de facto flag of a region in an article about that region - it IS POV to include the flag of another country that some citizen pledge allegiance to.Traditional unionist 12:45, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The Ulster Banner never was the flag of Northern Ireland it was a governmental banner, nor was it ever a de facto flag, for you to try and claim otherwise provide sources, this is just WP:OR on your part onless you have sources to support your claim.--padraig 12:51, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
If we set the precedent that you are asking for, then we will have to remove all flags from all UK articles, for there are no "civil" flags in the UK (Whatever they are). It is the internationally accepted symbol of Northern Ireland (Google) which makes it a de facto flag of NI, just as Londonderry Air is the de facto anthem. I understand that it suits your nationalist political agenda to have this article a symbol free zone, but that is not the reality of the situation. It would suit me to have it symbol free, I don't like the flag and it doesn't represent me or my politics, but it does represent Northern Ireland to the outside world.Traditional unionist 12:57, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I can and have provided sources that the Ulster Banner has no status, I have also proven it never had at any time civic status, its only current use is as an symbol used by some sports organisations, this use dosen't confer any status to the banner nor make it a de facto flag. So if you want to claim de facto status then prove it.--padraig 13:35, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Google "Flag of Northern Ireland" what do you get? That together with the sporting uses makes it de facto, common use, flag of NI. Yet again you want to remove all UK flags from wikipedia, NO flags in the UK have "civic" status.Traditional unionist 13:40, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Exactly. The 'official status' argument is out the window. Biofoundationsoflanguage 13:52, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
What has google got to do with it, use in sport dosen't confer any status on a flag, nor does it use by one section of the population, WP deals in facts, and the facts are the Ulster Banner has had no status since 1973. Where have I said that I want to remove all UK flags from Wikipedia, I have never even suggested that, infact I have used the Ulster Banner in articles and templates dealing with the period 1921-72 when it represented the Government of Northern Ireland, but I do oppose its use on articles or template dealing with Northern Ireland today.--padraig 14:00, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
You don't seem to understand the issues here properly. There is not a single official or "civic" flag in the UK Nowhere is a single flag laid down in legislation except one order on the UK flag in NI. De facto flags are ones that in copyright terms are common or fair use (in the US). That is clearly the case for the flag of Northern Ireland, whether HMG, the NIE or anyone else chooses not to use it. The fact is that it is generally regarded as the NI flag. For evidence ask google.Traditional unionist 14:05, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
You don't understand the issue here Wikipedia is setup to represent facts, not the POV of one section of the population of Northern Ireland, and those facts state this banner has no status, is not recognised by either the British Government or the Northern Ireland Executive, and under law cannot be flown on any Government Building.
I accept that it is used by one section of the population, Just as the Tricolour is equaly used by the other, but that usage dosent confer any status to either flag, therefore if you want to use the UB in the infobox in the context that some members of one community use it, then equal treatment has to be given to the flag used by the other community as well.--padraig 14:17, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Leaving out Wikipedia, All I get is a lot of stuff about the Union Flag being the the only official flag in Northern Ireland and that the Ulster Banner is not representative of the province as a whole, representing only the Loyalist community. What do you get? --sony-youthpléigh 14:04, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Exactly all sources state it is un-official and has no status, the rest are commercial sites selling it and even most of them state the same.--padraig 14:17, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

The tired and insulting approach of reducing the people of northern ireland to two groups will not help resolve this debate, nor is it appropriate in my opinion. It is in essence a breach of WP:Civil. The overwhelming statistical evidence (as you can see from google) is that the Ulster Banner has de facto status. Britannica encyclopedia uses it. Non political entities use it, northern ireland can perhaps be viewed as something more than just a political entity. However the statistical weight is enough to add this into the infobox with appropriate notes. "De facto flag, often regarded as offensive to the Nationalist community" This wikipedia article is not about sticking two fingers up at political ideology. It should not be about and not be controlled by political ideology. This is a neutral and academic article. It's purpose is to explain, not to offend. Those who continue to seek to exercise their bitter political viewpoints have nothing to add to this article and should desist from editing it. Adding in the Ulster Banner will only insult those who want to be insulted. Anyone who choses to read the entire article will clearly find the true story behind flags. If we want an infobox in keeping with the rest of the UK 'home nations' then it is clear which path we should take. If we want to be tied to pety political viewpoints lets just drop the entire infobox. Which will it be?--ZincBelief 14:40, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

ZincBelief, you state Adding in the Ulster Banner will only insult those who want to be insulted the same could be said about including the Irish Tricolour. There is no evidence from google that the Ulster banner has any de facto status, in fact most sources from google make it very clear it has no status and is regarded as a Unionist flag that dosent represent Northern Ireland.--padraig 14:52, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
"The tired and insulting approach of reducing the people of northern ireland to two groups" - yup, I was guilty of that. But I thought we were close to something above, at least Traditional, Biofoundations and I were. Zinc, what you say seems to fit in as well. (Slight ammendment to the current wording, have the UB below, no coat of arms.) Padraig, would you be will to go with that? (The bigger question of the UB elsewhere on WP to be decided at a later.) --sony-youthpléigh 15:08, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't anyone has anything new to add to this debate, do they? What should be the way forward. A straw poll? Biofoundationsoflanguage 15:22, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Putting aside the issue of the wording any proposal that only includes the Union Flag and Ulster Banner is a non-runner, that is playing to the POV of one side, the current Proposal to include the Union Flag with the Ulster Banner and Tricolour below that is the only NPOV way forward, or we remain as it is without any flags or symbols.--padraig 15:26, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

It strikes me that everyone save for Padraig is agreed on a proposal. It seems that we are agreed that it is the de facto flag of NI, even if neither Padraig nor I particularly like that fact. I think we can move this forward now.Traditional unionist 15:47, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

