National flag should fly at St Patrick’s parade

Sir,

Congratulations to all who made the St. Patrick’s Day parade a spectacular event of colour and imagination. It was truly amazing and we can only imagine the hard work involved in the creation of the various themes and the splendid costumes. It is a tribute to the talent of the Derry communities who so generously give of their time and energy without payment to make such events in the City a great success.

The St Patrick’s Day parade in Derry was worthy of a place in the Mardi Gras in Brazil or Notting Hill or indeed any of the great carnivals in the world. However this was St. Patrick’s Day, a great day for the Irish all over the world who wish to celebrate not only the feast of their patron saint but also their identity as Irish men and women.

The absence in the parade of Irish culture as in the colours of the National flag, Irish music and song, stuck out like a sore thumb. Apart from the Gasyard banner proclaiming Happy St. Patrick’s Day, one would not have known that this was a parade to celebrate our national day.

Whilst our flag and music were paraded in cities all over the world,and shared by people of every nationality, it appears that the Nationalist population of Derry are still living with the memory of the times when carrying the national flag resulted in being beaten off the streets by the RUC.

While it is important to recognise and respect diversity and the notion of a shared city, it is equally important to acknowledge and respect the symbolism of our Irish identity. Our national flag should be carried at the front of all parades celebrating Irish culture and identity.

Yours,

‘Irish and Equal’

(name and address supplied)