Jan 20 2021

REPUBLICAN SYMBOLISM

Category: UncategorizedRCN @ 3:32 pm

The first article on an English republican flag has been written by James Gallacher of the Republican Socialist Platform. The second on a Scottish republican flag has been written by Allan Armstrong (RCN-RSP).

 

1. AN ENGLISH REPUBLICAN FLAG

 

A new republican flag has been designed to represent a new republican identity in a new England. The colours identify with the most important popular struggles that have shaped England’s parliamentary democracy.

 

English republican flag

The tricolour design connects England with the the UK’s ‘next door neighbours’, Ireland and France who both fly tricolours. Lesser-known republican tricolour flags are also used in Wales and Scotland. The three vertical stripes stand for a society which values liberty, equality and solidarity. This is a secular and republican flag and points to a future England founded on the sovereignty of the people; at present we live under the sovereignty of the crown and its anti-democratic powers (LINK).

St George was a Christian royalist. The St George’s cross is associated with the crusaders and although some sections of the left and of English society have tried to reverse this, it has strong connotations to the English far right. According to some interpretations, the dragon symbolises feminine energy, which is annihilated by the aristocratic patriarch chevalier. Its time to do away with this barbaric medievalism.

Peter Howson – Seht Ich Mache alles neu – 2018

 

Peter Howson – “Were War – Der Tor”, 2017

The new republican flag goes back deeper in time, to the pre-Christian and primordial era. Specifically the red stripe is linked with anthropologist Chris Knight’s idea of the role of early women and red’s cultural symbolism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Knight_(anthropologist)#Blood_Relations:_Menstruation_and_the_Origins_of_Culture

https://vimeo.com/search?q=%20chris%20knight%20radical%20anthropology

Archaeology has shown that red ochre decoration was one of the earliest forms of artistic human creativity and expression.

 

red ochre

Following this prehistorical symbolism, the flag’s historical referencing then jumps forward to the Levellers, the democratic party of the English Revolution in the 1600s. Levellers formed the most advanced pro-democratic wing in the New Model Army. They identified themselves by sea-green ribbons worn on their clothing.

 

A Green Society for a World Turned Upside Down

 

This thread continues to run, stopping next at the Chartist movement of the 1800s and the Suffragettes of the 1900s, the most important popular struggles that have shaped England’s parliamentary democracy, fighting for the vote. Both the Chartists and the Suffragettes had their own tricolours, and the new English flag pays homage to them by essentially amalgamating their flags.

 

Chartist Rally

Suffragette Demonstration

 

The Chartist tricolour was Red, White, and Green (top to bottom, horizontal stripes). Coincidentally this is now the Hungarian flag, except for a different shade of green.

Chartists’ flag

 

The Suffragetes’ tricolour was Green, White and Violet/Purple (Give, Women, Votes). It is still in use, for example by the WASPI.

 

Suffragettes’ flag

So to be clear:

Red for a social republic (Chartists),

Purple for the Suffragettes,

Green for the Levellers.

Green also represents a concern for the environment, as well as England’s Irish community (who did so much to advance republican and internationalist thought.

 

_________

 

2. A Scottish Republican Flag

 

In Edinburgh RIC we began discussions before the October 2018 Edinburgh AUOB about what banners we should take to the demo.  We had already made a tentative Scottish Republican banner, to go along with the Irish, Welsh and English republican banners.

 

From top to bottom – Scotland’s, Ireland’s, Wales’ and England’s republican flags

 

In the end it was decided not to spend money on promoting a more tentative Scottish republican flag but on the 3 large banners which led off the RIC contingent on the AUOB demo.

(https://edinburghric.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/auob-6.10.18-photos.pdf)

Here is the thinking behind the colours chosen for the Scottish Republican Tricolour.

Blue– the colour of the radical Covenanters

Red – the colour of the social republic (which appeared in the Naval Mutinies in 1797 and Merthyr Rising in 1831, but became a key symbol of the social republicanism of the 1848 Spring Time of Peoples)

Green – the colour representing Scotland’s Irish community (who did so much to advance republican and internationalist thought from the 1880s onwards and contributed so much to the 2014 vote of Glasgow, Dundee and West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire to secede from the Union)

 

However, these three colours can also be taken at two other levels

 

Political

Blue -a generic colour for Scotland

Red – The Paris Commune took over the red of the early social republicans. It could also perhaps be linked with Chris Knight’s idea of the role of early women and the cultural symbolism of red in:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Knight_(anthropologist)#Blood_Relations:_Menstruation_and_the_Origins_of_Culture

Green –  A concern for the environment

 

Physical/Environmental

Blue– the seas and skies of Scotland

Red – the red soils of the Borders, the red shales of the Central Belt, the red rocks of the Highlands (e,g, Red Cuillin)

Green – the forests and fields of Scotland

However, we should return to the issue of a Scottish republican flag given that  the official traditional Scottish is flag, the Saltire is a its Christian symbol), like the English Cross of St. George  And they are combined with the St Partick’s cross (the Anglo-Irish ascendancy’s choice) in the Union Flag acting as  a continuing symbol for British conservatism and reaction upholding the UK state. .Ireland has three flags which are not part of this unionist tradition –

       1.  the traditional – Irish Harp

 

         2. republican  – Irish Tricolour

 

 

         3. socialist republican  – Starry Plough

 

 

Scottish republicans could perhaps promote the suggested Scottish republican flag. Furthermore, here is a challenge for RSP artists – design a Scottish equivalent of the socialist republican Starry Plough!