No you can't including the Ulster Banner is WP:POV and WP:OR therefore it can be removed if it is included in the infobox, the idea here is to reach a agreement that all sides can agree to, not impose the POV of one side over the other, the current setup is NPOV. The proposed solution allows the inclusion of the Union Flag, with equal weight given to the flags used by the two communities to represent them, that is a NPOV solution.--padraig 15:56, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like a nasty case of WP:IDONTLIKEIT. It is not POV, as Sony has very well articulated.Traditional unionist 15:58, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree WP:IDONTLIKEIT seems to be the case for excluding the Tricolour, there is no agruement for only including the Ulster banner, there are editors on either side that won't like the inclusion of one or the other flags, that is not the issue. My preference is to leaves things as they are with no flags used. But if others want to use them then they have to justify their case and it has to be NPOV.--padraig 16:06, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Again, you don't understand that there is a major difference between the Flag of Northern Ireland and the tricolour. The tricolour has never had anything to do with Northern Ireland. It has never represented it. The NI Flag is debatable about when it did and did not de jure represent NI, but we are agreed that it now de facto represents it.Traditional unionist 16:12, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Pre-1972 that arguement would have had merit, but we are dealing with Northern Ireland today, and in that context the Ulster Banner is a relic of the past government of Northern Ireland, as for the Tricolour it predates both the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland and is a Republican flag of unity and has been used in Northern Ireland by nationalists longer then the Ulster Banner has existed or has been used by Unionists. So in that context the Tricolour is as much a symbol of Northern Ireland as the Ulster Banner is. And I don't agree that the Ulster Banner has de facto status, you have yet to provide a source to support that claim which you can't because it isn't true.--padraig 16:25, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Plenty of sources have been provided to show de facto usage of the Ulster Banner — you just don't like any of them. Andrwsc 16:39, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
No Andrwsc, sources have been given that it is used in sport, nothing else, and use in sport dosen't count as its useage there is un-official and not recognised by either the Northern Ireland Executive, Assembly or the British Government. So can you provide a not sport source that shows the Ulster banner has de facto status. If you are making the claim then surely you can back it up.--padraig 16:47, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Andrwsc that's not true. Sources have been provided that show the flag is used by various groups, but that does not confer de facto status. If I started a tiddlywinks club (or equivalent) representing Northern Ireland at international level and used the Irish Tricolour, that would not make it the de facto flag of Northern Ireland. CAIN have an helpful page regarding flags, including the quote "The British Union Flag is the official flag of Northern Ireland" and the Ulster Banner is named "Government of Northern Ireland Flag", so any attempt to call it the "Flag of Northern Ireland" is wrong that is not the name. Scalpfarmer 16:49, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
And why doesn't sport count? Please understand the definition of de facto. It means that it is in common use without any legal status. Both of those conditions seem undisputably true to me.
Nobody "confers de facto status". It just becomes de facto by virtue of widespread usage. If Scalpfarmer's tiddlywinks club became all the rage and hundreds of thousands of people followed or participated in it, then yeah, you would have proof of "de factoness".
As for the Irish Tricolour, my understanding is that it has de facto usage in Northern Ireland to represent the ideology of a united Ireland, but it does not (and never has) had de facto usage to represent Northern Ireland itself, and I think that distinction is significant with respect to whether or not it belongs in the infobox or just shown (and explained) on the flags issue article. Andrwsc 17:08, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Sources have been repeatedly requested that confirm the de facto status of the flag, and have not been produced other than "look on Google" or equivalent. You claimed it was impossible to source something being de facto, and I provided a source showing that to be incorrect. The actual status of the Ulster Banner is explained in the CAIN page I linked to. Scalpfarmer 17:14, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The Ulster banner never had de facto status to represent Northern Ireland either, it was solely a Governmental banner for the Government to use to represent it.--padraig 17:17, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Did you mean to say "never had de jure status"? If so, I agree. If not, I disagree. Current usage is de facto. Andrwsc 17:29, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Anyone else feeling a sense of deja vu? Biofoundationsoflanguage 17:01, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Yep, we have had over six months of this, and I am still waiting all that time for a source to prove it has de facto status.--padraig 17:11, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
What exactly are you looking for? Doesn't a set of well-known sources as previously discussed satisfy the definition of de facto? There is never going to be any official organization that is going to "confer status". Your use of the word "status" in this discussion says to me that you don't understand the definition of de facto. It's not something that is proclaimed or declared. It's something that you observe. Andrwsc 17:29, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
A reliable source that states the Ulster Banner is the de facto flag of Northern Ireland? After all, Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought. Scalpfarmer 17:33, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
There's no original thought here. It's easy to provide multiple reliable sources that show that the Ulster Banner is used by several widely-known organizations to represent Northern Ireland and/or it's people in an unofficial way. Calling that "de facto" is just a shorter way of stating that "several widely known organizations adopt this usage". It's not original thought — it's using the correct definition of a word. Andrwsc 17:47, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Type flag of northern ireland into google image source. You will find that in practice (i.e. de facto) the ulster banner is most commonly used. The sports organisations, the tv channels, the encyclopedia britannica, these are all other examples of others in practice (de facto) using the ulster banner. End of story. Can we please move away from pety political views. This is an academic article, not a sectarian bloodbath.--ZincBelief 18:44, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Padraig, I think part of your opposition to the UB is the continous insistance of traditional unionist that it should be used, which you would equate to his unionist beliefs and therefore a 'insult' (for want of a much better word) to your nationalist beliefs. Leaving this aside you must surely see that the UB is a widely reconised symbol of Northern Ireland. The UB is devisive (like NI), used by unionists (like many people from NI are) and is flown by many people as their flag of NI. Thus if you look at it this way it makes perfect sense to use it. Traditional Unionist has offered a compromise of including the 'UJ is the only official..etc' writing above it. To me this seems a fair compromise to end a length, prolonged debate which to an outsider would make Norn Irish people seem petty and arguementative. There are also a number of valid points for excluding the tricolour, mostly that it is representative of a united Ireland (whole island) and not spefically NI, which is what this article is about. ~~ BoroForLife 19:29, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm no unionist or nationalist — heck, I live halfway around the world from Ireland! — but it seems clear as day to me that the "officialness" of the Union Flag and the "de factoness" of the Ulster Banner are both beyond dispute.
Since we seem to have some consensus on the current wording within the infobox:
why don't we go ahead and show the two images referenced in this quote and make it a caption? Andrwsc 19:53, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Go for it! It would be great if we could finally pack this in and move on. Biofoundationsoflanguage 19:55, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I haven't heard any other sensible proposals, and there seems to be consensus.Traditional unionist 21:05, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good- lets do it. I've added the text to List of British flags also. Astrotrain 21:06, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
You have no consensus, and any insertion of the Ulster Banner will be removed as WP:OR and WP:POV.--padraig 21:10, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Your opinion on this matter has no more, and no less weight than anyone elses. That attitude does not help your argument.Traditional unionist 21:20, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The failure to provide sources makes your claim of de facto status WP:OR and WP:POV.--padraig 21:28, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Sources have been provided. Alas you don't seem to like it.Traditional unionist 21:34, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Can we agree that the ulster banner is the most widely used to represent northern ireland? http://images.google.com/images?q=flag+of+northern+ireland&ndsp=20&svnum=10&um=1&hl=en&safe=off&client=safari&rls=en&start=0&sa=N just count --ZincBelief 21:54, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
By whom, Loyalists and Unionists.--padraig 21:56, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
By a concensus of those on the outside looking in. A better question would be, not by whom? Nationalists and republicans.Traditional unionist 21:58, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
It's not outsiders who decide what the flag of a country is, I shouldn't think. The outsiders could be wrong or at least partly misinformed. I had to laugh at this particular line from the "de facto' wiki page: "The term de facto may also be used when there is no relevant law or standard, but a common practice is well established, although perhaps not quite universal." Saying that the use of the UB in NI is "perhaps not quite universal" would be the understatement of the universe, I should think! :-) I wonder if the UBs use by at least a few of the sporting teams isn't more default than de facto. Nuclare 00:02, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you could explain the difference between the two?Traditional unionist 07:56, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
That's a rather insulting argument Nuclare. In my opinion, outsiders not suffering from WP:COI, would be far better placed to make judgements on the content of this article. Are insiders immune from mistakes??? The continued imposition of political ideology on this article by wikipedians diminishes its worth. You should further note that the UB is used to represent NI on a majority of occaisions as can be verified simply by looking at google. This is not original research, this is simple verification. It is this majority that makes it de facto as it is the most commonly used flag in practice. People may resent the political ideology imposed on this flag, but that does not violate the statistical truth. --ZincBelief 10:33, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
De facto status cannot be claimed because one side of a divided population use a flag, if that was the case then the flag of the other side would also be de facto, trying to insert the Ulster Banner in the infobox is political soapboxing this is an encyclopedia, we cannot allow WP:OR and WP:POV an neutral compromise was put forward, but has been rejected by editors here because of WP:IDONTLIKEIT.--padraig 11:11, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Again the insulting reductionism! One side? Northern Ireland is not a Geometric Shape. The use of the flag is not limited to political ideology, and it is certainly not limited to within the state of Northern Ireland. It is completely insulting and obnoxious to deny the viewpoints of the rest of the world. Your conflict of interest viewpoint may not want to accept that the flag is used internationally as a symbol of northern ireland, but you cannot dispute the statistical evidence. Stop projecting your political ideology onto wikipedia. This article is not itself a country. It is not itself a nation racked with enforced educational segregation and divisive propoganda. It is an academic article. This is not a stupid war to determine the future of northern ireland. De facto status is not claimed because one side of the population use a flag, it is claimed because in practice the Ulster Banner is the most common flag chosen to represent northern ireland. This is verifiable in any search engine you chose to use. I appeal to you now, go out and use a search engine, see the truth with your own eyes. --ZincBelief 11:24, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I think if you care to check google closely the majority of the references state that the Ulster Banner is used by Unionist and has no status official or otherwise and should not be used in any official capicity. Now if you want to provide a source that says other wise then please provide it, until then your claim of de facto status is WP:POV and WP:OR.--padraig 11:37, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
That's not what de facto means. My definition it will be nearly impossible to find a source, by the very nature of a de facto entity. What makes it so though, is popular use to denote Northern Ireland outside Northern Ireland. What goes on inside the region is largely irrelevant to this discussion, having said that you are right to say that only Unionists use it inside NI. But that isn't the point.Traditional unionist 11:44, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Zinc, I *am* an outsider. What political ideology are you accusing me of pushing? I'm still at a loss as to why outsiders decide what the flag of NI is. That is a sincere question, btw, not some snarky retorical question. If outsiders think the UB flag is *the* flag of NI, it is pressumably because that is what these outsiders believe the insiders hold as their flag, no? Nuclare 12:02, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I am not accusing you of a political ideology, I am accusing the insiders of WP:COI and politically motivated editing. If insiders were barred from editing this talk page would be about 10% of its length in my opinion. Outsiders have a cold, rational, dispassionate view on the article, clearly suited to editing it.--ZincBelief 12:24, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Are you sure you are cold and dispassionate about all subjects involved here? In any event, I got the impression (perhaps falsely) that you were saying anyone who thinks the UB ought not be in the infobox is pushing a political ideology. Since I ('outsider' though I may be!) lean toward that opinion, I assumed that you felt I was pushing a political ideology--if so, which ideology, I'd be curious? If the UB was an official flag, than by all means it should be in the infobox, regardless of how much controversy may be attached to it. If the UB was the equivalent of the Scotland or Wales flags--that is, flags that are bonafide examples of de facto flags of their countries: flags that are official in all but statute--used by their assemblies, flown without controversy in civic contexts, not barred legislatively from certain use, not disliked by meaningful numbers--than, absolutely, put it in the infobox. I just think that it's not as simple as your 'do a google-search!' arguments suggest. I do not think that a 'have it on the page, but not in the infobox' argument is irrational or POV-pushing. At least not inherantly. There may well be individuals who have POV-pushed on this issue, but I don't think the argument for keeping it out of the infobox can itself can be so easily dismissed. It has its merits. Nuclare 01:59, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The outside bodies that use it such as the Commonwealth games or in International football, only use the symbol provide by the local committee in that area, there useage of the Ulster Banner conveys no status on the banner. Under WP policy is you want to include the claim then you have to be able provide sources to support it if not then its WP:OR and in the case also WP:POV.--padraig 11:58, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Your inability to think outside of a small political football is obvious to see.

