Disturbing Belfast image
Dear SHNV Readers,
Regarding the image published in this link:
"Marching with our colours in Belfast, SNN"
Please allow me to say that it was quite disturbing to me. The Confederate battle flag has a long history of misuse, but in this photograph it reaches even levels of surrealism. And the Bonnie Blue looks as strange and misplaced as in a Tibetan anti-Chinese parade!
Here you can read from important Confederate sources about the tricky intentions of the Brits for getting rid of Catholics (means 90% of the people) from Ireland, then under British rule. The Orangists depicted are the heirs of those who stood close to Yankee recruitment operations for cajoling Irish in starvation to become emigrants to America and then pressing them into Union service as cannon-fodder against the South:
Captain Raphael Semmes, denouncing in his diary the British policy of depopulating Ireland of Irish Catholics to erase true Irish identity from the Emerald island. (Journal of Captain Raphael Semmes, commanding C.S.S. Alabama, Saturday, April, 2, 1864, Official Records (Navies), Series 1, Vol. III, p. 669).
Confederate efforts to avoid Irish emigration to the North by warning they would be send to die in Lincoln´s war, rather than finding a new hope in the New World. (Charles P. Cullop, “Confederate Propaganda in Europe, 1861-1865”, University of Miami Press,1969, pp. 105-106). Written instruction of CS Secretary of State Benjamin to Chaplain Fr. John Bannon, 1st Missouri Brigade, of how to operate in Ireland by telling the truth, (ORN, Series 2, Vol. III, pp. 893-895). Also, Alfred C. Danner´s article “Father Bannon´s Secret Mission”, Confederate Veteran, March 1919.
About the immigration factor to enlarge Northern armies see: David H. Donald, “Why the North won the Civil War”, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 1960, pp. 81-82.
About the cajoling tactics towards Irish immigrants to get them into Union service, see: Joseph M. Hernon, “Celts, Catholics and Copperheads: Ireland views the Civil War”, Ohio State University Press, Columbus, 1968, pp. 23-28.
These are just a few documentary references showing how Confederates saw and felt the Yankee-Brit collaboration to use Irish lives and souls for their own benefit. As said, this picture is disturbing to me – as it would have been to Semmes, Bannon, Benjamin and many others. But it’s good to remember how dangerous the misuse of the Flag as "rebellion banner" by strangers can be.
Newsletter editor, Europe Camp 1612, S.C.V.
Disturbing Belfast image