 

________

also see

 

From Pre-Brit to Post-Brit, Allan Armstrong

Introduction, section a

What does the Union Flag tell us about the UK?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Aug 09 2017

A CRITIQUE OF JEREMY CORBYN AND BRITISH LEFT SOCIAL DEMOCRACY

Socialists are now confronted with the unexpected rise of Jeremy Corbyn and the re-emergence of British Left social democracy. This first part of this article by Allan Armstrong will examine the significance of this and make a critical appraisal of their future prospects in the face of the current global multi-faceted political, economic, social, cultural and environmental crisis.

Contents of Part 1

   1.      From May 2007 to June 2017 – the SNP rules the social democratic roost in  Scotland.

   2.     The rise of Jeremy Corbyn and British Left social democracy

   3.     The prospects for Corbyn and British Left social democracy when handling economic and social issues

   4.    The limitations of Corbyn and British Left social democracy when dealing with matters of state

             A.  Brexit

             B. The National Question

a.  Conservative, liberal and unionist attempts to maintain the unity of the UK state since the nineteenth  century

               b.  Corbyn and the National Question in Ireland

               c.  Corbyn and the National Question in Scotland

               d.  Corbyn and the National Question in Wales

 

 

1. From May 2007 to June 2017 – the SNP rules the social democratic roost in Scotland

i.     Following the demise of New Labour and its successor, ‘One Nation’ Labour, the SNP has been the most effective upholder of social democracy in the UK. In 2007, the SNP won 363 council seats; 425 in 2012, and 431 in 2017. In 2007, the SNP won 47 MSPs; 69 in 2011; and 63 in 2016, (still easily the largest party at Holyrood). In 2010, the SNP won 6 MPs; 56 out of 59 in 2015, but fell back to 35 in 2017 (still having the largest number of MPs from Scotland by some way). Continue reading “A CRITIQUE OF JEREMY CORBYN AND BRITISH LEFT SOCIAL DEMOCRACY”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Aug 06 2017

TRUMP SAYS, “SCOTLAND JUST WENT THROUGH HELL”

The following article by Allan Armstrong was a first posted on the bella caledonia blog at:- http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2017/08/04/trump-says-scotland-went-through-hell/

 

TRUMP SAYS, “SCOTLAND JUST WENT THROUGH HELL”.
BUT THAT NOTHING COMPARED TO WHAT HE HAS PLANNED FOR US

 

Trump has tweeted his opposition to Scottish independence. “Is Scotland going for the vote, by the way. It would be terrible. They just went through hell”. Hell being IndyRef1, and not the Brexit campaign that contributed to the murder of Jo Cox MP, and Jacub Rusiecki, factory worker, or the suicide of 16 year old Dagmara Przybysz after racist bullying; nor the spike in physical attacks and racist harassment following the Brexit vote. Trump supported Brexit and saw his own election to the US presidency as ‘Brexit plus, plus, plus’. Continue reading “TRUMP SAYS, “SCOTLAND JUST WENT THROUGH HELL””

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Nov 20 2016

FROM FARAGE’S BREXIT TO TRUMP’S “BREXIT PLUS, PLUS, PLUS”, AND ON TO ‘MADAME FREXIT’?


WHAT DOES TRUMP’S VICTORY SIGNIFY?

– ALLAN ARMSTRONG IN CONVERSATION WITH

ALAN BISSETT, BRIAN HIGGINS, PAUL STEWART AND

JOHN TUMMON

(see short biogs at end)

 

 1. ALLAN ARMSTRONG – 9.11.16

“An even greater leap into fantasy land is the belief that Brexit will provide a progressive example to other member states wanting to break away from the EU…. The first and unfortunately well-known non-UK person to celebrate Brexit was none other than the Right populist US Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump. With typical crassness he chose his new golf course at Turnberry in Scotland to declare his solidarity with Brexit… Another presidential hopeful, Marine Le Pen, of the French Far Right National Front, was the first significant European politician to proclaim her solidarity with Brexit.
Continue reading “FROM FARAGE’S BREXIT TO TRUMP’S “BREXIT PLUS, PLUS, PLUS”, AND ON TO ‘MADAME FREXIT’?”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,