--ZincBelief 12:24, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I think we've reached agreement on this. Add it? Biofoundationsoflanguage 13:17, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

With the notice above the flag, with a slight rewording (combination of UK govt. statement and Britannica explanation of use)? --sony-youthpléigh 15:23, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, with the wording as above. I'm not really skilled enough to do it though. Biofoundationsoflanguage 16:06, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
User:Biofoundationsoflanguage yourself and User:Astrotrain have been edit warring on an number of templates such as Template:Northern Ireland cities claiming there is consensus from the discussion here to do so, Firstly there is no consensus here, nor can you achieve consensus to breach Wikipedia Policies such as WP:OR or WP:POV. Secondly the discussion here concerns the infobox on this article, it has no effect on any other Template or article in WP.--padraig 22:45, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I have made up another proposal for editors to consider here see what you think.--padraig 00:34, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Dumb question, but is the NI Assembly symbol stitched up and flown as an actual *flag* or is it just an emblem printed on certain assembly-related stuff? Nuclare 02:17, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Its not used as a Flag as far as I know, but is used as a Symbol to represent the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Northern Ireland Executive, it is also used on there website and publications.--padraig 02:40, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Never in my life have I seen that symbol on top of a flag pole. It's not a flag, and not a symbol that is identifiably 'Northern Irish'Traditional unionist 07:53, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The Northern Ireland Assembly symbol was agreed on by all the parties involved in the peace process.--padraig 11:00, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
You've made clear your objection to have the Ulster Banner in the infobox, padraig. You do not think it is right that it represents Northern Ireland and you probably never will. However, the rest of us seem to want to move on and draw a line under this. No-one apart from objected to Andrewsc's suggestion and your opposition was simply using the same of argument. If you don't have anything new to add to this debate then I don't think it's right that you're stopping us from progressing and looking at how else we can improve this article. Biofoundationsoflanguage 07:57, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me, but this debate has been going on for alot longer then the one we are currently having, you are only lately involved in this, so you may wish to read through the archives of this page. I have no objection to the Ulster Banner, but it dosen't represent Northern Ireland today outside of use by some sports organisations. It has no relationship to the current political process in place in Northern Ireland or since 1972, therefore to have it displayed in the infobox other then in the context of the here in the first proposal I offered is factually incorrect, as it implys that it still has status, the infobox is suppose to provide basic quick facts about an area or country.--padraig 11:00, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
From what I've seen the assembly logo appears to be used more as a coat of arms than a flag. To my eyes it also looks like a coat of arms rather than a flag (flags are normally simple use of colours, sometimes accented with simple geometric shapes and patterns, coats of arms are normally more ornate and use more detailed images and symbolism). (In effect also a "logo" for any political institution is a latter-day coat of arms - rather than a "brand" like for a compnay.) I suspect that in time this is what will happen, but that a new flag will be arrived at.
Using the assemply logo, which I had forgotten about somewhere along the line, would be peferred by me. I would argue for its insertion, whether we use the UB or not. I really don't see the point in the UF. Like I wrote before, its like using the tricolour to represent Connacht. --sony-youthpléigh 08:40, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I could live with [this]. --sony-youthpléigh 09:13, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Thats would not be acceptable, as it implies that the UB has status at first glance, without the Union flag, plus it suggests the flag is linked to the Assembly which it is not. This link taken from Major Bonkers talk page is interesting it is the debate in the Assembly on the The Flags (Northern Ireland) Order 2000 in which all parties where involved, their is no mention by any party of the Ulster Banner, instead the debate is centred around the Union Flag and its use in Northern Ireland.--padraig 11:11, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I must admit that that is quite convincing. Any government discussing what flags to fly on buildings that does not even consider the current "de facto" one ... - you must ask how "de facto" it is. Traditional, what think you? --sony-youthpléigh 11:47, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

The compromise that I thought we had arrived at was the UJ, with the NI Flag below it, perhaps smaller, with a short explination of the issues. It would be better to put de facto under the NI Flag too.Traditional unionist 11:41, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Sorry but how is that a compromise, that is one sided, if you include the Tricolour along with the UB, as proposed here then we would have a compromise.--padraig 11:57, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Ok, we're getting lost - that's not what I though we had arrived at. Can we split his up and write down our options? (Not to vote, but just so we know what we are talking about.) --sony-youthpléigh 11:47, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I thought nearly everyone had accepted Andrew's proposal, on the UJ and UB with note. Other than that I think the only other contender is your idea of the UB and Assembly logo. Though I don't think that is as popular. Biofoundationsoflanguage 11:52, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
That's my understanding.Traditional unionist 12:00, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree we should implement Andrew's proposal as this is the consensus agreement. Then we can look at Sony's idea for the Assembly logo. Thanks Astrotrain 12:10, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Agree. Biofoundationsoflanguage 13:05, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Arbitary section break

This discussion alone is already 51 KB long - is it getting anywhere other than confusion? Timrollpickering 12:08, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, we have a proposal that has broad acceptance.Traditional unionist 12:13, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I have put forward two proposals here and here I have no personal preference for either one or the other but either would be neutral. The suggestions that we used just the Union Flag with the Ulster Banner or the Ulster Banner and the Assembly symbol are not neutral and would breach WP:POV.--padraig 12:21, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
So far you are the only person to hold that view.Traditional unionist 12:25, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The Ulster Banner is fine if it comes with a rider, but not the Union Flag. It doesn't represent NI uniquely, so its not a flag of or for NI distinctinglt from of or for ENG, SCO or WAL. If it were used in the ENG, SCO or WAL articles, it would be different, but as its not. I don't see the point. --sony-youthpléigh 12:34, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Your point is a good one, but maybe it should be used on the other home nations?Traditional unionist 12:38, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
And fair enough if it was, but right now, I can't go along with it in the NI article. --sony-youthpléigh 13:31, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The Union Flag is the only official flag, therefore it should realy be included, either as the only flag, or with the Assembly symbol, or above the Ulster Banner and Tricolour.--padraig 12:41, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
But isn't your argument that the NI Flag only represented the NI Government? If no we can't have the logo of the NI Assembly. It doesn't have any "civic" status.Traditional unionist 12:48, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
No my arguement is that the Ulster Banner was the Governmental banner of the former government abolished in 1973, therefore it shouldn't be used in the infobox on an article about dealing with Northern Ireland today, if this article was about the period 1922 to 1972 then the Ulster Banner would be ok, but not in this case.--padraig 13:09, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
See List of British flags for some references to organisations using that flag and to respected flag websites. It was only the government that was abolished not the flag (for example the Scottish flag was not abolished in 1707 when its national government was). Astrotrain 13:14, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
St. Andrew's Saltire predated the Scottish Parliament by about 500 years. --sony-youthpléigh 13:31, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
So the lack of "civic" status has disappeared from your argument? And you have no recognition of the fact that the flag of NI is internationally recognised as such?Traditional unionist 13:16, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I think it's evidient that the Ulster Banner is no longer used in a civic context. That its used in a sporting context is unequivical, though. --sony-youthpléigh 13:31, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The issue of civic status is in regards to claims that it is a de facto flag, which it isn't and never was, its use by some sports bodies today as a symbol dosen't convey that status on it.--padraig 13:28, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Notwithstanding the fact that "civic" status doesn't exist, it would have nothing to do with it being the de facto flag. That is a common use issue.Traditional unionist 13:34, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
de facto, I can't quite go with either as its clearly contended, but certainly de facto to the degree that its the only one there is (was?), and so the one that used when one is called for and the one that people would recognise as "the flag of NI". An genuinely de fact or de jure flag of NI may have been put in political stasis for the last 35 years, but that no reason not to show the "last known good", especially when its widely recognisable, with a rider explaining the situation. --sony-youthpléigh 13:48, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
But common use is within only one section of the population, the other section use the Tricolour in common use. So the flag of one section is not above the other so if one has de facto status on the grounds of common use then so is the other.--padraig 13:44, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The point is that it is in common use to denote Northern Ireland outside of Northern Ireland.Traditional unionist 13:50, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Its use outside Northern Ireland is purely in sport by some organisations using it as their symbol, that dosen't convey any status, many sports people from Northern Ireland complete abroad and don't use the UB as a symbol.--padraig 13:55, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
It is not purely sporting, as a cursory glance at a google search will tell you. The world tends to use it to denote Northern Ireland.Traditional unionist 13:59, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

