Belfast Telegraph

Flags spell out the wrong message at the Giant’s Causeway

By Lindy McDowell

As if the Giant’s Causeway didn’t have enough rows to contend with, what with controversy over creationism, tourist centre admission charges and planning permission for golf courses, it’s now got a debate about flags.

This is Northern Ireland. There’s always a debate about flags here. Which may be why German artist Hans Peter Kuhn chose them for an art installation at the Causeway as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

His flags (100 of them in total) are dotted about the Causeway landscape and have two sides — one red, one yellow to contrast with the greenery of the scenery.

“I hope it helps people in developing a sensitivity to Nature,” he says.

His flags, he adds, are meant to make us think about the nature of Nature.

Call me a Philistine but they make me wonder about the nature of the bill. I have a sensitivity to waste of public money.

But then again, perhaps Mr Kuhn’s flag display comes cheap. You’d certainly like to think so.

If there’s any place in this world that knows about where to place a value-for-money bulk order for cheap flags it has to be us. But not everyone it seems even knows that Mr Kuhn’s Causeway installation is a work of art.

At least one English visitor confesses to having confused it with Health and Safety signage.

“I thought they (the flags) were saying ‘Keep Off — it’s a dangerous surface.’”

Not so.

Although granted, you could interpret some of our other local flag displays more or less in that way

Belfast Telegraph


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