a very short photo story
This morning, the St Patrick's flag flutters in front of Limavady Orange hall in Co. Derry. The Irish flag of St Patrick, not often seen even in northern Irish Unionist districts, is a diagonal red cross against a white background. When combined with the English Cross of St George (a red cross against a white background, often seen at English football matches and on nationalist rallies in Georgia in eastern Europe) and the Scottish Cross of St Andrew (a diagonal white cross against a blue background) you get the British Union Flag, known colloquially as the "Union Jack".
Despite it being part of the Union Jack, unionists and loyalists tend to prefer to fly the St Andrews cross or the St George's Cross, albeit sometimes with the red hand of Ulster in its center, perhaps because of a suspicion of any admission of Irishness that the flying of the St Patrick's cross would entail. Not anymore. Last week big Ian Paisley urged Unionists to embrace St Patrick. In Coleraine St Patricks day is today being celebrated with an Ulster Scots folk band. In Derry's Waterside last Friday the community center in the very loyalist Irish Street district was celebrating St Patrick's day with a dance, replete with green shamrocks and Irish Stew!