This has been explained. The tricolour is not a flag unique to Northern Ireland unlike the Ulster Banner. They aren't comparible. Biofoundationsoflanguage 13:51, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

The Ulster Banner is unique to one section of the population only.--padraig 13:55, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
What people think of the flag is not relevant.Traditional unionist 13:57, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
It is if its going to be de facto :) if it was de jure, their opinion would not be relevant --sony-youthpléigh 14:01, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Its very relevant if your claiming de facto status, and seeing that the difference between the two sections of the population in the last elections is only about 60,000 votes.--padraig 14:03, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Well that's utterly irrelevant! This is a common use issue, and its primarily OUTSIDE Northern Ireland that we're concerned with. And outside NI the flag in question is used widely.Traditional unionist 14:06, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
It is relevent, and this has nothing to do with outside Northern Ireland this is an encyclopedia and its function is to present facts, not misconceptions that people outside Northern Ireland may have.--padraig 14:10, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
It is very insulting to label the majority of the World's views as irrelevent.--ZincBelief 14:15, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
It was not intended to insult, but the role of an encyclopedia is present facts as they are not endorse misconceptions take people have.--padraig 14:42, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
It is very insulting to label the views of those outside of northern ireland as misconceptions.--ZincBelief 14:53, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
If the outside world's views are all that is relevent, I offer a new proposal. I propose the following symbol for inclusion in infoboxes on all Ireland-related pages: here Nuclare 01:33, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
The facts are that the Flag of NI is the only uniquely Northern Ireland lag used to denote Northern Ireland.Traditional unionist 14:22, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The same arguments keep coming up in cycles and we're getting nowhere. I think we should just implement Andrew's idea and edit as appropriate from there. Continuing this ad infinitum is useless and draining. Biofoundationsoflanguage 14:26, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Its circling. But I will be removing the UF - simply because it is not the flag of Northern Ireland. --sony-youthpléigh 15:11, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
And I will be removing the UB - simply because it is not the flag of Northern Ireland either.--padraig 15:29, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
OK- how about adding the UB in and leaving the arms section blank for now- then we can dicuss whether to put in the UF or the Assembly logo? We all agree on the UB so there is no need for further discussion on that? Astrotrain 15:19, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
With the "explanation" = agree. --sony-youthpléigh 15:21, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
No that is WP:POV the Ulster Banner dosen't represent Northern Ireland Today.--padraig 15:26, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
That's why we need to make it clear by means of the explanation. --sony-youthpléigh 15:34, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Sony-youth having the Ulster Banner on it own conveys that it represents Northern Ireland today nomatter what wording is put with it as most readers will see the flag and just assume it is officail, that is not the case. To do so is against WP:OR and is WP:POV.--padraig 15:44, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

It may be true that the Ulster Banner may not represent Northern Ireland but at one time it did represent Northern Ireland and is used by the football and was flown at the Mexico world cup to represent Northern Ireland, so it should be in the article.Quick Reference 15:38, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

It already is in the article.--padraig 15:44, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Padraig, who made the flags of the Irish provinces official? Hundreds of flags around the world are de facto through common usage, this is not a special case. I'm away for the weekend, so this debate will run without me until Monday, but I for one agree with the compromise by Andrew, and disagree with padraig that it is in any POV and is certainly not OR.Traditional unionist 16:47, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Traditional Unionist, his name is Andrwsc not Andrew. We are not discussing the flags of the Irish provinces, we are discussing the lack of flag for Northern Ireland and trying to agree a compromise.--padraig 16:54, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
padraig we have a good compromise now, I urge you to accept it so we can end this ridiculous debate. Of all the flags used in NI the UB is the most prominant one representing NI. It should be the one to be included in the infobox, and its hardly like it is being put there without mentioning the flags debate. ~~ BoroForLife 20:32, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't recall which precise compromise you are referring to -- as this debate is a bit unruly. I'm wary of putting the UB in the infobox partly because I fear Padraig is correct--that any small print explanation isn't going to work to overcome the impression that the UB (since it's in the infobox) is being presented as "*THE* Flag of Northern Ireland," which can, therefore, be used in conjunction with everyone and everything from NI. But, I suppose, I might be convinced, if the set-up and the explanation was worked on. What groups other than sports are currently using the UB? Nuclare 01:49, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm prepared to accept Sony's suggestion of the Assembly logo (which is in truth a modern coat of arms) and the UB. -MichiganCharms 05:46, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I too am prepared to acept Sony's suggestion. Biofoundationsoflanguage 07:48, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
The Ulster Banner and the Assembly symbol is incorrect, as the Assembly dosen't recognise the banner, and to use it in that manner is misleading. The Union Flag and the Assembly symbol is correct as the Union Flag is offical.--padraig 09:29, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed the Union Flag is the Flag of Northern Ireland. --Barryob Vigeur de dessus 09:51, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Which is this proposal here.--padraig 09:59, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I fully support Padraigs proposal. --Barryob Vigeur de dessus 10:46, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I cannot for the reasons stated above (UF is not uniquely for NI, if it were used on ENG/SCO/WAL, which it also represents, articles it would be a different situation.) --sony-youthpléigh 12:19, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Sony-youth the Union Banner is the only official along with the official Assembly symbol to represent the government of Northern Ireland.--padraig 12:29, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
But why does it *need* to be consistent with the Eng/Sco/Wal. It seems to me whatever we end up with on this, one thing is clear, it *isn't*--in one way or another--going to be consistent with those pages. I broadly support Padraig's use of UF and NI Assembly symbol (so long as the heading is Official Symbols, rather than Flags--since the assembly symbol isn't a flag). I'd also change some of the text--it needs to lose at least some of it's "ohhh, we all sooo divided" vibe! I have a suggestion about the UB, but I'll post that separately. Nuclare 12:39, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't *need* to be consistent. That's not my point. My point is that the Union flag does not represent NI per se, it represent the UK of which NI is a part. Showing the Union flag as the 'flag of Northern Ireland' is simply blatantly incorrect, its the flag of the UK not of NI. --sony-youthpléigh 13:18, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I take your point. But in a way the UF *does* represent NI. NI would never have come into existence but for support of the union. NI, therefore, is in some essential way *about* the union in a manner that Eng/Scot/Wales are not. Not to mention that the flag itself--with its intersecting symbols of Ireland/Scotland/England says a great deal about NI's make-up. It could be worded in such a way that we are listing symbols about NI rather symbols *of* NI, in other words, making it clear it's not "The Flag of Northern Ireland." Well, that's a suggestion, anyways. Perhaps a different way of thinking about it. Nuclare 15:24, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
"NI, therefore, is in some essential way *about* the union in a manner that Eng/Scot/Wales are not." - ?? That tension is surely why we are having this debate. I really can't quite grasp padraig's argument for the Union flag, especially when he points to something like this in argument against the Ulster Banner. --sony-youthpléigh 17:39, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
If you want my real opinion, it would probably be to keep all flags out of the infobox and just reference the Northern Ireland flags issue page there, but other people seem to have a thing for flags. So what's a girl to do? :-) I guess what it makes this particular Irish Catholic girl do is argue for the Union flag!!?! LOL! What's the world coming to?! :-))) If people want colorful stuff in the infobox how 'bout just symbols rather than flags -- put the NI assembly symbol and--who knows?-just an image of the Red Hand of Ulster rather than a flag that features it (of course, that's not unique to NI either). Anyways...The Union flag (as opposed to the UB) at least has the status of official on its side, which is why I'm arguing for it (sort of)--well, in comparison to other options at least. If the items in the infobox need to be unique to NI, why are "God Save the Queen" and Queen Elizabeth/Gordon Brown listed? One other enquiry: that British govt statement on flags that's been trotted out: "The union flag is the only official flag that represents Northern Ireland." What does the "represents NI" part mean, do we suppose? Nuclare 18:58, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I have no problem with changes to the heading or wording, your welcome to edit them youself, may I suggest we change the heading to Flags and Symbols.--padraig 12:47, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Flags and Symbols is fine. Here would be my suggestion for the text: "The use of symbols in Northern Ireland can be politically charged. At present, no flag officially represents Northern Ireland uniquely or has a broad consensus of support. See 'Northern Ireland flags issue'". Nuclare 13:10, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I changed the heading, I'll wait and see if anyone else wants to comment on the wording before making any changes to that.--padraig 13:48, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Here's my UB suggestion (if there is an insistence on the UB's inclusion): Use the UF and Assembly symbol on top as "Official Flags and Symbols" (per Padraig). But below that (and the flag can even be smaller than the officials, if possible), put the UB, but make it's header "Flag for International Sports" (or some such that specifies it is *not* THE unoffical flag of NI. The text above the UB image could be something like: "Some sports organizations in NI currently use the UB for international competition, but this flag has no official status and is seen by some as a symbol of Unionist politics rather than a symbol of NI as a whole." I feel rejection on its way, but there you go for my humble opinion... :-) Nuclare 12:54, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

