Big thank you from

The Flag

Written by Bishop A. Orr, Reformed Episcople Church of Canada, now living in Ontario and an internet associate of mine. This arose when a John Kelly objected to the Ulster flag being in the opening page of our Norn Iron exiles site.
Submitted by Thomas Gibb

by Aaron R. Orr

I am sitting here this evening while a sportive Autumn breeze
Tugs the few last flowers of summer and tosses changing leaves,
But my heart is very heavy, and indeed, I'm "thinkin' long"
Of the place we all were born in, the place that made us strong.

More especially, this evening as I cast my memory back
To the golden days of childhood, to the laughter and the craic,
They appear, those scenes of childhood and some faces that are gone
Are still smiling on in memory and so I feel less alone.

There is one scene from my childhood that's prominent tonight
And the more I think about it the more it shines with light,
It seems like only yesterday, for memory does not lag
To recall the golden moment when I first saw "our" flag.

It was on the Coronation Day in Nineteen-Fifty-Three
When I was but a twelve-year-old whose youthful soul was free.
There it was in all its glory on a flagpole tall and high At Sea Park,
outside Holywood as the bands went marching by.

I remember lookin' at it and my youthful mind went wild
As I sought to know its meaning for a growing Ulster child.
I saw the cross upon it and I thought of God's great love
And the Red Hand in the middle spoke of history's treasure trove.

There were others lookin' at it, at least all the boys I knew
Jimmy Walker, Arthur Prescott, Billy King and Liam McHugh
And a wheen of other fellows, all mixed, Catholic and Prod
Each felt it was a wonder and we were just overawed.

Then Liam asked, "Isn't this great now that we have our flag?"
And we others all agreed it was, and no one lost the rag
For we felt that in this emblem we could all at last be one
That we all could walk together underneath the Irish sun.

Och! But time and tide have swept the world since yon long summer day.
I don't know where those boys are now along life's winding way
But I'm sure that every one of them wherever they may be
Still minds that Second Day of June in Nineteen-Fifty-Three.

The Brits say we can't fly it now as we did long ago,
They say that it's political, offensive, don't you know!
They're not averse to other flags regardless of their caste
They just don't want us Ulsterfolk to think about the past.

God! What a past that was! The story fairly stuns
When we think of how the British fed the Irish to the Huns.
At Somme, Ypres and other scenes men threw their lives away
For King and Country; they believed these never would betray.

But Och! Things have turned different in the world we face today,
To the English we're all "Paddy" and they do not know the way
That our long-headed loyalties have bound us to their side
Or of Protestants and Catholics who for British freedom died.

To them our flag's a flag no more but just an inflamed rag
And Paddy's cross and the Red Hand are emblems fit to slag
What matter if their crown's above these ancient emblems seen?
God knows they have their own who say they do not want the Queen.

Fellow exiles in all countries wherever you're dispersed
It's the emblem of your heritage that unthinking men have cursed.
We will roam like homeless orphans with no synergist to bind
If they take away our emblem and leave us cold and blind.

Thank God that on the Internet our brave banner flutters forth
In cyber-space collections now where no one doubts its worth.
Sure when exiles look upon it they feel linked again with home
And it's still their flag, and will be, wherever they may roam.

So let us upon our pages fly the colour tried and true
Our gathering point, nigh fifty years it's flown for me and you.
Let's take our chosen freedom; show that we will not be crammed
Hoist up the grand oul' banner then, and fly it, and be damned!