The president of Ireland’s Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has implored fans of the County Cork teams to stop waving the Confederate flag during games.

Fans of Cork (“the Rebel County”), whose colors are red and white, are known for flying a range of flags from around the world emblazoned with those colors.

Some fans have a preference for the US Confederate flag because of the red and the white and because of the “rebel” connotations.

This allegiance has been a source of controversy in the past, with activist groups in Ireland calling for a ban on the use of the Confederate flag at GAA games.

However, following the widespread debate over the Confederate flag in the US and its links to the suspect in a mass shooting at a South Carolina church, the president of the GAA, Aogán Ó Fearghail, has asked Cork fans to take personal responsibility for the symbols they display.

“The Confederate flag is not a flag I personally would be comfortable with,” he said on Tuesday, according to The42.ie

“I wouldn’t be comfortable with a Nazi symbol,” he added “it also has red.”

Ó Fearghail speculated that it would not be possible to search the flags of every match attendee, and instead asked Cork fans to consider the message waving the Confederate flag could send.

“Certainly anything racist is against our rules,” he said.

“If people wave flags and one flag is taken away and one isn’t, that will always cause unrest.

“It would be nice if people took personal responsibility and did a little investigation themselves as to what their banner means.”

The Washington Post newspaper recently highlighted groups around the world that have appropriated the Confederate flag. The Cork GAA teams were mentioned, as was the Red Hand Defenders, a loyalist Ulster paramilitary group.

Do you think Cork GAA fans should stop waving the Confederate flag as the GAA president has requested? Share your thoughts in the comment section, below.

A Cork GAA fan waves the Confederate flag during a game.INPHO/Patrick Bolger