We have consensus to have the UB either alongside the Assembly symbol or the Union Flag- so we should go with that for now and move forward. Thanks Astrotrain 15:01, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Hear hear. Biofoundationsoflanguage 15:13, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
No we haven't got consensus for that, I suggest you read though this no concensus has been agree on anything.--padraig 15:15, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

May I suggest a straw poll on all options so far? Biofoundationsoflanguage 16:12, 4 August 2007 (UTC)


Straw poll on infobox

Please vote for your preferred option:

Option A - user:Andrwsc's proposal of The Union Flag and the Ulster Banner with the following wording

Option B - User:Sony-youth's proposal [here]

Option C - user:padraig's First proposal [here]

Option D - user:padraig's Second proposal [here]

I would like to add this option.

Option E - user:padraig's Third proposal [here]

I hope everyone agrees that these are fairly represent the 5 serious options as above. Please vote, sign your preference.


B or C --sony-youthpléigh 18:15, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
C ~~ BoroForLife 18:42, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
B or A -- Biofoundationsoflanguage 19:02, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
B Timrollpickering 20:17, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
B or A Astrotrain 10:54, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
A, B or D. Ben W Bell talk 11:12, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
D or C --Barryob Vigeur de dessus 11:46, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
E or D or C --padraig 11:48, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
B--ZincBelief 15:40, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
D -- Nuclare 15:50, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
A or (reluctantly) B' -- Traditional unionist 22:09, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
A or B ... Pharrar 09:53, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
B Quick Reference 09:12, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
B , Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 22:47, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Discussion

Before voting, I'm trying to verify one point. As suggested in both Sony-youth's and Andrwsc's wording: what groups other than sports are using the UB to "represent the territory"? Nuclare 19:21, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Unionists and Loyalist parliamilitaries.--padraig 19:24, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Many organisations use it. Biofoundationsoflanguage
Who the Orange Order.--padraig 19:32, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Can you list any of them, Bio? Nuclare 19:35, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Possibly not many that padraig would approve of. But here's a particularly notable republic of ireland legal firm
Google images produces a lot of webpages when either "Northern Ireland flag" or "Ulster Banner" is typed in. Biofoundationsoflanguage 20:20, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
He ask you what organisations use it not how many webpages, and your link above isn't a legal firm its a personal website hosted at UUC.--padraig 20:49, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
But, Bio, I'm trying to understand the wording Sony-Youth's and Andrwsc's proposals use: the UB "continues to be used by groups (such as sports teams) representing the territory in an unofficial manner." The implication of this is that sports are simply one example of the many(?) different types of groups, representing NI, that are using the UB. What other groups, as representatives of NI, other than sports are using the UB? Whatever that legal site is (it seems to have been compiled by an individual not a group), it doesn't "represent the territory." It's using the flag as a way of representing the territory, but *it* doesn't represent the territory in the way Sony's and Andrwsc's wording implies. Nuclare 00:51, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I come from the mainland. I don't know. But whenever I've seen a Northern Irish group represented by a flag, it has always been that one. Biofoundationsoflanguage 08:21, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Its used by the Commonwealth team.
Which is a sports team. Nuclare 15:38, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Nuclare, its use is pretty limited. The wording I used is from the Encyclopedia Britannica. With regard to symbolism, there is not really much difference between it and the Union Flag, for example the following: "Football, reported to be much more evenly divided between the communities in respect of participation, flies the Union Jack and the Northern Ireland flag. These symbols have become associated almost exclusively with the Protestant community." See here, especially section 3.2, for a full description of use in sports. It is also used in the Commonwealth games, although I'm unsure how officially - is it just the flag bearer at the opening event?
Outside of sport, it is used by loyalist groups - paramilitaries of course but also community groups (though many with paramilitary links) - and is widely used as an "icon image" for NI, such as Andrscr comments above about use of it on TV reports. For the latter, it is mainly because no other 'flag of northern ireland' exists, this being the only one ever. But there are issues with it, from CAIN again: "However this particular flag of Northern Ireland is seen as staunchly Loyalist because of the Crown, the Star of David, and the Red Hand of Ulster. A number of other flags were based upon this design (see the alternative 'Ulster' flag below)." --sony-youthpléigh 10:24, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
"Outside of sport, it is used by loyalist groups." It's just that, to me, the description that you got from Encyc. Brit. gives the impression that there are this myriad of different types of groups in NI using this flag. (The fact of "icon image" useage outside of NI wouldn't even be covered by the way that description is worded--not to mention that a lot of icon image use is itself sport related). If--other than (mostly) paramilitaries--sports are seemingly the vastly predominate use of the flag by representatives of NI, than why word it as "such as sports," as if that's just one of many? If its use is pretty limited and it's limited mostly to sports and loyalists, wouldn't stating 'sports and loyalists' in some form in the explanation be a more accurate description? Nuclare 15:36, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't really mind, I'm not so fixed on the wording. What I meant by "icon image" would also include the likes of the link that Bio provided ([edit>]a lecturer at[<edit] the law dept. of an Irish univeristy would surely be aware of its legal status and would be unlikely loyalists). Maybe "mainly sports"? I'm not really that pushed so long as the general guist gets across. --sony-youthpléigh 20:31, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Sony-youth that link provided by Bio provided is not belonging to the Dept of Law at UUC, its someone that works there hosting the site on the University servers, did you not see the Bugs Bunny cartoon and the Jack in the Box on it, hardly a advertisement for a serious website.--padraig 20:44, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I've edited the post above. --sony-youthpléigh 21:59, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
"What I meant by "icon image" would also include the likes of the link that Bio provided." Sure. I understood that. But, again, the description as it is seems to be referring ONLY to groups who are acting as representatives of NI (i.e. the NI Commonwealth Games Team). It does not seem to include uses where the flag is simply being used to depict NI. As to the 'such as sports'--"predominately sports" would be better, imho. And I still feel that, if we're going to have an explanation it ought to mention the flags nearly exclusive association with Unionism/Loyalism. Nuclare 01:33, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Another idea This should please all sides Here.--padraig 16:11, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

