A Scottish Council has unanimously rejected a motion to fly the Irish flag over three separate council buildings in the central Scottish region on April 24 to mark the 1916 centenary.
The motion was proposed in January of this year by the Irish republican group Cairde na hÉireann and was given the go-ahead by by North Lanarkshire’s public affairs committee in February.
“We want to celebrate our Irishness on the day of the Easter Rising,” said Cairde na hÉireann’s national organizer Franny McAdam at the time.
However, the North Lanarkshire Council threw out the proposal last week (Feb. 25) at their first full meeting since the motion was passed.
Discussing the controversial issue with The Irish Post, Dr Joe Bradley, an academic at the University of Stirling with a background in modern history and political science, said: “In certain circumstances, for some people flying the Irish flag can be seen as a respectful gesture to those of Irish descent for their contribution to building modern Scotland and as a critical event in their ethnic background history.
“Beyond this community though most others in wider society will not celebrate the Easter Uprising. After all, few within Britain have much knowledge about the event.
“Furthermore, the rebellion was against perceived British imperialism in Ireland,” he added.
“In context, the way the flag issue has developed on this occasion is unsurprising.”
Keith Russell, manager of Malone’s Irish Pub in Glasgow, called the debate over the flag “pathetic.”
“Everybody wants to celebrate it in their own way and should be able to,” he said.
“I’m from Belfast so I’ve seen the patheticness of flag issues and protests so it’s not something that interests me.”
The Scottish Saltire or the Union Jack may be flown over public buildings on certain days, but flying any other flag requires permission, according to current protocol.
After the motion was passed, local Labour Party councillors, who make up the majority of the 79 seat North Lanarkshire council, met privately and decided to vote against flying the Irish flag. Labour’s fellow councillors sided with the main party for a no vote against the proposal, making it unanimous.