Dr Gordon Gillespie (QUB): ‘Flags of our fathers?: An inner East Belfast flags survey 2001-2021’
Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose counting flags. As Ewan McGregor’s Renton in ‘Trainspotting’ might well have said had he lived in Belfast.
In 2004 I was working with Dominic Bryan on a report on flags for the then Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister which became ‘Transforming Conflict: Flags and Emblems’ and which was published in March 2005. At about this time in 2004 Dom gave me a copy of a survey of flags on roads and streets across Belfast which had been conducted by Doctor Kate Ferron in late July 2001 – this was the year that large parts of Belfast had been covered in Ulster Volunteer Force and Ulster Defence Association flags.
We thought it would be interesting to try to replicate part of that survey by looking at the number, type and location of flags in some loyalist areas of inner east Belfast. It was decided to do the survey on the day after the Twelfth parades which would be when the greatest number of flags would be on display. I then continued this process in subsequent years. This paper presents those findings.
Dr Gordon Gillespie holds a PhD in Politics from QUB and is a writer and academic who is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Irish Studies, QUB. He is the co-author of Northern Ireland: A Chronology of the Troubles (1999) and author of Years of Darkness: The Troubles Remembered (2008) and A Short History of the Troubles (2009).
This event will be held both in person in the Irish Studies Seminar Room and online via MS Teams.
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