It certainly does not, the tricolour is not equitable to the Flag of NI. (I did have a good weekend thanks for asking)Traditional unionist 22:07, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry but Northern Ireland dosen't have a flag apart from the Union Flag, if it did we wouldn't be having this debate. Glad to here you had a nice weekend--padraig 22:12, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
It does have a de facto flag which even you accept was once de jure, the tricolour has never applied.Traditional unionist 22:25, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
No the former Government had a Banner, Northern Ireland never had a flag, so the UB has no more status as any other flag.--padraig 22:40, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
This "civic" status again. You still haven't explained that properly, not have you explained the situation with all the hundreds of de facto flags across the world. The RoI may have a constitutional flag, but that's quite unusual.Traditional unionist 23:00, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I am not interested about all the other flags across the world WP:Flagcruft will deal with that issue. The use of the UB to represent Northern Ireland is POV and OR, you have failed to provide any sources for the de facto claim. --padraig 23:22, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I wish I could agree with this, padraig. But I genuinely don't think the tricolour belongs in a NI infobox. This is not to say I'm aligning with Traditional Unionist's reasoning. Your argument that the UB and Tricolour are "Other Flags" of the communities is true enough. But, gosh, it just looks like such a desperate set-up! -- little NI can't decide on a flag/symbol, so let's slap a whole slew of them on there!! (Heck, while we're at it why don't we throw my goofy leprachaun idea on there too!?) If you fear people looking at an infobox aren't going to pay attention to the explanation if the UB were included, than what the heck use are they going to make of four thrown at them? The only one of these symbols that I have no hesitation about is the NI assembly symbol, but, on its own, even that doesn't quite seem to fit the bill. I understand the arguments for the UB's inclusion, but I think sports is pretty much the only real driving force behind it's current 'status.' (One editor here even made it pretty clear that sports are about his only interest in this.) And, unless that point is made *clear* and its association with Unionism exclusively is mentioned, than I think any set-up and 'explanation' of the flag is lacking....(at the moment, frankly, I still like the 'no flags' option best...) Nuclare 02:16, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Well in truth that is the case Nuclare. The Belfast Agreement recognises that Northern Ireland is firmly part of the United Kingdom yet it also recognises that it is different to the rest of the United Kingdom. In truth it has no universally recognised flag and maybe to acknowledge that there is no universal flag the range of flags should be shown, or maybe none.--Quick Reference 08:09, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
"The Belfast Agreement recognises that Northern Ireland is firmly part of the United Kingdom yet it also recognises that it is different to the rest of the United Kingdom." Yes, but is the infobox really the place to pile up the images? I suppose I might support a Assembly symbol/UB set-up, with a different explanation and, if it were up to me, the UB would be below the Assembly symbol rather than on par with it. Nuclare 11:15, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Which politically is probably fair enough, but we are talking about recognisable Northern Ireland symbols here, which one definitely is, and one is less clear cut.Traditional unionist 11:21, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Quite, but lets not just create a solution for the sake of expedience. We should strive to represent what is correct, not what is convenient.Quick Reference 12:39, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
"but we are talking about recognisable Northern Ireland symbols here." We are? Is Wiki about showing people that which they already recognize? Confirming that which they already believe to be true (regardless of whether the truth is more complicated than that)? Nuclare 11:48, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Except that wont be the case, an explanation of what is perceived to be the actual state of affairs will accompany what is used.Traditional unionist 11:57, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, it better be a good explanation because at the moment it's rather lacking, imho. And, even with an explanation, putting them on par still visually communicates something that small print words probably won't undo. Nuclare 12:05, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
That is the main problem here some editors are using the arguement that the Ulster banner is recogniseable as a basis for keeping it in the infobox, and in doing so are ignoring the fact that it dosen't represent Northern Ireland today, its not recognised by either Westminster the British Government nor the Northern Ireland Assembly or its Government the Northern Ireland Executive.
What we should be doing is finding a solution that all sides can agree on, but that reflects the reality of the situation in Northern Ireland today, The three proposals I offered all do this, and that is what we should be deciding on. But any proposal such as using the UB only with the Union Flag or the Assembly symbol is revisionism and POV, as neither the British or Assembly recognise the Ulster Banner, and using them together is both WP:POV and WP:OR.--padraig 12:09, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
"The three proposals I offered all do this, and that is what we should be deciding on." My way or the highway? --sony-youthpléigh 12:29, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Sony-youth Its not my way or none, but any solution has to represent the reality of the situation in a proper sense of what Northern Ireland is today, not what Unionists or Nationalist would like it to be.--padraig 13:29, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
The two most popular options in the poll seem to indicate otherwise. When a full calendar day has passed without anyone else voting I think we should draw a sensible conclusion. Biofoundationsoflanguage 12:42, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

The current position of the page shows no flag. Is there a reason why a "status quo" option has not been put forward.Quick Reference 12:48, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I thought that too. Is it too late to add it now? On the other hand, the status quo was not mentioned in the discussion above ... --sony-youthpléigh 13:19, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
This is only a strawpoll and a premature one in my opinion, so the Status quo could still be added or another strawpoll put forward, the strawpoll is just to just a indication on wether a solution can be found not a final decision on the issue, its not a vote in that sense.--padraig 13:29, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I note with interest that one additional option, that being Option E, was added after a number of pollers had made their mark, so why not add another.

Wouldn't you feel that this exercise is fundamentally flawed if the options which are put forward in a the poll are not explicitly discussed prior to the poll being initiated. Perhaps there should have been a "talks about talks" type of discussion about what options were to be put forward and what system of voting was to be adopted prior to the poll starting.

I deal with market research in my line of work and the outcome of questionnaires or straw polls such as this is to a large degree influence by the manner, sequence and phraseology used. Quick Reference 13:42, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I totaly agree with you we where initially discussing different options and asking editors to put forward differnt ideas this was ok, then Biofoundationsoflanguage took it upon him/herself to start this straw poll, which as I said above was premature. We should continue to discuss the issues and all possible suggestions put forward and encourage others to put forward ideas for discussion, then when we have a firm set of proposals have a straw poll to seen if narrow things down, to a point we we can find a consensus.--padraig 14:03, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
We've been discussing the issues for weeks! A consensus was emerging, and the straw poll has a clear majority for option B. We could always run it again with the option of no flags in there?Traditional unionist 14:12, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Straw polls are tests for consensus, they don't form consensus themselves. The straw poll was to end the deadlock that we had to have reached with the discussion going round in circles.
I certainly do not think it was at all premature. People have been discussing this issue for months and it seems to have no advanced at all. Perhaps that was the idea?
All the discussion did seem to show was the the status quo was not preferred. I would suggest another poll on accepting or rejecting the 'winner' of this poll. Biofoundationsoflanguage 14:18, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Traditional unionist on each the points he raises I suggest that before this poll goes further it should be halted so that an explicit discussion outlining the various options being put forward can be agreed on, the timeframe of the poll agreed and the method of calculating the votes agree. If this is undertaken correctly then the outcome of the poll has a greater chance of being accepted.

Bio, is also right that straw polls are tests for consensus, but I would reiterate that there is an increase level of probability if a poll is not only fair but is seen to be fair.Quick Reference 14:27, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Traditional Unionist I agree we could but I think we should have a few days of discussion before had in case other editors wish to put forward ideas, then do a straw poll on all the options put forward, the last debate on this issue which resulted in the removal of the UB and Coat of Arms from the infobox, and the current status quo lasted almost six months before that was agreed, so this discussion is in its early stages yet.--padraig 14:25, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
The last debate on the issue did NOT result in the removal of the NI Flag and coat of Arms. That was caused by the fact that you and your associates started a zealous 24/7 campaign to remove a flag throughout Wikipedia that represents a region that you don't want to exist poliically, as well as adding a pro-Irish republican slant to other articles throughout Wikipedia. The result of this was multiple edit wars, causing the page to be locked several times, with admins locking the article on your versions rather than on what was the previous consensus. There was NEVER a consensus to remove these flags in the first place, so stop trying to create the illusion that there was. If anything, the flag and coat of arms existed at the top of the article for about 3 years before your campaign - this was the status quo and if the admins involved had a deeper insight to the issue they should have locked the article with the status quo. Many users such as myself have become dissinterested in the issue, due to your excessive zeal aound the issue, the underhand tactics deployed, and the amount of times that you fill the talk pages up with pages and pages of irrelevant text in order to post your same points over and over and over again. If anything, the flags should be restored immediately as the correct status quo before this campaign of yours started. Jonto 10:26, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
So Jonto what your saying is that we should totaly ignore the facts of the issue and just restore the previous Unionist inspired POV on this and other articles. Hate to tell you this but the days of Unionist control in Northern Ireland ended in 1972, because yourself and others can't accept that fact is of no concern to me. WP is an encyclopedia which is suppose to present upto date facts on issues, and because of that the former governmental banner dosen't belong in the infobox, it is a relic of the past. You accuse me of having excessive zeal on this issue, maybe I have, but unlike many of the pro-banner pushers here who seem to be Scottish, I come from Northern Ireland, and remember Unionist mis-rule in that state by the government this banner belonged to. So I reject your desire to see it restored here, it is not a part of the modern Northern Ireland state, dosen't represent the Northern Ireland Assembly or its government the Northern Ireland Executive. Today Northern Ireland is moving forward, the power sharing Assembly is working for the betterment of all the people there, the troubles, like this banner have no part to play in that future.--padraig 11:03, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I notice that again, instead of addressing the point that you NEVER had consensus to remove the flags in the first place, you go off on an unrelated rant about 'Unionist control', and another rant about a new era for your own agenda. The fact is that the ONLY current recognisable flag for Northern Ireland as a region is being removed. Perhaps Northern Ireland DOES need a new flag, but Wikipedia is NOT the place for you to be attempting to promote this idea - see Wikipedia is not a soapbox. Jonto 11:22, 21 August 2007 (UTC) PS I'm not Scottish :P
Removal of WP:POV and WP:OR dosen't need consensus, I have ask for sources to justify this banners inclusion in the infobox as representing Northern Ireland today and nobody has been able to do so, all we get is vague claims of de facto use but no sources to support its use outside of international football and the Commonwealth games. As for WP not being a soapbox I agree and I regard attempts to include the banner by editors using WP to do that as soapboxing. Maybe some day Northern Ireland will get a new flag, but that is not justification to use a banner that hasn't officially existed since 1973 today. Northern Ireland has an Official flag which is the Union Banner, which is the only flag with any status, that and the Assembly Symbol are the only ones that should appear in the infobox, any others would only be representing what one section or other of the population use to identify with, and to include them then you have to include the flags that both sides identify with or none.--padraig 11:52, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with jonto. Having received rather patronising messages after my first edit, telling me that I shuld reconsider my position because people like padraig were trying to make wikipedia a better place for everyone, I have noticed a consistent POV based approach from padraig that looks to be very COI related. The Ulster Banner in the infobox is not POV, because the article clearly illustrates the entire context of the emblem. This is the most commonly used symbol to represent Northern Ireland, when shown the evidence for that you simply dismiss it, even though it is verifiable - the threshold for inclusion. Wikipedia is not a political football, and I am consistently upset that editors are intent on making it one. Argueing that because you live in one country you are better suited to editing the article is just offensive in the extreme.--ZincBelief 12:45, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
What he said.Traditional unionist 13:20, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Bio stats

For everyone's convenience, here are the results so far.

