Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Strabane gets shirty over Union Flag top - maker thinks town's in Scotland

Maker thinks town's in Scotland

An American fashion company appears to have lost its way with a new range of colourful if controversial T-shirts plugging Strabane.

The Ann Arbor T-Shirt Company, based in Michigan, recently began selling T-shirts and casualwear emblazoned with the red, white and blue of the Union flag under the single word 'Strabane'.

Retailing at $20 (£13), the entire range is available for purchase from auction website eBay.

Geography, though, appears to have been down the list of priorities for the fashion designers.

According to eBay, the items are being sold in relation to "Strabane, Scotland" despite records showing no such place exists, other than our own town in Co Tyrone. Strabane is one of a large number of cities and towns that you can buy with the same Union flag design.

A spokesperson for the Ann Arbor company said only that the Strabane clothing line was part of its United Kingdom collection.

"We have thousands of UK cities in that design," they said.

With the Co Tyrone town having a 93% Catholic population, it's extremely doubtful the T-shirts will be in demand.

In the border town, the garments illicited a mixed reaction from politicians.

Ulster Unionist Derek Hussey said that if the shirts became available for sale in the district he would be only too happy to pick one up.

Not so keen, however, was Sinn Fein's Brian McMahon.

He said: "It illustrates the tenuous grip that some in the US have on the complexities of international affairs but I'm glad to see this T-shirt providing at least some comfort to Derek (Hussey) in helping reinforce his narrow red, white and blue view of the world."

FACTFILE

Strabane is a small town, not in Scotland, but instead in the west of Co Tyrone. Sitting directly on the border with Co Donegal, Strabane has a population of around 17,000. It is divided from the Republic by the River Foyle with the Donegal town of Lifford on the other side of the river. Around 93% of the population of the town is from a nationalist background.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz