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Started by Figleaf, March 25, 2008, 11:33:55 PM
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Quote from: FosseWay on January 02, 2020, 03:02:28 PMThe first series of UK £1 coins portrayed the national heraldic plants of the constituent countries - thistle, leek, oak tree and... flax. The shamrock is the most obvious floral emblem of Ireland, but yet it wasn't chosen. I imagine this was because the shamrock was seen as being too associated with Irish nationalism, whereas the flax plant connotes one of the principal historic industries of the part of Ireland that is now part of the UK, and as such has less sectarian baggage.
Quote from: FosseWay on February 07, 2020, 12:01:02 PMIs this piece made by a supporter of the "establishment" - i.e. the Anglo-Irish supporters of the Union - or by someone on the more radical wing of the Nationalist continuum, such as the Young Ireland movement? What raises the question in my mind is the use of the word "turncoat". That implies that O'Connell has (in the mind of his accuser) turned away from a cause that he previously shared with his accuser. As far as I know, O'Connell never supported the Union as envisaged by the British - he was always a campaigner for Catholic rights and an advocate of repeal of the Act of Union rather than a revolution leading to an independent republic. So someone supporting armed insurrection as a way of achieving Irish statehood could well regard O'Connell as having sold out.
Quote from: Figleaf on February 07, 2020, 01:05:48 PMHere he goeth speculating again.The word turncoat could be used literally in Napoleonic times. A deserter only needed to turn the red (or green) outside of his coat inside to pass for a civilian, at least at a distance. Somewhere between Waterloo and the first world war, turncoat became an expression, used in a milder way than deserter, e.g. an elected politician changing party affiliation could be called a turncoat without the threat of a libel suit. Since it seems to be used as the equivalent of traitor here, I assume that it dates around 1815.After 1815, the British army was evacuated from France. The soldiers who had married without permission (the lower ranks) were forced to leave their family (many in the army train) behind and to their own resources. Staying behind was considered desertion, punishable by death. On arrival, the ex-soldiers found there was no work for them. Demobilisation had caused a severe depression, as government expenditure diminished sharply. In theory, the wounded became wards of their parish. In practice, the parishes were overwhelmed and many invalids ended up begging also. A wave of crime hit the UK. It was met with a wave of hangings, with due process suffering badly from public anger with the demobilised soldiers. The point is that Ireland was represented far beyond the size of its population among the common soldiers. They had run from hunger, misery and poverty in Ireland to serve in the British army, only to be reduced to human waste when their services were no longer needed and their accent gave them away at every turn. I suppose it wasn't the first or last time something like this happened, but in a climate where the Irish in England were a favourite minority to hate, I can only assume that this counterstamp represents the feeling of the angry, seething masses.In that sense, you have acquired a vivid document explaining why Ireland eventually became an independent country. Nobody learned anything.Peter
Quote from: FosseWay on January 02, 2020, 10:02:03 AMThe shamrock need not have 4 leaves; indeed it generally has three, as shown on the two lower images in Bruce's post before yours. The first, with four leaves, looks "odd" in my eyes.
Quote from: bagerap on February 10, 2020, 03:57:45 AMI forgot to mention earlier that traiter was not an unusual spelling in those times.