1st preferences 2nd preferences 3rd preferences all prefs
A x 3 A x 2 A x 0 A x 5
B x 7 B x 3 B x 0 B x 10
C x 1 C x 2 C x 1 C x 4
D x 2 D x 1 D x 1 D x 4
E x 1 E x 0 E x 0 E x 1
14

Biofoundationsoflanguage 14:37, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

That is totally irrelevent it not a election.--padraig 14:41, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I said it was? Biofoundationsoflanguage 15:08, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
As you went to the bother of posting it you must have thought so.--padraig 16:15, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Once again, I'm not following your logic. Maybe it's not meant to be followed.
Rather than trying to undermine the poll, it might be useful if you took it in the spirit in which it was intended and used it as a way of seeing where to go from here. Biofoundationsoflanguage 16:25, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
There is obviously consensus to reinsert the Ulster Banner- that should now happen, then we can decide on appropiate arms. Astrotrain 17:10, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I haven't thought of it that way. But you're right, there is a clear majority in favour of having the Ulster Banner on the infobox. The arms is a different kettle of fish and needs consideration. Biofoundationsoflanguage 17:27, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Its a strawpoll, that all there is no concensus in nor was one sought, we are discussing differents ideas that all.--padraig 17:35, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

As I made clear from the start, straw polls do not equal consensus. However, what is now clear is that over 70% of people who voted want the UB and *something* else in the infobox. So it would make sense the start discussing along those lines. You cited your preference a while for the Northern Ireland assembly logo. I think that that is a sensible suggestion. Biofoundationsoflanguage 08:41, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I did think that before I looked down. :P Biofoundationsoflanguage 08:45, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Better strawpoll questions

With at least four possible images that we've been discussing that could go into the infobox, there are 16 possible combinations that could be chosen. There is very little chance at any sort of consensus with that number of options. Instead, I propose that we answer four simpler questions, and look for any strong consensus there:

  1. Should the Ulster Banner appear in the infobox? (yes/no/don't care)
  2. Should the Union Flag appear in the infobox? (yes/no/don't care)
  3. Should the Irish Tricolour appear in the infobox (yes/no/don't care)
  4. Should the Assembly symbol appear in the infobox? (yes/no/don't care)

I'm thinking that if we can get > 2/3 majority for each of these questions, once you add in the "don't care" to either the yes or no side, that would tell us something about consensus (or lack thereof). Comments? Andrwsc 23:21, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I would also add 'Should any flag appear in infobox? (yes/no/don't care)' which reflects the current status quo.--padraig 23:27, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, that is one of the 16 combinations, corresponding to a "no" or "don't care" answer for all four questions. And if the "no" + "don't care" totals for each of the four questions each show "consensus-like support", then I would claim that the status quo is the best of the 16 combinations now under debate.
For the electrical engineers out there, I'm trying to draw a Karnaugh map out of this..... Andrwsc 23:32, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
There should also be an option to display the Northern Ireland coat of arms. Jonto 22:15, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
The coat of arms is no longer in use, although the warrant that it was granted under still exists it was granted to the former government which no longer exists.--padraig 22:19, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
It is still the only recognisable coat of arms of northern ireland. Jonto 22:23, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
It could be argued that the Assembly symbol has superceded it today, since the coat of arms hasn't been used since 1973 and the Assembly symbol represents the Northern Ireland Assembly today.--padraig 22:27, 15 August 2007 (UTC)


I'll start with my responses:

Straw poll

To vote choose either Yes / No / Don't care in each of the four options

Ulster Banner poll

Hey! Anyone watching; 5 "yes" votes by Red Links! (Sarah777 19:57, 9 August 2007 (UTC))

I have already clocked them, Sarah and informed Andrwsc about them.--padraig 20:02, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I count 8 potential socks that have ruined the credibility of the "Yes" vote. If I was a "Yes" voter I wouldnt be impressed be them sabotaging this straw poll.--Vintagekits 23:03, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

What do you mean you've already "clocked" them - I voted the same as everybody else? Why is my link coming up in red? --Pondersomething 01:34, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Sorry Pondersomething, did anyone mention names, some of the editors voting here have not made any edits prior to voting in this, you have to admit that does look suspious.--padraig 07:14, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
The two signed with non-existant usernames are a bit suspicious. Biofoundationsoflanguage 06:59, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
I would agree, But I would say there are a few more then that, Its a pointless exercise to engage in as the edit history proves against them.--padraig 07:14, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
The ones with false names are extremely suspicious. The IP ones slightly less so, they might be on dynamic IPs? We'll wait for Andrew will have to rule on it. Biofoundationsoflanguage 08:05, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
(That's User:Andrwsc, not User:Andrew, who is someone different)
I don't think there is any "ruling" required here. This is not a binding vote, but a straw poll to see if there was any consensus for any of the multiple issues we're discussing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there does not seem to be any consensus over this particular issue, and it makes no difference whether you count the "suspicious" users or not. They make no difference.
To be honest, I was hoping to see more "don't care" responses to these questions, as that would have helped push one way or another towards consensus, but perhaps unsurprisingly, people are very polarized on these flags and responded with more firm yes or no responses. I think of the four questions I posed, only one has any consensus, and that is that the Irish Tricolour should not appear in the infobox. The other three do not show any consensus. Andrwsc 18:37, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Union Flag poll

Two dud "yes" votes here! (Sarah777 19:59, 9 August 2007 (UTC))

  • No--Donnchadh 22:53, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes--if Ulster Banner not used. beano 14:52, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
  • No GiollaUidir 11:57, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
  • No Coolavokig 08:44, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Don't care If NI coat of arms is not in place then can use the Union alongside the Northern Ireland flagJonto 22:19, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
  • No --Red King 22:40, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm not a "dud" vote! My vote counts the same as yours! Why do you call mine a dud vote?? --Pondersomething 01:36, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Sarah, please be careful of accusing anyone with a red-link of being an SPA. Plenty of established users of good standing choose not to create a userpage, thereby giving making their signature red. Calling other legitimate editor's !vote's dud simply creates tension and muddies the water for whomever you ask to establish consensus. They should be perfectly capable of deciding what is a valid !vote and what isn't themselves. Rockpocket 05:01, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Irish Tricolour poll
Assembly symbol poll

Comments on August straw poll

My vote above is quite different to "my proposal", that's because what I had wanted was a "package" deal. A kind of al la carte staw poll doesn't really capture the issue, and in that case the only image that I can say is a legitimate emblem of Northern Ireland is the assembly logo. --sony-youthpléigh 08:53, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

My vote above is also quite different to what I envisage. As no discussion on the various options or the outcome has been instigated then this is sure to fail.Quick Reference 14:58, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I can certainly understand these comments, and my idea fails to cleanly capture situations where you'd like to see "flag A" in the infobox but only if "flag B" is there (i.e. either both of a pair or neither of a pair). I just thought it would be an easier method for judging for which individual components there seems to be some consensus. Remember, it's not a binding vote! Andrwsc 16:34, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I think it is a handy way of judging the options, but maybe for the next vote, we display the top section of the infox showing the layouts for each option and let editors view each option before voting on them, but as Andrwsc says this is not a binding vote.--padraig 16:44, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Passing through Loyalist areas decorated for the twelth, I've seen very few plain Ulster banners. The version defaced with the Union Flag is far more common. So, if we want a de facto flag for the Loyalist community, that's the one to use. --Cavrdg 05:32, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

I am interested in Gamreidan's vote for the tricolor since his is the only yes. Why? ... Pharrar 07:52, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Why not have a No Flag option? There is no policy to say WE MUST HAVE ONE, is there?--Domer48 08:32, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Please read the comments at the start of this section, which clearly explain how to vote for a no flag option. Andrwsc 08:38, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Just to check. If no option obtains the supermajority specified, where do we go from here? If the infobox continues not to have a flag at all, then it could be argued that the "no" votes would win even if they were in a minority. Biofoundationsoflanguage 09:58, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
No option was given for "No image" - nothing can be said about it one way or the other. There is simply no consensus on the options given. Nice to think we almost had consensus before. It has got to be a package deal, otherwise nothing is going to work. --sony-youthpléigh 14:43, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

There is no official flag for Northern Ireland so why have we not got an option to leave it blank instead of putting in a flag that will be disputed no matter which one is picked be it the Ulster banner or the Tri Colour.BigDunc 14:38, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

We do have an option to leave it blank, and you've just voted for it. :) Biofoundationsoflanguage 14:56, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

There are a lot of new editors jumping in to vote in the Ulster Banner Straw Poll you would not want to be paranoid about things would you.BigDunc 18:32, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

In this case it might help (Sarah777 21:28, 10 August 2007 (UTC))
Or might mistakenly label legitimate voters as sock puppets. --ZincBelief 13:10, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Can't we use the Tricolour just to see what the Newsletter say about it? That article is a hoot! "There is no dispute about which flag represents Northern Ireland" ~ Danny Kennedy, UUP. That's wishful thinking if ever I've seen it! Martin 18:27, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Considering I think I was the only person to suggest the "flag of Ulster",I feel kind of proud now...but seriously, both of them seem a bit out of their minds, Danny Kennedy especially strikes me as someone who thinks we're all Sinn Fein conspiritors... -MichiganCharms 07:45, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Interestingly, none of the (DUP) interviewees thought that it should be the Ulster Banner. --Red King 20:21, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't recall ever seeing the DUP use the Ulster Banner; it has always been the Union Flag. Martin 03:17, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
You're clearly not looking then. Castlereagh Council (DUP majority) flys the flag from their buildings 365, I also think it hangs in the council chamber. There are other examples as well.Traditional unionist 08:18, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
A Council with a DUP majority is not the same thing as the DUP. The Union flag is rather prominent on their website and literature, not so much the Ulster Banner. And Castlereagh Council could fly the Jolly Roger from "their buildings" if they wanted to (now there's an idea for the info box...). Martin 00:56, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Good greif! Take two unionist politicians, watch both say that there is no dispute or that they have no doubt about what flag to use, and then listen them repeat the debate that we are having here! What ever would have happened if the Newsletter had talked to a SF or SDLP member? Oh well, that 15 minutes of fame was pretty worthless. Thanks Martin for the link. --sony-youthpléigh 08:38, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
The usual high standards from the Newsletter...the first time I read it, I thought it was a parody like the Portadown News. I can't take credit for the link though, it's at the top of the page! ;-) Martin 00:56, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

In Case anyone is confused as to the Status of Flags in the UK read this:

The English, Scottish and Welsh Flags are National Flags, but none for Northern Ireland except the Union Flag.--Padraig 13:59, 22 October 2007 (UTC)


Yes that is why the Union flag should be on the main page. Quite bizzare that is isn't - and makes Wikipedia look like a joke. Dionysus99 11:28, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

A different problem with the infobox

The box has exploded in size and is spraying bold, large and centre commands onto the main text - is anyone able to fix this? Timrollpickering 12:14, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Not a clue. Delete it - and start again? No time to do it myself right now. --sony-youthpléigh 13:30, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I've had a go and think I've isolated the problem code. Unfortunately I've had to remove the different sizes for Tuaisceart Éireann and Norlin Airlann, but worse still I've had to remove the entire entry about the flag - the entry & code was causing the problem. Something can go back in but the less code the better and not mucking up the display of the whole article is essential. Timrollpickering 13:43, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
At a guess from looking at the box for Scotland, half the problem is that the box is designed as pro forma not a table, so replacing "image_flag ..." with a non-pro forma entry is going to cause problems.
I've tried simply putting "The Union Flag is the only Official flag in Northern Ireland (see Northern Ireland flags issue)." in the field for flag, but it's expecting an image and produces [[Image:The Union Flag is the only Official flag in Northern Ireland (see Northern Ireland flags issue).|125px|border|Flag of Northern Ireland]]. If there's to be a text entry here, can anyone find a way that it will actually display? Timrollpickering 13:49, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I saw it looking huge just earlier. I thought it was just a problem with my computer. How queer. Biofoundationsoflanguage 13:53, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

The template it self was edited at the time it went weird (hist). I wonder what effect the changes will have on our options for the flag issue? --sony-youthpléigh 14:01, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I reverted the edit made of the Template:Infobox_Country that has sorted the problem.--padraig 16:36, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

IT'S BAAAAACK! Run for your lives -- Infobox-zilla has returned! Nuclare 11:04, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Is anyone else seeing the text "Northern Ireland" at the start of the article? Above where the main text "Northern Ireland (Irish: Tuaisceart Éireann) is a part of ......" begins? Stu ’Bout ye! 11:27, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Yup, but I can't see how to remove it. :-/ BastunBaStun not BaTsun 12:05, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Managed to fix it, by trial and error. Stu ’Bout ye! 13:31, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
That line had been removed before, and someone reinserted it, because it was causing a problem under XP apparently.--padraig 13:36, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, but I only removed the "Northern Ireland" text and left the "|conventional_long_name = " line in, so hopefully it should be OK. It is OK on IE, not sure about Firefox. Stu ’Bout ye! 14:07, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Well I'am using firefox on a Mac and its fine.--padraig 14:24, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Flag Solution

Let's all start a massive campaign begging the MLA's to come up with a damn flag already. Imagine the press we'd get :p -MichiganCharms 19:27, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Haha! Biofoundationsoflanguage 19:35, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

A very different flag issue

Please see Talk:Ulster-Scots#Flag for whether or not Ulster Nation is the right flag to illustrate articles such as that, Scots-Irish American and the like. Timrollpickering 19:55, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I would say no, merely because it represents Northern Irish nationalism and I dont think it has a link with the United States.Quick Reference 08:11, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposed UK manual of style

This a proposal for a UK manual of style. This will of course cover the entirity of Ireland during the period 1801-1922 and Northern Ireland since 1922. I don't know how this will effect the current WP:IMOS but input would be welcome: Wikipedia:Manual of Style (United Kingdom-related articles). --sony-youthpléigh 14:33, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't know how others will feel but since an Irish Manual of Style has been developed, and is in service, I would see it as easier to keep using it, simply leaving aside the small period of 1801-1922; failing that, some kind of subsidiary document needs to be agreed in advance reconciling the two, or there will be messiness ahead. SeoR 10:05, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Lough Neagh

151 square miles? Wasn't it always 147? When and how did it increase in area.

Global Warming!86.30.13.221 19:05, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Global warming is nothing more than leftist propaganda and the same pseudoscience as Evilution! Come to thing of it, wasn't Ulster always 4,552 square miles? Was the old figure simply an error? It's now listed as 4,559! I find it quite exciting that the British Empire is finally growing again after decades of continuious decline even if that recovery is mearly the result of natural processes rather than reconquest. :) (Ulster of course not being a colony but a part of the United Kingdom. The UK is not just the imperial power governing the British Empire it is part of the Empire itself, in fact it is the only large populous territory remaining in it!)

A QUESTION

Just wondering, should Gerry Adams not be deputy first minister as he is the leader of Sinn Fein,same way as the lead of the D.U.P. is first minister? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.19.80.19 (talk) 14:32, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

He could have been if Sinn Féin had put him forward for the position which they didn't, Adams and Sinn Féin felt that he as the President of an all-Ireland party shouldn't hold such a position, therefore the party has seperate leaders in both Dáil Éireann and the Assembly groups, with Adams remaining as leader of the overall party. Also there is no requirement that the first or Deputy first leader has to be the leader of their respective political party.--padraig 09:01, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
It's just like the UK government. The Prime Minister doesn't have to be the leader of the majority party, it just usually works out that way. There's nothing to say the positions have to be taken up by the party leaders. Ben W Bell talk 12:05, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
There are however a disgusting, sectarian and in many eyes immoral set of rules stating that only the largest and second largest party leaders can nominate, cementing assembly elections as sectarian headcounts and not a referendum on who should govern.Traditional unionist 12:09, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
I recall something about Northern Ireland holding "referendums on who should govern" regularly before 1972. Wasn't there something then about "cementing assembly elections as sectarian headcounts" too (albeit that the "assembly" was known as a "parliament"))? I can't remember what the problem was ... maybe you can, TU? --sony-youthpléigh 12:16, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Is it the D'Hondt method you are talking about Traditional unionist? BigDunc 12:23, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
No he's refering to the UUP and their mis-rule over a fifty year period, when they played the sectarian card to ensure they remained in power. Something that some in that party would like to see a return to.--Padraig 14:46, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Actaully I'm talking about the At Andrews changes to the election of first minister, but thanks for the assumptions of bad faith and personal attacks.Traditional unionist 15:56, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
What personal attack, my comment was about the UUP, not you, so how is that an assumption of bad faith.--Padraig 17:06, 23 September 2007 (UTC)