There have been renewed calls on Cork hurling fans to avoid flying a Confederate flag at Croke Park today, given the toxic situation currently unfolding in the United States.
The planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia led to a rally of American, white supremacist Nazis which engulfed the city in violence and rancour. One person was killed and another 19 were injured when a car rammed a group of peaceful, anti-racist protesters after the governor declared a State of Emergency.
Donald Trump did not tweet about the crisis, instead reading a pre-prepared statement hours later in which he failed to condemn the violence as that of white supremacists, instead decrying violence "on all sides".
As America continues to fall, plenty have called on Cork flags to avoid flying the Confederate flag at Croke Park today. There have not been any Confederate flags spotted among supporters for a couple of years, but the flag has been spotted for sale in the county ahead of the game.
Educate your friends on why that's a bad thing, especially today.Just tell them it's as bad as a Union Jack in West Cork https://t.co/H7AX9c8SdX
— The Blindboy Podcast (@Rubberbandits) August 13, 2017
Cork fans, on today of all days, keep the Confederate battle flags at home. A symbol that's demonstrably adopted by racists and Nazis.
— Eric Fitzgerald 🇵🇸 🏳️⚧️ (@mrericfitz) August 13, 2017
For sale in plain view in buttevant all this week..... https://t.co/UHeKxRmPny
— Paul Ring (@Paul__Ring) August 13, 2017
In 2015, the flag was spotted at the Munster football final in Killarney, which led to Ken McCue of Sport Against Racism called on the Cork County Board to issue a statement against the flying of the flag:
We’re calling on the Cork County Board to issue a statement asking the fans to desist because it’s a flag of hatred. It sends out the wrong signals. We would call on stewards to be vigilant to make sure it doesn’t appear in grounds.
Myself and Peadar King, a Kerryman living in Cork, in the past mounted a campaign against the flag and we wrote to the GAA and they wrote back saying it’s a tradition in Cork because they see it as a rebel and they’re the Rebel County.
The flag has far greater connotations that it signifying rebellion. It has become a symbol for racism and segregation, and has been adopted by the Ku Klux Klan and a host of other white supremacists, including Dylann Roof, who shot dead nine African-Americans in Carolina in 2015. Images on his Facebook show him posing with the Confederate Flag, and in the aftermath of the atrocity, South Carolina General Assembly voted to remove the flag from State Capitol grounds.