Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

We’re not all keen on flying flag, Geri

Geri Halliwell

Never mind the wall murals and kerb stones of inner city loyalism, if you want to see gratuitous display of bunting and Union Flags these days just go shopping.

Orange Lil herself (or a wannabe Geri Halliwell) would be spoilt for choice given the dress options available in Union Jack print for summer 2012.

In one city centre store there’s a floor length design covered in more wee Union Jacks than you’d get on a DUP election poster these days.

Surely there are limits to the social events where you‘d get to wear such a dress locally.

And then there are the biscuits. The cakes. The crisps. The paper plates. The duvet covers. The mugs. The mats. The you-name-it.

It’s all been Union hiJacked for the double whammy of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics.

Some local shopkeepers have been reportedly appealing to their cross-water bosses to tone it down a bit in terms of flagging up the red, white and blue.

And can you blame them?

Wherever you stand in terms of community allegiance you can appreciate that not all shoppers here are going to be thrilled with every aisle festooned like Sandy Row coming up to the Twelfth.

The Union Jack is having a commercial moment and if it continues to sell well nationally, it may still be on the shelves for autumn/winter. It’s about tills jingling — not jingoism. And so long as it turns a profit, you just know the store bosses will keep flying the flag.

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